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Starting my Build without Condition Approval - Risk?

Discussion in 'Building Regulations and Planning Permission' started by eddieed, 16 Feb 2018.

  1. eddieed

    eddieed

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    Hi All,

    Just wanted to ask a question - we had numerous conditions on our planning permission and all but one has been released. The one that isn't released is basically the council signing off the Bat Licence that Natural England have issued. We have submitted the application to release it but want to get on with demolition as we have been delayed by months by Natural England anyway. I don't want to wait for the council to take up to 8 weeks.

    I have explained all this to the planner, and even stated that if they take too long then it will be difficult to meet the work plan in the licence.

    What is the risk here if we start anyway without the official council sign off and start demolition of the existing building.
     
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  3. Notch7

    Notch7

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    I dont know the answer, but I do know how frustrating it all is.

    In the old days you could take in your brick sample to the local office and usually start building soon after.

    Now discharge of conditions requires another formal application, which gives them another 8 weeks........

    And everybody complains that not enough houses are built in this country.
     
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  4. eddieed

    eddieed

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    All about extracting more money from you. £116 for this condition release - for someone reading a document and saying yes - effectively they can't say no, its been issued by a higher power than them.

    Interestingly whilst they do get 8 weeks by the statutory limits the government guidance is that there is no reason why a condition cannot be released within 21 days.

    Here is the wording:

    "Development that is ready to proceed should not be held back by delays in discharging planning conditions. In most cases where the approval is straightforward it is expected that the local planning authority should respond to requests to discharge conditions without delay, and in any event within 21 days. Where the views of a third party such as a statutory consultee are required to discharge a condition, every effort should be made to ensure that the 21 day requirement can still be met."

    I could argue that I am ready to proceed and they are delaying.
     
    Last edited: 16 Feb 2018
  5. eddieed

    eddieed

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    Having read further it seems that I could invalidate all of my planning permission by doing this. I need to be careful in that case. The roof has to be hand stripped (part of the bat licence) so I'll ask the contractors to do that and then wait until we have the sign off to bring the machinery in.
     
  6. LukeB123

    LukeB123

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    Depends on the wording of the condition, but I assume it's a pre-commencement condition. If so then technically it can validate your permission.

    In reality if the information complies with what they were after in the condition then they are unlikely to quash the permission. It's to secure appropriate development, so it's long as it's fine then shouldn't be a problem.

    There is a statutory period for turning them round, although I've had discharge of condition applications turned around within 48hours if they are tick box exercises.

    You should get your materials / licences sorted well in advance and submit with the application to avoid any unnecessary / laborious conditions.
     
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  7. eddieed

    eddieed

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    That would have been nice but Natural England have been a nightmare - its taken them 6 months to do the licence due to them deciding one word was wrong on the original application - they are a law unto themselves. Also with Bat licences if not done at the time further checks and more costs are then involved down the road.

    The wording of the condition is:

    "No works to the roof or loftspace, or demolition shall commence until a licence for development works affecting bats has been obtained from the Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation (NE) and a copy has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority"
     
  8. Aeron Rees

    Aeron Rees

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    Hello

    In theory a failure to discharge conditions at the correct time can potentially invalidate a planning permission and you would potentially have to reapply for planning permission and can result in court action. However, in my personal experience I have not seen this actually happen.

    The fact that you have discharged the other conditions is good, for example I know with one of my previous clients, they wanted a certain type of cladding, which I did try and explain was probably not going to be appropriate. They went for it anyway, got planning on the basis that the materials be approved via condition. They went ahead and built without discharging the condition, somebody informed the council, planners didn’t like material as I suspected that they wouldn’t, client asked to remove the cladding at their own expense.

    I’m not a bat expert, but if Natural England have signed it off, they’ve signed it off. So just really waiting for formal approval from the council. It’s unlikely that they would not sign it off. I think it’s just up to you to take that risk really, like I said I don’t think they would take any serious action, but I can’t say 100%.

    It would to a certain extent depend on the actual wording of the conditions as well, for example

    1) "Before work starts on site, bat licence will be submitted and signed off by the Local Authority"

    then the whole planning permission could well be invalid because you shouldn't have started work on site until that condition is met.

    However if it said..

    2) "Before occupation, bat licence will be submitted and signed off by the Local Authority"

    then thats a totally different matter because it does not prevent you to starting work on site. Once you start on site (legally) the three years is extended indefinitly. You would still be in breech of the condition but you could submit the information requested without having to make a whole new application
     
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  9. LukeB123

    LukeB123

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    It's your risk. You could crack on and they could approve it and have no worries.

    Should something be wrong with the license / info to the Council though you could be in hot water.

    The only thing I would suggest is the condition only relates to the roof space / loft and demolition. If you do wait, you could do other things (footings / internal works / clearance etc etc) that aren't restricted by the condition?

    Probably doesn't help too much, good luck though.
     
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  11. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    You have that so all is well. The submitting of it to the council is just a bit of additional bureaucracy. The conservation organisation is the authority that matters for this condition, not the planning authority.

    It will be a minor technical breach, not a material breach. The planners will remedy it by receipt of the notice and signing off the condition.
     
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  12. freddiemercurystwin

    freddiemercurystwin

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    ****ing bats!
     
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  13. Keithmac

    Keithmac

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    Hopefully you haven't got any newts kicking about either!.
     
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  14. eddieed

    eddieed

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    I totally Agree...they have added 2 years to our project.
     
  15. eddieed

    eddieed

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    Should just add to this comment that you cannot apply for a licence to destroy a roost until you have an approved planning application, therefore this is a process that has to happen after the application is successful.

    Anyway, the demolition company are booked for Monday, however the council seem to have pulled their finger out on this one and we received the condition approval on Friday, so all above board now anyway!
     
  16. Footsoldier888

    Footsoldier888

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    Does it all start again if fresh bat droppings are found on site in spring?

    Kate Humble might turn up!
     
  17. Ijustdontknowanymore

    Ijustdontknowanymore

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    I have been trying to get to the bottom up my neighbours planning as he has started work and ignored 2 conditions on the planning which were materials and boundaries. My response from planning was “we hardly look upon this as a serious matter”. They simply don’t care. Good for you I guess, not so great for me or anyone else trying to dispute a build. Good luck non the less!
     
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