New type of planning consent could boost home building

An extension of previous powers given to local authorities could mean a boost to home building across England. The Town and Country Planning (Permission in Principle) Order 2017 allows developers to fast-track the Permission in Principle (PIP) power, thus giving them automatic planning for certain types of small developments.

Previously, this only applied to some brownfield sites that were designated by the local authority or where the land was already allocated for housing. Now, the new powers that came in during June 2018 allow other types of schemes. Developments can now be considered if there are fewer than 9 homes being built, there is less than 1,000 of commercial floor space, the area is less than 1 hectare or where a major development comes under part two of brownfield registers.

The process of applying for PIP is greatly simplified from the standard planning procedures. The developer applies and it must be granted or rejected within five weeks, the full planning consent is then granted through a further Technical Details Consent application. The consent lasts for 3 years, compared to 5 years for standard brownfield applications.

Helen Marks, director of planning and development at LSH has stated that there are huge benefits for landowners and developers that want to complete small developments. In particular, the smaller costs of £402 per 0.1 hectares is a fraction of what would have been paid in the past. It also offers more certainty for developers and a shorter timescale.