INDUSTRY COMMENT – New 'Permission in Principle' route for smaller residential developments due to launch 1st June 2018

residential development, permission in principle, rural development, planning newsBy James Podesta – Head of Planning

Following the launch of ‘Permission in Principle’ (PIP) via the Brownfield Register in 2017, from 1st June this year, there will now be an additional route launched for obtaining planning permission via an application for PIP followed by an application for technical details consent (TDC) for ‘minor developments’.

This new application route is one of the most significant changes to the way planning permission may be achieved since outline planning applications were introduced almost 60 years ago.

Small Sites Only

Applications for PIP for minor developments, defined as (of nine residential units or less, with less than 1,000 sqm of commercial floor space, and/or on a site of less than 1ha), the ‘main purpose’ of which is housing development, may be submitted to local planning authorities from 1st June 2018 onwards.

The premise for PIP via the application route is presented as a quicker and more cost-efficient way for those taking a chance on smaller (potentially more risky) sites to establish whether it is suitable for new homes, or not.

The Government is due to provide further guidance for PIP, including the information to be submitted with an application, but this is not yet available.

The PIP Amendment Order was originally intended to come into force on the same day as the Fee Amendment (17th January). However, the ‘active programme of continuous engagement’ referred to in the explanatory memorandum is probably part of the reason for a delay.

Hopefully it is a delay that will lead to clarity for all parties on PIP application procedure and process, ready for 1st June 2018.


The revised fees, coming into force from 17th January 2018, introduce a fee for PIP of £402 per 0.1 of a hectare.

Procedure (as we understand it now)

An application for PIP will have to be made on a form published by the Secretary of State. If a decision is not made within five weeks of receipt of a valid application, and no extension of time has been agreed, the applicant may appeal to the Secretary of State for non-determination. Once a PIP has been granted, a TDC relating to the proposed development must then be sought within three years.

A TDC will be subject to a standard time limit of three years, unless a longer or shorter period is imposed by the LPA.

We look forward to receiving more detail on the required process and procedure shortly.

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