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Planning Permission (Permission in Principle)

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The permission in principle consent route is an alternative way of obtaining planning permission for housing-led development which separates the consideration of matters of principle for proposed development from the technical detail of the development.

The permission in principle consent route has 2 stages: the first stage (or permission in principle stage) establishes whether a site is suitable in-principle and the second (‘technical details consent’) stage is when the detailed development proposals are assessed.

Permission in Principle cannot be used for Major Housing Development (development that is 10 housing units or more or over 1000sqm of new housing floorspace). Permission in Principle is also inappropriate where the development is subject to a substantial Historic or Environmental Constraint such as a Listed Building or a SSSI.

Non-residential development may also be given permission in principle providing housing occupies the majority of the floorspace of the overall scheme. Non-housing development should be compatible with the proposed residential development, and may include, for example, a small proportion of retail, office space or community uses.

Local planning authorities can grant permission in principle to a site upon receipt of a valid application or by entering a site in Part 2 of its brownfield land register which will trigger a grant of permission in principle for that land providing the statutory requirements set out in Town and Country Planning (Permission in Principle) Order 2017 (as amended) and the Town and Country Planning (Brownfield Land Register) Regulations 2017 are met.

Following a grant of permission in principle, the site must receive a grant of technical details consent before development can proceed. The granting of technical details consent has the effect of granting planning permission for the development.

Other statutory requirements may apply at this stage such as those relating to protected species or listed buildings. Technical details consent can be obtained following submission of a valid application to the local planning authority. An application for technical details consent must be in accordance with the permission in principle that is specified by the applicant.

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