Permission in Principle (PIP) applications are relatively new in the planning sphere. Over the past year Planning Direct has been actively involved in utilising them and making the most of the benefits they can offer. In fact, Planning Direct was one of the first planning consultancies to submit a PIP application and receive planning in principle.

Seeking Permission in Principle is an alternative route towards obtaining planning permission for residential development. The process is divided in two. First you obtain confirmation from the council that in principle your development would be feasible – they confirm whether your site is suitable (in principle). Secondly you drill down in to the technical details for the development and seek approval for this – at this stage the detailed proposals of your development are assessed. This second stage is known as obtaining Technical details consent.

Our clients contacted us last year asking for advice on a piece of land they owned in Blackwell. Their plan was to build new dwellings on the site but they were unsure of how many would be accepted by the council. Whilst the site is situated on Green Belt land, which is notoriously difficult to develop on, it had the benefit of being considered as acceptable infill by the council previously. Another important factor in the applicant’s favour is that the site is classed as previously developed land.

Although these factors are positive, they do not establish what the council would consider acceptable development in respect of number of dwellings and size of dwellings. For these aspects submitting a PIP is a good way of gauging the council’s opinion on the matter. PIPs have the benefit of being much quicker and cheaper than submitting an outline application or going through the pre-application procedure. It is important to note that PIPs aren’t planning permission in themselves but they are a pre-cursor as to the council’s opinion on the matter.

Planning Direct submitted the first PIP application for 2 houses which the council were happy, in principle, with. We then took the next step and submitted a Technical Details Consent application. This was approved in June 2019 and gave our client the relevant planning permission.

In the knowledge that the council were happy with two houses, we tested the water with them again and applied for a second PIP application, this time for 3-4 houses. Again, this was deemed acceptable and the 2nd PIP application was approved. The next stage will be to submit a Technical Details Consent application for the 4 houses and the client will then be able to progress with their development.

If you would like to find out more about Permission in Principle applications and how they could benefit you, contact us here.

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