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Outline Planning Applications - Reserved Matters

Outline Planning

When you submit an outline planning application the local planning authority can ask for additional information in the form of reports or surveys, during the outline planning application stage. The planning authority will consider your outline application just like a full planning application.

Conditions set by departments

The grant of outline planning can be given subject to conditions set by each department that the local planning authority work with, for e.g. Environmental Health, or Highways. Different departments can impose different conditions relevant to that department, e.g. highways may not agree with the road layout, however they may grant permission subject to conditions being met at the full planning stage, e.g. visibility splay reports satisfying any blind spots in a road or parking spaces showing how vehicles can enter or exit the site.

The planning authority still have the power to override their own internal departments and if one department refuses but on the whole the many other departments agree, then the planning Authority will grant the outline planning permission subject to the conditions being met during the full planning application stage, subject to the information being received for that department, and this will be written on the Outline Planning application letter.

Reserved Matters

The application type submitted could be an application for 4 houses with reserved matters. Cost savings here can occur as full surveys may not be needed at this stage and therefore a specialist survey can be obtained at a later date. An applicant can choose not to submit details with the Outline planning application. i.e. they can be reserved for later. this comes under article 2 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015. Reserve matters could be:-

  • Access - accessibility into and within the site, for vehicles, cycles and pedestrians in terms of circulation routes and treatment of how pedestrians would access the site and leave the site safely.

  • Appearance - How the proposals will look in terms of its architecture external finishes, lighting, colour and texture including the visual impression the building or place makes to the public.

  • Landscaping - The treatment of land, for enhancing the amenities of the site, e.g. fences, walls, the planting of trees, hedges, shrubs or grass, the formation of banks, terraces or other earthworks. Consideration would need to be given to the laying of gardens, courts, squares, water fountains, sculptures or public art.

  • Layout - layout of buildings and routes, circulation and orientation in reference to open spaces.

  • Scale - the dimension's of buildings proposed within the development in relation to its surroundings.

Time Limits

Under section 92 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, applications for approval of reserved matters must be made within a specified time-limit, normally 3 years from the date outline planning permission was granted.


Cost savings

Outline planning applications are much cheaper than full planning application submissions as full planning applications require that all the reserve matters are to be addressed with the accompaniment of detailed surveys and information provided by specialist consultants, for e.g. Landscape Architects identifying the species of trees and plants, layout of any hedging and general landscaping layouts.

The clue really is in the title i.e. outline as in outline information, whist full being the submission of detailed information.

For the application title to say reserved matters this means simply that the access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale have to be considered in a preliminary way during outline planning.

We have all the necessary experience to guide you through all the planning application types and can work with you to realise your project requirements.


1 comentario

18 may 2023

Great info

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