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Permission in Principle (PiP), introduced in 2017, is a planning mechanism used to obtain planning permission for residential or residential-led developments. It offers a faster and cheaper route to obtaining planning permission for the principle of residential-led development.

It provides an opportunity for the NHS to establish whether a site is suitable for housing, not unsimilar to pre-application advice but with a binding outcome. This, we believe, is particularly helpful for a portfolio as unique as the NHS’, and will enable development that supports maximising the value of surplus sites, delivering housing and potentially ancillary NHS healthcare or office uses.

However, despite now being in its second year, PiP has so far seen minimal uptake in the planning world.

To help drive usage of PiP across the NHS estate, the NHS Property Services (NHSPS) Town Planning team have produced a guide for our customers and wider NHS partners.

Download the guide.

The document covers:

  • An introduction to PiP
  • How PiP interacts with the Brownfield Land Register
  • How to submit direct applications (on proposals featuring less than 10 units)
  • Next steps after PiP consent is granted: Technical Details Consent
  • Merits and risks of pursuing PiP, comparing against alternative routes
  • How PiP can be used across the NHSPS portfolio

NHSPS teams will be using this guidance internally, and will be submitting our first wave of PiP applications across our portfolio in the coming months.

We also hope this will prove a useful resource for our customers and the wider NHS, being one of a host of town planning guidance documents that are currently being finalised by the NHSPS Town Planning team.

Should anyone require further information or guidance on this matter, the NHSPS Town Planning team are available to provide further assistance, please get in touch via the form below.

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