The following Planning Q&A produced in partnership with Jamie Mckie of Dentons provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
It is still relatively common to see planning conditions attached to planning permissions which include a 'tailpiece'—ie the words 'unless otherwise agreed in writing'. On the face of it, this allows for some discretion as to how the requirements of the condition are to be satisfied.
An example of such a planning condition might be:
‘No development shall take place until details of a servicing management plan have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The servicing requirements as set out in the approved plan shall be followed unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.’
While tailpieces do still appear in planning conditions, there has been much debate about their lawfulness.
The difficulty that they pose is rooted in the fact that they give the local planning authority (LPA) and applicant the ability to agree certain changes after the grant of consent. These may allow for departures from the scope of the authorised development. In doing so, they offer an alternative route to established and transparent statutory procedures for amending conditions via section 73 and/or section 96A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990) (TCPA 1990, s 73).
The key issue to consider is whether the changes permitted by the tailpiece(s) are substantial in the context of the planning permission. An important factor in that consideration is
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