INDUSTRY NEWS – Permission in Principle (PiP) explained

The PiP is a new planning consent route which has been introduced this year which will essentially simplify, speed up and encourage the allocation of brownfield land for housing-led development.  The process has two stages: the consideration of matters of principle for proposed development and the technical detail of the development.

The regulations are contained in the 2017 Permission in Principle Order which came into force in April.

This new, quicker process will allow for land to be allocated for ‘permission in principle’ without going through the current planning application process. It will more easily demonstrate areas that can contribute to the 5-year housing supply plan.

A site can be put forward to be considered for development on three criteria: location, land use and an appropriate amount of development. It can then be granted ‘permission in principle’ and Local Authorities can then include it in Part 2 of their new Brownfield Land Registers.

From then, the second stage is the same as a reserved matter approval process where various technical details are required.  Planning conditions and planning obligations will only be attached on the technical consent. Also crucially, the Community Infrastructure Levy will only be chargeable at the point the application has commenced.

This means anyone with smaller areas of brownfield land that are deemed suitable, can be put forward for development and establish in principle before having to pay for the technical reports which may be needed at the second stage.

All Local Planning Authorities will be looking for these applications now and are required to put forward their new register of suitable brownfield before the end of 2017.

Once secondary legislation has been introduced, it will also be possible to obtain permission in principle through the local plan site allocation process or by an application for non-major development.

Overall, there is potential that PiP can reduce uncertainty and aid investment decisions as it limits the amount of information to be produced upfront before there is reliable certainty that a development is acceptable in principle.  Furthermore, at the technical consent stage, the new guidance also states that Local Planning Authorities should ‘take a proportionate approach to any information they request…which should be relevant, necessary and materials to the application in question’ and that ‘this should be able to be provided in a single, concise statement’.

More details can be found here www.gov.uk/guidance/permission-in-principle

If you have brownfield land that you would like to develop, get in touch with our planning team to find out how.

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