Deemed Discharge of Planning Conditions

In England, planning conditions are requirements that are imposed on planning permission by local planning authorities to ensure development meets specific requirements. Our Practical Guide to Planning Conditions covers the basics of what they are and the process for submitting an application to discharge conditions (if necessary).  This article focuses on Deemed Discharge of Planning Conditions.

What are Deemed Discharge of Planning Conditions?

Deemed discharge of planning conditions is a provision that allows an applicant to have a planning condition deemed to be discharged if the local planning authority fails to determine the application to discharge conditions within 8 weeks.

The deemed discharge provisions can be a useful tool for applicants who are experiencing delays in the planning process. However, it is important to note that there are some restrictions on the use of deemed discharge.

What are the restrictions?

The deemed discharge of conditions process has the following restrictions:

  • The process can only be used for planning conditions that require the consent, agreement or approval.
  • The process can only be used 6 weeks after the Council has received the discharge of condition application. However the date on which deemed discharge is to take effect, must be a date after the 8 week time-period has expired and at least 14 days after the local authority receives the notice.
  • The process can only be used if the applicant has not already appealed against non-determination of the application to discharge the conditions.

Are there any conditions which are exempt from this process?

Yes there are specific conditions which can not use the deemed discharge of condition process:

  • Conditions relating to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) development and sites with European protected status;
  • Conditions relating to a planning permission which is likely to have a significant effect on a Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) or would be likely to if the site did not have the protection of the condition being discharged;
  • Development on sites which are within Simplified Planning Zones and Enterprise Zones;
  • Conditions relating to Crown Development or Government Authorisation;
  • Conditions designed to mitigate the risk of flooding;
  • Conditions relating to the assessment or remediation of contaminated land;
  • Conditions relating to archaeological;
  • Conditions relating to the access between the development and the highway or requiring a s.278 Agreement;
  • Condition relating to the approval of a reserved matter in an outline planning permission;
  • Condition which requires a planning obligation to be entered into; and
  • Condition attached to a planning permission for a development order, special development order, local development order or neighbourhood development order.

What is the process?

The procedure for deemed discharge of planning conditions is set out in the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015. It’s a fairly simple process.

Is anything required to be submitted?

A deemed discharge notice is required to be served on the local planning authority. The notice should include the following information:

  • The name and address of the applicant
  • The planning permission number
  • The condition that is being sought to be discharged
  • Confirm that no appeal has been lodged against the non-determination of your application; and
  • Specify the date on which you want the condition to be deemed discharged.

What does the council do when they receive notice?

Deemed discharge takes effect on the date specified in the notice given or on such later date as may be agreed by the applicant and the authority in writing, unless the authority has given notice to the applicant of their decision on the application before that date.

If the local planning authority does not agree to discharge the condition, the applicant may appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

Are there any benefits of Deemed Discharge of Conditions?

Deemed discharge of planning conditions can be a useful tool for developers who are seeking to speed up the development process. By allowing developers to discharge conditions themselves, the deemed discharge procedure can help to reduce the risk of delays caused by the local planning authority’s failure to make a decision on an application.

In addition, deemed discharge can be a cost-effective way for developers to discharge conditions. The cost of applying to discharge a condition through the normal planning process can be significant, particularly if the application is complex or contested. By using the deemed discharge procedure, developers can avoid these costs and save time.

How can a town planner help with submitting an application?

A town planner can assist with the deemed discharge of planning conditions by ensuring that the notice is complete and complies with the regulations. They can also advise on the best course of action if the LPA objects to the deemed discharge and provide guidance on the appeals process if necessary.

If you need assistance then don’t hesitate to Contact Us for a free initial consultation.  Of if you’re not sure if you need help from a Town Planner take a look at blog on When to Hire a Town Planner our download a Guide on How to Choose a Town Planner.

Useful links and resources:

Planning Portal:

Royal Town Planning Institute:

Local planning authority websites: Each LPA has its own website, which can be found by searching online for “local planning authority [name of area].”

Deemed discharge of conditions