Permission in Principle applications: support for developers

Permission in principle

The permission in principle consent route is an alternative way of obtaining planning permission for housing-led development which separates the consideration of matters of principle for proposed development from the technical detail of the development.

Permission in Principle is a new kind of planning application – first introduced in 2018. It is only available for certain sites, but if you qualify, it can be hugely beneficial to you. However, there are some potential pitfalls to beware of.

The two stages:

  1. The initial Permission in Principle application
  2. The technical details consent application

The limitations (at the time of writing):

  • Developments between one and nine dwellings
  • Total development of under 1,000 square metres
  • A site of under one hectare
  • Cannot be used for larger developments
  • Time limited to five weeks from the day after the planning application has been validated
  • A period of three years from consent of the first stage to submit the technical details consent in stage two
  • Terms of the PiP may only include location, type and amount – however Community Infrastructure Levy may apply

**The Government is currently considering extensions to major developments which is great news for developers wanting a fast track route to planning permission**

Following a valid application, the decision on whether permission will be granted in principle is made in accordance with relevant policies in the development plan – unless there are material considerations such as those in the National Planning Policy Framework.

 “Essentially, as long as housing occupies the majority of floor space…Planning in Principle is a quicker, simpler and more cost effective alternative to full planning permission applications.

You’re able to establish that a site is suitable for homes without the expense of a full planning permission application.

However, with any planning application, a solid strategy and supporting documentation is essential. And having a consultant on board will strengthen your application further.

Also, one of the many benefits of Permission in Principle is that if an application is initially refused, you have the right to appeal. This is where the services of an expert is essential.”

Simon Firkins, SF Planning

From experience, we know that when it comes to planning applications, every detail matters. Why? Because land can be hard to come by, budgets are tight and there is no guarantee for success.

So, although a PiP application is more straightforward than full planning permission, having an expert team to support you in presenting your application is likely to save you time and money in the long run.

Take a look at this successful Permission in Principle in Gloucestershire success story.

If you’re a developer looking to reduce the risk which comes with planning permission, please call SF Planning on 01242 231 575.


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