The TCP General Regs 1992 provide (Reg 9) that if an interested planning authority obtains planning permission for its own development then the consent only enures for the benefit of that authority (or for a joint development partner if specified as such in the application).

This is an important restriction on the general principle that planning permission runs with the land (and a good excuse to use the word 'enure' - is that ever used anywhere else?!).

For many years, this restriction has not operated in relation to authorities which are the sole planning authorities for their area. From 1 August 2011 there will be a further exclusion to the restriction, in that consent granted to development corporations will enure for the benefit of the land too.

This amendment seems to have been brought in very quietly, but could have significant implications - not only to widen the pool of potential developers, but also in relation to any s106 covenants given by development corporations. If they have entered into covenants in their capacity as applicant and proposed developer, as well as planning authority, those obligations may well be passed on to the successor authority when the development corporation ceases to exist (certainly not ideal for that successor authority if one of those covenants is actually an indemnity to a landowner party in respect of the s106 package).