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Permission in principle

The government has introduced a new way to obtain planning permission. It applies to housing-led development only. The intention is to allow more certainty to be established earlier about whether land is suitable for the development of new homes.


Permission in Principle (PiP) is designed to separate decision making on ‘in principle' issues addressing land use, location, and amount of development from matters of technical detail, such as what the buildings will look like.

The aim is to give up-front certainty that the fundamental principles are acceptable before developers need to get into costly, technical matters. It will also ensure that the principle of development only needs to be established once in the process. A grant of permission in principle would have to be followed by an application to agree the technical details of the scheme before the applicant has planning permission to develop the site.

Permission in principle

The Planning and Housing Act 2016 provides for two types of PiP to be granted:

‘Allocation PiP': for land allocated for housing-led development in ‘Qualifying Documents': development plan documents, neighbourhood development plans and in brownfield land registers.

‘Application PiP': from June 2018, developers can make an application to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to establish PiP for small sites (under 10 units) .

Find out about our statutory role in brownfield registers and technical details consent.

We're seeking a formal role in all elements of this process. Not only will this help to protect our assets, but it helps developers and LPAs to understand the constraints of a site at the outset.

For more general information take a look at the Permission in Principle section of the National Planning Practice Guidance.

Last Edited: 19 November 2020

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