The government has published a consultation on the technical implementation of the changes to the planning system which are proposed through the Housing and Planning Bill. The consultation provides an insight as to how ‘permissions in principle’ and ‘technical details consents’ may operate, which are intended to largely replace current applications for outline planning permission.
Sites will be eligible for ‘permission in principle’ by means of allocation in a Development Plan Document e.g. a Local Plan, via an application to the local planning authority, or through the Government’s new register of brownfield land. It will apply only to housing-led schemes and applications for ‘permission in principle’ will need to be supported by a red line plan, and confirmation of the intended use and quantum of development.
Notwithstanding this, current European legislation will still apply in the form of e.g. Environmental Impact Assessments and Habitats Regs Assessments, and discretion will be given to local planning authorities over the form and extent of public consultation in considering subsequent applications for the ‘technical details consent’.
The consultation document also sets out details on the proposed ‘brownfield land register’ which each local authority will be charged with maintaining for their areas. Sites on the register will need to meet the definition of previously developed land set out in the NPPF, with local authorities encouraged to use their Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments (SHLAAs) as the starting point in creating their registers, including sites for 5 dwellings or more and updating the register on an annual basis. It is the Government’s target to ensure that 90% of suitable brownfield sites have planning permission for housing by 2020, with ‘permissions in principle’ to be counted towards this target.
There are also proposals for a ‘smaller sites register’ which will pick up sites of up to 4 dwellings in both rural and urban areas, aimed at helping to support the self-build and custom housebuilding sector. It is proposed that sites on the ‘small sites register’ will not be subject to an assessment of their suitability for development and therefore anyone wishing to develop a site on the register will need to apply for planning permission in the usual way.
Should you wish to learn more about these latest proposals and the potential implications for your project then please contact us for further information.