Development Management Answers: Discharge of conditions query

Q A developer has submitted an application requesting discharge of several planning conditions....

The local planning authority has failed to respond after 12 weeks and the developer has demanded an application fee refund. If the authority and developer had agreed an extension to the time to respond, would this have avoided the requirement for the authority to refund the fee? TM

A Different provisions apply to fees for dealing with applications to discharge conditions and those for deemed discharge of conditions. The deemed discharge provisions come under articles 28 to 30 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) (Order) 2015. This specifies that where an extension of time to deal with an application is agreed, the deemed discharge provisions do not apply. Refunds of fees are covered by regulation 16(2) of the Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications) (England) Regulations 2012. This gives an automatic right to a fee refund if the application has not been determined within 12 weeks. The only way a local planning authority can avoid repaying the fee is to determine the application in less than 12 weeks. Agreement between the parties on a longer period to deal with the application does not extend the fee refund period. John Harrison

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