Last edited 15 Sep 2020

Reserved matters in planning permissions

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.

On 10 August 2006, changes to the outline planning permission process came into force intended to make outline planning applications more 'detailed' and so to restrict the extent of reserved matters.

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

The details of the reserved matters application must be in line with the outline approval, including any conditions attached to the permission. It may be necessary to reapply for outline or full planning permission if the proposals have changed in any way.

Outline permission is not a permission to start work on site. The permission notice will state which matters have been reserved for later approval. When all of the reserved matters have been approved, work may begin on the site.

Reserved matters applications should be submitted within 3 years of outline permission being granted.

Outline planning permission lasts for two years from the date reserved matters were approved, or three years from the date of the outline planning permission, whichever is the later.

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki


If a reserved matters application in respect of a new road junction from a possible new housing development onto the main highway is unsupported by Highways England, on the grounds of unachievable visibility splay distances, must the Local Authority then turn down that application? What then happens to the original planning application for that access road, which was previously approved?

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