Standard conditions can be useful where a council processes a significant number of applications for a similar activity, with similar effects and environmental context. However, they should be used with caution as a starting point from which appropriate conditions for the individual consent can be drafted.
Standard conditions can:
provide consistency and certainty for applicants
be fair to each applicant.
However, there is a risk that standard conditions may be imposed without relevance to the specific circumstances and environmental effects the conditions are meant to avoid, remedy, or mitigate. Quite frequently a standard suite of conditions needs to be complemented by a range of consent-specific conditions.
The potential for significant cumulative adverse effects should also be carefully considered. In some circumstances where there are resource limitations, continuing to grant consents with the same conditions may not be appropriate, and specific conditions to address cumulative effects may be necessary. While consistency of conditions between similar consents in similar circumstances is generally appropriate, consistency must not be the overriding consideration.