Subject and purpose of work: This paper discusses the essence and main areas of conditions of local development in the context of the political transformations which have occurred in Poland over the last thirty years. Against this background, an attempt was made to differentiate between the conditions and factors of local development. The purpose of this work is to seek, considering different ways of defining local development and as part of different developmental models, a distinction and consistency between the essence of the concept of “conditions of development” and the concept of “factors of development” and to indicate the universality of general conditions for development at all levels of a country’s territorial division. Materials and methods: This paper draws on the author’s own thoughts and a critical analysis of the literature on the subject, as well as documents relating to the practical shaping of the strategy and development policy in Poland. It presents the basic ways of defining local development and the model approach to development processes and characterises the main conditions of Poland’s socio-economic development over the last thirty years. Results: It was determined that in the literature conditions of development are often identified with factors of development, which is not justified. It was determined that conditions constitute a certain potential which determines the possibilities for the progress of developmental processes, whereas granting a driving force to these possibilities transforms them into developmental factors for a given area. The general conditions of a country’s development also define the conditions of development at the lower levels of territorial division. Conclusions: In the context of the growing role of local development programming and planning, it is important to differentiate between the concepts of “conditions” and “factors” of local development. Local development is shaped by both the overall conditions and factors of development of a country, and the specific local conditions and factors. The effective implementation of local development programmes and strategies requires the skill to convert development conditions into factors.