Use the drop-downs to find out more about full planning applications.

WHAT IS A FULL PLANNING APPLICATION?

A full planning application is submitted in the following circumstances:

  • The development requires planning permission and is not a minor change to an existing domestic or commercial property (such as a domestic extension or a new shopfront) AND
  • You are providing full details of the development – to include access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale – for the council’s approval.

WHAT SORTS OF DEVELOPMENT ARE NORMALLY SUBJECT TO FULL PLANNING APPLICATIONS?

Broadly speaking, the following developments will be subject to either a full or an outline planning application:

  • New dwellings (whether as a result of new building or conversion works)
  • New sites (whether they are commercial, residential etc.)
  • Most new commercial buildings and commercial extensions
  • Any works to a flat. 

Technically, a change of use is a type of full planning application and doesn’t belong to a separate category. However, as they’re such a common and unique form of full planning application, we’ve given them their own dedicated section. You can access it using the button below.

Change of use

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN FULL AND OUTLINE PLANNING APPLICATIONS?

With full planning applications, you submit full details of the development from the outset. For example, if you are seeking consent for 10 new dwellings, you would provide full details of the size, form, style, materials and position of the dwellings, their gardens, their access routes etc.

With outline planning applications, you only submit basic details of the development in your first application. If your outline application is approved, you’ll need to submit the additional details in a later application (or applications) known as a reserved matters application. The details – or “reserved matters” – are access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale. You can reserve as many or as few of the details as you wish for the council’s future consideration. 

WHEN SHOULD I SUBMIT A FULL PLANNING APPLICATION AND WHEN SHOULD I SUBMIT AN OUTLINE PLANNING APPLICATION?

There’s pros and cons to either approach. Depending on the type of development, the site, the area and your own intentions, one of the approaches will normally be preferable to the other but there are multiple factors to take into account. 

If you have instructed Planning Direct to assist you with a planning application, we will always advise you on the best approach in your particular case. However, the below example cases may be of some assistance. 

When to submit a full planning application

  • You are confident that the council will not object to the basic concept (or “principle”) of the development. For example, you want to build a new house in an area where new housing is encouraged or permitted by local policies.
  • The council’s support for the basic concept (or “principle”) of the development is likely to depend on having information about all of the details. For example, it’s not immediately obvious whether safe access to the site can be secured.
  • The development is likely to have a clear impact on a Conservation Area or listed building. In these circumstances, the council will likely want full details of the development so they can be confident that its heritage impact will be acceptable.

When to submit an outline planning application

  • You have some concerns that the council may object to the basic concept (or “principle”) of the development. For example, you want to build a new house in an area where new housing is generally resisted by local policies (often open countryside).
  • There is a clear time pressure. For example, your development is currently supported by a planning policy but your local council is soon to adopt a new Local Plan which doesn’t contain a supportive policy.
  • You wish to sell the land or property to a developer once you have secured planning consent.

You should be aware that there are many other factors to take into account when selecting an application type, including timings and costs. For example, at the time of writing, the below example development would attract the following fees depending on whether a full or an outline application was submitted –

The development: Construction of 30 dwellings on a site of 5 ha

Full application fee: £13,860

Outline application fee: £14,882.

Although this may not appear to be a substantial price difference, all successful outline planning applications must be followed by one or more reserved matters applications and the first reserved matters application will attract the same fee as a full planning application. In the above scenario, the first reserved matters application would attract a fee of £13,860. 

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