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Outline planning applications and reserved matters

​Outline planning applications

An outline planning application splits the planning process into two parts:

  • outline: matters which you’d like determined at the first stage
  • reserved matters: matters you’d like to defer for later

Whilst this process takes longer than a single, detailed planning application, it can be useful when the principle of a proposed development is uncertain. Outline applications contain fewer details and can be used to establish if a scheme is acceptable before more substantial costs are incurred.

Because of this, outline applications have a proportion paid up front and the balance paid at the later stage.

Outline applications

Outline planning applications can include one or more of the following matters:

  • scale and massing
  • siting
  • means of access
  • external appearance and materials
  • landscaping

Whilst you’re able to submit very little detail for outline applications, it may be that the lack of detail leads to a refusal. For example, it would be difficult to assess the impact of a new building if no information is provided about its scale, size or position.

If the matters you choose to reserve for later are key to the assessment of the proposal, they should be included within the outline application. For example, a proposed development in the Green Zone which relies upon an improvement to the landscape can’t be properly assessed if landscaping details have been reserved for later. Similarly, applications for changes of use or works to listed buildings require a certain level of detail to assess their impact which may make it difficult to agree if the information is lacking.

The details submitted with the application must also be consistent with those matters selected on the form. For instance, if external appearance and materials are to be reserved for later, then those details shouldn’t be indicated on the plans. We can’t approve drawings which show features for which you’re not applying at this stage.

Once granted, an outline planning permission is specific to the development which has been approved. The subsequent reserved matters must reflect the outline permission and any variation will require a new application for planning permission either in detail or in outline.

Reserved matters

If an outline application is approved, the information that wasn’t included at the initial stage will need to be submitted and approved through a reserved matters application before any works can start.

Cost of outline planning applications

The fee for an outline planning application is divided into two parts. You’ll need to pay 50% of the planning application fee for each part.

The outline application will occur a fee of 50% of the detailed planning application fee. The first reserved matters submission will occur a fee of 50% of the detailed planning application fee.

Timescales

An outline application and each subsequent reserved matters application will usually take 13 weeks to determine.

Once outline permission is granted, an application for reserved matters must be made within one year of the original decision date. If approved, these details will be valid for a further two years and the development must commence within this period, or within three years of the grant of the outline planning permission, whichever is the longer.

Applications seeking to vary a condition relating to the period of commencement aren’t likely to be approved unless it is demonstrated that there is a proven Island need in terms of the site, the proposal or benefit to the community.

How to submit an outline planning application

The requirements regarding the type of drawings, their accuracy and the information needed are explained in the information needed for a planning application document.

Information needed for a planning application

Pre-application advice

Discuss your proposal with us at our free drop-in pre-application advice service at Customer and Local Services La Motte Street before you submit an application. We can advise if an outline application would be appropriate for your proposal.

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