Outline Planning Permission

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1. Outline Planning Permission

Outline planning permission is generally suitable for larger scale new build developments and unlike a full planning application requires a little less specific detail.  The objective is to get a decision on whether in principle the development would be acceptable and providing it is a full planning application with specific designs and details can then be submitted. 

The major benefit is that if you are a developer or looking to purchase land with the intention of building a substantial development you can effectively get approval in principle subject to the final design. Outline planning approval can also add significant value to a plot of land if you are considering selling before you build the development. 

If your outline planning application is approved you will then have 3 years from the approval date to submit an application for reserved matters which clarifies the specific details for full planning approval. Applications for outline and reserved matters will each take up to 13 weeks to process and receive a decision.

2. What Are Matters Reserved?

An application for Outline Planning Permission is generally used to find out, at an early stage, whether or not a proposal is likely to be approved by the planning authority before any substantial costs are incurred.

This type of planning application allows fewer details about the proposal to be submitted.

These details may be agreed following a “reserved matters” application at a later stage.

Reserved matters can include:

  • appearance – aspects of a building or place which affect the way it looks, including the exterior of the development
  • means of access – covers accessibility for all routes to and within the site, as well as the way they link up to other roads and pathways outside the site
  • landscaping – the improvement or protection of the amenities of the site and the area and the surrounding area, this could include planting trees or hedges as a screen
  • layout – includes buildings, routes and open spaces within the development and the way they are laid out in relations to buildings and spaces outside the development
  • scale – includes information on the size of the development, including the height, width and length of each proposed building provided. Your local authority will ask you to provide further details if it is necessary

3. Potential Constraints

With any development, there are always potential planning constraints that are often hidden that can make the simplest of projects into a very complex planning application.

For every type of development, there are certain design criteria that must be met in addition to meeting all of the necessary planning policies, which vary between every local planning authority.

In addition to this, there are many hidden constraints such as article 4 direction, section 106, conservation areas and even just living under a flight path can remove your permitted development rights or make it difficult to secure planning approval.

In addition, specialist reports may also need to be submitted with all the usual supporting evidence and drawings. Examples of these include heritage statements, flood risk assessments, transport surveys, wildlife reports and many others.

If there are any constraints it could affect the type of planning application required and also the likelihood of success. Some constraints can significantly limit development options and make it very hard to secure planning approval.

4. Outline Planning Permission vs Pre-Application

A formal pre-application will take around the same period of time as an application for outline planning permission however, while a pre-app gives you guidance on what may or may not be acceptable outline planning permission gives your planning approval in principle, subject to reserved matters. 

Outline planning permission allows developers an opportunity to get the local planning authority onside and approve the development in principle. Subsequently this significantly increases the likelihood of full planning approval as it is only a matter of gaining approval for the reserved matters. 

Approved outline planning permission can also add significant value because you have planning in principle (PIP) for your plot of land and while a pre-app does hold some value it is to a lesser degree.

5. How to apply for Outline Planning Permission?

There is a fine line between too much and too little detail in an application for outline planning permission. In an ideal world you want to secure approval that gives you a path to approval for your full planning application. Too few details and you could be rejected unnecessarily and too many details and you may limit your options regarding the final design when it comes to applying for full planning permission. If you are planning to sell the land before you build this could also restrict the options for potential buyers. 

As with any planning application you will need to submit supporting evidence, architectural designs together with the outline planning application. Due to the larger scale of these developments instructing industry experts is recommended as this will significantly increase the likelihood of success and can save you thousands of pounds.

6. Need help with outline planning permission?

Studio Charrette who are a partner of the government’s planning portal can conduct a planning appraisal. This involves a chartered planning consultant researching the project to check the relevant planning and design policies, they also check the planning history and look for any hidden constraints. This takes about an hour at which point they can call to advise what would be required and answer any questions. Subsequently we forward the advice in writing.

There are never any guarantees with planning permission, because ultimately only your planning authority can make the legal determination. However, with a planning appraisal we can let you know whether your proposed development would be feasible, assuming it is what the best route forward would be and the likelihood of success. As part of the planning appraisal, we can also advise you on building regulations, structural engineering calculations and construction if required.

Assuming the planning appraisal is positive we can then provide a quote for any services you want help with including architectural design, planning permission, building regulations and construction. Should you decide to instruct Studio Charrette can take care of everything for you from start to finish.

If you have any questions or would like to arrange a planning appraisal for your project, contact us today and a member of our team will contact you shortly.

7. Price Match Guarantee

We fully appreciate any unexpected cost is going to be unwelcome, but you will be pleased to know our prices are so competitive, we offer a price match guarantee and in most cases the planning costs are insignificant compared to the development.

If there is a way to help you achieve a positive outcome our chartered planning consultants will give you the best chance of success. Equally if we think it simply isn’t feasible, while it may be bad newswe are obliged to give you frank and honest professional advice.

8. Choose Studio Charrette!

If you choose to instruct Studio Charrette, we will take care of everything for you from this point including preparing all the necessary supporting evidence, architectural drawings, submitting and managing your application throughout the entire process.

We will keep you updated from start to finish until we receive a decision, which thanks to our planning appraisals is usually positive. 

Don’t leave it until it’s too late!

If you are in any doubt about how to deal with Outbuildings,
contact us right away to speak with one of our Expert Chartered Planning Consultants.

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