It happens, people change their minds. It’s no different when management decide on one planning application, it’s granted and then you change your mind. Planning permissions that have laid dormant while the economy recovers are now coming alive again but you have changed your mind about the scheme since the original planning permission was granted. So, you put in a planning application to vary the original permission, the varied permission is granted and you start the work. Part way through the scheme someone decides that, actually, the original application was much better. Sound familiar?
Can you now go back and implement the original consent or does the implementation of the section 73 consent (the varied permission) prevent you reverting to the original plan?
Section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (“TCPA”) provides that, if a planning permission has been granted with conditions attached to it, an application can be made for permission to carry out the development without complying with some or all of the conditions (section 73 application). This actually amounts to a “new” permission and not a variation.
Once granted, a planning permission exists for the benefit of the land to which it relates and for the benefit of all persons with an interest in that land, unless the planning permission provides otherwise (section 75, TCPA). You therefore have a choice of two permissions to implement.
Where land has the benefit of two inconsistent planning permissions, both are valid unless and until the implementation of one has made the implementation of the other physically impossible. This has been supported by case law which I am happy to supply to you if you want further information.
So, providing that the works carried out so far are identical across both permissions and you have not breached the conditions of the other by implementing the varied permission, it seems that you can go back to the original planning permission.