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Term Definition

Planning conditions are provisions attached to the granting of planning permission. They can:

- Limit permitted development rights for a particular site.
- Modify the proposals in a planning application, by, for example, reducing the size of the affected site or adding a provision. On sites worked for minerals or waste disposal this can include restoration through backfilling of a certain type of soil, and/or 'aftercare' - to bring the land back into a use specified by the minerals planning authority.
- Govern the occupancy (though not the ownership) of dwellings used by agricultural workers.
- Grant planning permission only to a named person, rather than leave it in force for a site regardless of the owner as is usually the case.

Conditions are different from planning obligations, because they can only be enforced through the planning enforcement regime. Conditions also cannot involve cash payments by the developer, either voluntarily or at the request of the local planning authority. On the other hand, developers have the opportunity to get a condition removed that they don't like, by appealing against the imposition of conditions.

The Government's five policy tests for conditions are that they must be necessary, relevant to planning, relevant to the development to be permitted, enforceable, precise and reasonable in all other respects. More detail on Government policy on planning conditions is in Circular 11/1995 (found in Government policies).

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