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Permission in Principle

What is it and how does it apply?
The permission in principle or PiP consent route is an alternative way of obtaining planning permission.

It has been created with the main aim to speed up housing delivery and assist smaller builders / developers to secure certainty that a site could be developed for residential uses without going to the expense of an outline or full planning application.

From 1st June 2018 the legislation  (as amended) will enable PiP to be applied for.

Local Planning Authorities are required to maintain a brownfield register. Part 1 lists brownfield sites across the Local Planning Authority area that are considered suitable at least in part for residential development, regardless of their planning status.

Part 2 of a Local Planning Authorities’ brownfield register will set out sites that have been given PiP.


What does it Cover?

The register must specify the site, the type of development and provide an indication of the amount of development the site has permission in principle for. The permission must state the amount of development to be accommodated, indicating the minimum and maximum net number of dwellings (including any existing dwellings on the site).

Applications for PiP

Applications for PiP  can relate to:

  • minor developments (of nine residential units or less,
  • with less than 1000sqm of commercial floorspace, and/or
  • on a site of less than 1ha), the ‘main purpose’ of which is housing development.

PiP does not apply to

• major development (see definitions);
• habitats development (see regulations);
• householder development (see definitions); or
Schedule 1 development (Development falling within Schedule 2 may be subject to permission in principle where (put briefly) screening has determined it is not development that should be subject to an environmental impact assessment).


How is it different from Full and Outline Applications?
PiP has 2 stages: the first stage establishes whether a site is suitable in-principle for development. This separates ‘in principle’ issues such as land use, location, and amount of development from Stage 2 technical matters.

Once the principle is established via the PiP, full permission can be sought via a Technical Details Consent. This process must be completed within 3 years. Planning conditions, legal agreements can both be agreed at this stage in addition to development being liable for CIL.

The technical details stage differs from a normal planning application by reducing the amount of  information and time that Local Planning Authorities should determine in. The consultation period is reduced to 14 days with a 5 week determination date.


How do Fees Compare?

The fee for PIP  is set at £402 per 0.1 of a hectare. See the Planning Portal Fee Schedule for more information.

What does this mean for developers?
The obvious advantage that PiP has over the pre-application process is that it provides an actual planning consent whereas Local Planning Authorities are not beholden to advice within a pre-application letter.

In particular there may be opportunities where the planning policy is out of date, to establish PiP for residential uses.

The future success of PiP is however dependent on Local Planning Authorities positively embracing the potentials of this new process to deliver new homes, bu this is likely to vary from authority to authority until the process is well established.


For more information please contact us.



Bluestone Planning