On Thursday our Paris Smith Planning team attended a key Planning conference with guest speaker Sue Lovelock, the Deputy Director of Planning for Development Management at the Department for Communities and Local Government. The message from the DCLG was that the fast pace of planning reforms that have taken place over the past 5 years is set to continue.

There is a raft of planning reforms and consultations set to be announced over the coming weeks, months and years but the Government are stressing that the emphasis is on ‘implementing and building on existing reforms’. Their focus is on seeing what more planning can do to support growth and their key drivers for this are localism; positive planning, supporting sustainable growth and simplification of the current system.

One of the major changes is the proposed introduction of an “alternative” type of Outline application for housing schemes on allocated sites or sites identified on the brownfield register, to be known as “permission in principle”.

This will be an alternative to (and will not replace), the normal Outline/Reserved Matters route and is intended to be a “lighter touch” style of application which would establish the principle of housing on a site (and possibly rough numbers of units) but would not require all the technical information normally associated with Outline applications.

Once “permission in principle” is granted, an application for a “detailed technical consent” would then follow and there will be a consultation soon regarding what “Detailed Technical Consent” will look like in the future.

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