Last edited 27 Mar 2015

Outline planning application

Before making a planning application it is important to ask the local planning authority what their procedures are for making a submission, when planning meetings are held and what the procedures are for planning meetings.

Outline planning applications can be used to find out whether a proposed development is likely to be approved by the planning authority, before substantial costs are incurred developing a detailed design. Outline planning applications allow the submission of outline proposals, the details of which may be agreed as 'reserved matters' applications at a later stage.

As a minimum outline, planning applications should include information on:

Applications for outline planning permission might also include:

Reserved matters that might be the subject of further applications once outline planning consent has been obtained can include:

  • The layout of buildings within the proposed development.
  • The actual height, width and length of individual buildings.
  • Appearance of buildings.
  • Access to and within the site for vehicles, cycles and pedestrians.
  • Landscaping.

If permission is refused, the applicant may lodge an appeal which will then usually be decided by an Inspector acting for the Secretary of State.

Once outline planning permission has been granted, ’reserved matters’ applications must be made within three years.

Permissions may be the subject of planning conditions, where, rather than refusing a planning application, a local planning authority might grant permission, but might for example restrict the use of the site or require additional approvals for specific aspects of the development. Permissions may also be subject to planning obligations (also known as Section 106 Agreements) which are used to mitigate or compensate for negative impacts of development that might otherwise make them unacceptable. Planning obligations should become less common with the introduction of the Community Infrastructure Levy.

Once planning permission has been received, the client may choose to advertise the main contracts for the development, if advertisement is considered the appropriate method for identifying potential tenderers or if this is required by OJEU procurement rules

NB applying for outline planning consent may not fall within the scope of services for members of the consultant team unless it has been separately identified under 'other activities'.

NB for detailed descriptions of the sequence of activities that should be undertaken in order to prepare and submit a planning application, see the free work plan stages:

[edit] Find out more

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

[edit] External references


I have outline permission for a build the footprint of the build being a particular size, my question is "Am I restricted to that footprint or is there flexibility by a couple of metres"

Depends whether it is considered a material change - the only real way to know the answer is to talk to the planning authority.