Permission in principle
Permission in principle

The following Planning guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Permission in principle
  • What is permission in principle (PiP)?
  • Purpose of PiP
  • PiP on allocation through plans and registers
  • PiP on application to the local authority
  • Decision-making
  • Application for technical details consent
  • Non-material amendments
  • Revocation of PiP
  • Planning register

What is permission in principle (PiP)?

The Housing and Planning Act 2016 (HPA 2016) introduced PiP, a type of automatic consent for housing-led development allocated in an adopted local plan, neighbourhood plan, or local brownfield register. The provisions came into force on 13 July 2016. The result of PiP, together with a grant of technical details consent, is a grant of full planning permission.Housing and Planning Act 2016, ss 150, 151

Section 58A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990) enables PiP to be granted for housing-led development of land in England. Section 58A(2) expressly excludes development consisting of the winning and working of minerals from the possibility of a grant of PiP.HPA 2016, s 150Town and Country Planning Act 1990, s 58A

The explanatory notes to the HPA 2016 and the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) state that the government’s intention is that the particulars that can be granted PiP are limited to the location, the uses (which must be housing-led) and the amount of development. HPA 2016, explanatory notesPPG

Section 59A makes provision for PiP to be granted in two ways:TCPA 1990, s 59A

  1. on allocation in plans and registers, and

  2. on direct application to the local planning authority (LPA)

Section 59A(10)(b) requires the LPA to hold a register of all permissions in principle for land in their area whether they are generated on allocation in local plans, registers or granted on application.TCPA 1990, s 59A(10)(b)

Purpose of PiP

The aim of PiP is to give up-front certainty that the fundamental principles of development are acceptable before developers need to get into costly,