Planning Permissions

Outline Planning Permission (OPP)

Where you have elected not to avail yourself of the opportunity afforded by the Pre Application Consultation meeting then the application for Outline Planning Permission normally represents the first stage in any residential Self Build process.

Most Applicants engage in both stages of the Planning Process - Outline Planning Permission (OPP) and Detailed Planning Permission (DPP). The reason this is the case is obvious in that it saves the Applicant the expense of having detailed and expensive plans drawn up in advance of the applicant even being aware whether it is even possible to build on the land. It is possible to go straight to an application for Detailed Planning Permission, but be aware of incurring possibly hefty abortive design costs in doing so. In my opinion the planning process tends to flow naturally and with my planning applications I elect to go through both stages.

In its basic form an application for Outline Planning Permission can best be considered a red line around a piece of land comprising a representative block outlining the (proposed) position of the proposed dwelling. All that is required in most instances at this stage is a simple site plan together with a brief description of the development e.g. the erection of a proposed two storey three bedroom residential building with attached garage normally suffices.

It is not in the applicant's interest to forward any further information at this stage as that will follow upon a later stage when we move on to consider Detailed Planning Permission. The Local Council's planning department is always at liberty to request any further information that it requires from the applicant.

When applying for Outline Planning Permission (OPP) an Application Form is normally available for download from the Local Council's website which will clearly identify what you are required to provide. All Local Council's vary in that which you are required to provide.

Once submitted to the Local Council it is effectively stamped in by them and given a unique reference number and they will normally advise the time period when they will publish their decision. This time period can vary dependant on location and size of Planning Officer's workload. Normally though most Local Council's seek to notify the applicant in respect of their decision within 6-10 weeks.

The novice Self Builder should be aware of the ability to track his application throughout the approval process on the Council's website. This is particularly useful as the applicant may become aware of comments raised by neighbours and accordingly have the opportunity to make representation to the Planning Officer concerning the validity of any potential objections in advance of Local Council's Planning Committee making their decision.

Similarly most Local Councils in discussions at this stage where it is obvious from an initial review that the Application is going to be unsuccessful they will give the Applicant the opportunity to withdraw it and amend as necessary. Where re-submission is necessary they will often waive the Application Fee. This is of great benefit to the Applicant as it means that a refusal will not show up on the Local Council's and increase the chances of a successful application in the future.

It is also essential to remember that the Outline Planning Permission when granted that it refers to the site and not the applicant.

Where you have secured Outline Planning Permission (OPP) it means that the Local Council has agreed the basic principle of the proposed development. It basically outlines/scopes the proposed development. In our earlier example erect a proposed two storey three bedroom residence with attached garage.

Outline Planning Permission (OPP) is subject to the condition that full planning details will need to be submitted in advance of commencement of building i.e. Detailed Planning Permission.

Outline Planning Permission (OPP) is valid for a period of five years; however you have only three years to apply for Detailed Planning Permission (DPP).

Detailed Planning Permission »

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