Permission in principle

Published on
2 min read

Permission in principle was expected to be the centre piece of the Housing and Planning Bill, but even with much still to be revealed, many have been left questioning its purpose. In the lead up to the Bill, we were told it will improve access to finance for development schemes at an earlier stage and speed up the planning process.

Permission in principle was expected to be the centre piece of the Housing and Planning Bill, but even with much still to be revealed, many have been left questioning its purpose. In the lead up to the Bill, we were told it will improve access to finance for development schemes at an earlier stage and speed up the planning process.

Some planners we have spoken with have said they struggle to identify the distinction intended between permission in principle and a site allocation, and struggle to see how this new route may lead to a quicker process overall. Some land buyers have told us it is unlikely they would acquire sites with the benefit of permission in principle, instead waiting for a full understanding of the detailed mix, site infrastructure requirements and any constraints arising from site assessments.

Others have raised concerns about the level of public participation in the process. A primary point yet to be resolved is the timing and process for undertaking necessary assessments, including EIA. With these reactions, it is difficult to see how funders will take anything other than a cautious view.

So far we know that a development order may enable permission in principle to be granted automatically for certain housing sites allocated in local plans, neighbourhood plans and on a particular part of the statutory brownfield register. At this stage, no size limits have been given for these sites, but the exclusion of mixed use schemes will naturally limit its application. Further limitations are expected in the forthcoming regulations to address matters such as EIA. In addition, we are told this power will not have retrospective effect and only apply to future plans, etc.

We also know that LPAs may be empowered to grant permission in principle in response to an application. At present these applications are expected to be limited to sites for fewer than ten units.

Technical details approval will need to be obtained following permission in principle, which we guess will be similar to the prior approval process for certain PD rights (albeit more complicated). It is at this stage we expect conditions, planning obligations and CIL to be imposed.

It is hopeful that the Government will give a further steer on their thinking in the near future.
Mills & Reeve Sites navigation
A tabbed collection of Mills & Reeve sites.
Sites
My Mills & Reeve navigation
Subscribe to, or manage your My Mills & Reeve account.
My M&R
Register or login

Register or login Get all the benefits of MyM&R but registering or logging in ulla vehicula mauris mattis hendrerit fermentum. Etiam placerat hendrerit dapibus. Praesent ligula felis, eleifend sed odio quis, feugiat eros. Aliquam vitae felis fermentum, posuere nulla ut, maximus magna.

Staff intranet
Log in to the intranet
Client extranet
Log in to the extranet