Permission in principle

The granting of permission in principle followed by technical details consent is a new way to gain planning permission that the government introduced in 2017/18.

Permission in principle can be granted by a local planning authority (LPA) in two ways:

  • following an application
  • through a qualifying document such as a local plan, neighbourhood plan or brownfield register

At the moment, permission in principle can be granted through part 2 of a brownfield register, or through an application made by a third party for small scale residential development (10 units or less). 

LPAs were given a target to prepare their registers by the 31 December 2017.

The decision on the technical details consent applications is made by the LPA.

Our involvement in permission in principle via brownfield registers and technical details consent

If we’d have been a statutory consultee on a planning application for the housing proposed in part 2 of a brownfield register, then the LPA should seek our views on the proposal to give permission in principle.

Before permission in principle is granted we have to let the LPA know if we want to be consulted at technical details stage. If we do then the LPA will need to consult us at that stage too.

Our involvement in permission in principle via Third Party Applications for Small Scale Residential Development

The LPA should seek our views utilising the same criteria they would for consulting us on standard planning applications. 

Get help on the permission in principle process and how to respond to associated consultations as an individual or on behalf of a waterway organisation.

Take a look at the National Planning Practice Guidance on Permission in Principle. Look out for consultations on council’s websites. Our planning consultation pages will show relevant consultations on part 2 of a brownfield register and technical details consent.

Last date edited: 18 November 2020