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PiP – Permission in Principle

PiP - Permission in Principle
A PiP or Permission in Principle is a fairly new type of planning application introduced in 2018. It is a time limited application and is suitable for certain sites only – but if your site qualifies it could be very useful to use as part of your developments. It is similar to an outline planning application, but differs in a couple of aspects.

It is in two stages;

1) the initial Permission in Principle application and;
2) a technical details consent application (very similar to a full application)


What are the limitations of a PiP?


A Permission in Principle is suitable for developments of between 1 and 9 dwellings, total development of under 1,000 square metres and a site of under 1 hectare. It cannot be used for larger developments. It is time limited to 5 weeks from the day after the planning application has been validated. It can be on previously developed land or the curtilage thereof as well as undeveloped land.


Cost and how to apply for a PiP


At the time of writing the fee is £402 per 0.1 hectare for a Permission in Principle application. The most up to date fees can be found here. You will need to submit the form found here to the local planning authority with the correct fee.  The items required are as follows:

  • completed application form
  • plan which identifies the land to which the application relates. This must be drawn to an identified scale showing the direction of north
  • the correct application fee

The application form can be found here.

You might wish to submit a planning and heritage statement as well. No plans of dwellings are required at this stage, this is dealt with in stage 2 (technical details consent). You can specify the number of dwellings, or simply leave it as between one and nine dwellings. For smaller sites, it might be prudent to specify the number planned.

Decision making process

Following a valid application, a decision on whether to grant permission in principle to a site must be made in accordance with relevant policies in the development plan, unless there are material considerations, such as those in the National Planning Policy Framework and national guidance which indicate otherwise.

The scope of matters which can be considered with Permission in Principle is limited to:

  • location of the site
  • the type of land use proposed
  • the amount of development.

Issues relevant to these ‘in principle’ matters should be considered at stage 1 (the permission in principle stage).

All other matters should be considered at stage 2 (the technical details consent stage). You will have a period of three years from consent of the first stage to submit the technical details consent in stage 2.

Further guidance or reference

For further information you are welcome to consult the Government guidance on Permission in Principle.

Page updated: 7th June 2022

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