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P7.2: Establishing the Parameters & Principles of Development

It is likely that the approach to securing planning permission for large development projects will be via the outline planning application route to establish the ‘principle of development in advance of undertaking potentially abortive detailed technical work.
Government advice, contained n PPG is that applications for outline planning permission must include sufficient information about the proposed use or uses, and the amount of development proposed for each use, is necessary to allow consideration of an application for outline planning permission.

Under article 5(3) of the Development Management Procedure Order 2015, an application for outline planning permission must also indicate the area or areas where access points to the development will be situated, even if access has been reserved.

In ATLAS view, it is crucial to establish certain parameters and design principles to development proposals to give more clarity to what is actually being proposed and what has been assessed as part of the Design & Access Statement, Transport Assessment and Environmental Statement. Based upon the new guidelines and ATLAS’ experience, we believe that Outline Applications should include specific parameter plans as a formal part of the application material to identify the following:

  • Land Use: the building / site use or uses proposed for the development and any distinct development/neighbourhood zones/phases within the site.
  • Areas of potential built development: identifying broad areas within the site within which proposed buildings would be located.
  • Building Heights: identifying the upper and lower limits for height within the areas of built development.
  • Landscape & open space structure: identifying strategic areas of open space indicating the role & purpose of different spaces, landscape and other facility (i.e. LEAP, NEAP) content.
  • Access & movement: identifying proposed access point/s, movement across the site including strategic highway, pedestrian and cycle routes.
  • Other key structuring elements: subject to the nature of the specific proposals but potential additional plans to identify the location of nodes & landmarks, character areas, residential density plans, parking strategy, etc.

In addition to the incorporation of parameter plans as part of a formal planning application, based upon our experience ATLAS also considers that two further components should complete the formal application material:

  • Schedule of development: the amount of development proposed for each use, including where appropriate total gross square metres of built development, numbers of residential units (with tenure/size splits), and site areas. This should also be provided subdivided down to each identified neighbourhood/phase as appropriate.
  • Statement of design principles: a short written statement that clearly articulates the design principles that will guide future development. These can be extracted from any other supporting documents (such as the Design & Access Statement or relevant background policy document) but presented in one simple document so that the various principles can be simply secured through the approval process.

ATLAS considers that this additional information need not necessarily restrict flexibility of implementation. For example, setting maximum parameters for build areas & heights would still retain the flexibility to evolve detailed design within these approved parameters, without dictating exactly what the final scheme would be.

Last Updated on Tuesday 08/03/2016 - 04:02PM

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Advisory Team for Large Applications (ATLAS), 2017