New rules for fast-track planning applications
New rules have come in to force to help property developers: for developments of up to nine houses a system of 'Permission in Principle' (PiP) is available.
When a developer applies for PiP the council must grant permission unless there's a good reason not to. In this respect PiP is similar to outline planning but there is no requirement to produce any detailed surveys or impact statements, and at just 14 days the time for consultation is shorter. The council must make a decision quickly - if it takes longer than 5 weeks the applicant can appeal to the government.
When you've got your PiP the next stage is to get a Technical Details Consent (TDC). This is the same as a full planning application, at which point all the usual documentation would be required, and the council could impose any necessary conditions on the planning permission.
The government thinks this will encourage small builders to apply to build on small sites.
In practice though the new system is very similar to the old system of outline and full planning consents, just slightly quicker, though with no significant change in the overall level of bureaucracy.
The government sees the new rules as a way to increase the rate of house-building, though on the ground it's likely that any increase caused by this measure will somewhere be between zero and negligible.