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Our knowledge bank contains articles, thought pieces, and resources on a range of planning issues. Please click on the relevant link or on the image to find out more.

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Relaxation of Planning Rules – 1 September 2012

  • The new planning rights will allow more flats to be created above shops without the need for planning permission. Under new permitted development rights two flats will be allowed to be created in office or storage space. The change in permitted development rights applies to A1 (retail units) and A2 (financial / professional services units) commercial properties. The new permitted development rights will come into force on 1 October 2012.
  • There will shortly be a one month consultation on allowing homeowners and businesses, for a three year period, to be able to build much bigger extensions without planning permission than they can at present. If the plans go ahead:
    • Full planning permission - required for extensions of more than three or four metres from the rear wall of any home - would only be needed for those reaching beyond 8m for detached homes and 6m for others
    • Rules that restrict an extension to no more than 50% of a property's garden will remain. Extensions will still have to comply with other rules to ensure they’re proportionate to the original building including protected (conservation) areas
    • Businesses would be able to expand shops by 100 square metres and industrial units by 200 square metres
  • The Government plans legislation allowing it to offer guarantees on as much as 40 billion pounds of new infrastructure projects, including 10 billion pounds on new homes. It will also offer 300 million pounds of direct funding for cheaper housing.
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

Guidance on Local Plan Viability Testing Launched – 22 June 2012

  • The Local Housing Delivery Group was set up last year following a request from housing minister Grant Shapps for the sector to help deliver more homes to deal with the chronic housing crisis.
  • Chaired by Sir John Harman, the group has brought together a number of bodies representing local government and house builders to review how councils can develop plans that are sustainable and viable and in line with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
  • The guidance aims to provide practical, step-by-step advice for planners on how local plans can effectively address the viability of residential land in their area.
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

Local Shop Parades Plan – 6 June 2012

  • Clearing out the louts, setting up savvy services and rallying round the community are top of a 'shopping list for success' that can transform run down neighbourhood shops into parades to be proud of, announced Communities Secretary Eric Pickles today.
  • Mr Pickles is publishing a new guide that gives hands on practical advice and insights on how to restore local shops into vibrant business areas that are full of local character and sit at the heart of neighbourhood communities. This builds on the high street review by Mary Portas and the announcement of 12 'Portas Pilots'.
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

Community Infrastructure Levy – 6 April 2012

    The Community Infrastructure Levy is a new levy that local authorities in England and Wales can choose to charge on new developments in their area. The money can be used to support development by funding infrastructure that the council, local community and neighbourhoods want - for example new or safer road schemes, park improvements or a new health centre. The system is very simple. It applies to most new buildings and charges are based on the size and type of the new development.
  • Local authorities should introduce the levy because it:
    • Delivers additional funding for them to carry out a wide range of infrastructure projects that support growth and benefit the local community.
    • Gives them the flexibility and freedom to set their own priorities for what the money should be spent on - as well as a predictable funding stream that allows them to plan ahead more effectively.
    • Provides developers with much more certainty 'up front' about how much money they will be expected to contribute, which in turn encourages greater confidence and higher levels of inward investment.
    • Ensures greater transparency for local people, because they will be able to understand how new development is contributing to their community.
    • Enables local authorities to allocate a share of the levy raised in a neighbourhood to deliver infrastructure the neighbourhood wants.
  • The Community Infrastructure Levy came into force on 6 April 2011. The regulations have been amended to ensure local authorities have more control over the processes for operating the levy by removing the centrally prescribed arrangements for payment, removing the threshold for in kind payments of land, making minor amendments to close potential loopholes and improve how the levy system works.
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF): Summary – 27 March 2012

  • The NPPF retains the 'presumption in favour of sustainable development', which is defined by five principles as set out in the UK Sustainable Development Strategy:
    • Living within the planet's environmental limits.
    • Ensuring a strong, healthy and just society.
    • Achieving a sustainable economy.
    • Promoting good governance.
    • Using sound science responsible.
  • The Government believes that sustainable development can play three critical roles in England:
    • An economic role, contributing to a strong, responsive, competitive economy.
    • A social role, supporting vibrant and healthy communities.
    • An environmental role, protecting and enhancing our natural, built and historic environment.
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

Relaxation of Planning Rules for Change of Use from Commercial (B Use Classes) to Residential (C3 Use Class): Consultation - 8 April 2011

  • The consultation, published by The Department for Communities and Local Government (Planning Development Management Division), seeks views on the Government’s proposals to amend the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (as amended) to grant permitted development rights to changes of use from commercial to residential use i.e. to allow such changes of use without the need for planning applications.
  • These proposals relate to England only. The consultation is published on 8 April 2011 and ends on 30 June 2011.
  • This is a public consultation and it is open to anyone to respond. The Government would particularly welcome views from:
    • Local Planning Authorities.
    • Housing developers.
    • Business
    • Community representatives.
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

Government Announces Four New Enterprise Zone Locations - 24 March 2011

  • Enterprise Zones are not a new phenomenon but the current Government hopes that the creation of 21 new zones will spur on private sector growth in the areas which it considers need it most. All zones will be in Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas and these partnerships are to be “at the heart of” the Enterprise Zones model, according to Mr Pickles. The broad locations for the first eleven Enterprise Zones have been established and the relevant LEPs for four of those have already identified more precise locations – Nottingham, London, Manchester, and London. The remaining ten locations will be decided in the summer, following a competitive tender process (with LEPs being invited to bid accordingly).
  • The zones are to benefit from tax breaks (including 100 per cent business rate discounts, the retention of business rates growth and enhanced capital allowances in some circumstances) as well as planning incentives. We do not yet know much about these planning incentives but The Plan for Growth speaks of using Local Development Order powers. We are told that there will be "radically simplified planning approaches".
  • The Budget lays the way for the Enterprise Zone model to be rolled out across the UK, should it prove successful.
  • Most of the Enterprise Zone benefits will flow to the businesses located within its boundaries, but the local authorities in the relevant Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will benefit too. They will retain any increment in business rates generated by the Enterprise Zones and will have the flexibility to invest those proceeds anywhere within the LEP area. LEPs will be supported if they want to use that revenue stream to set up a Tax Increment Finance (TIF) scheme and forward-fund infrastructure projects, although whether these projects would have to be Enterprise Zone linked is not clear. Clearly, the initial tranche of Enterprise Zones must stand a good chance of being in the first wave of TIF projects once enabling legislation has gone through.
  • The Local Government Resource Review demonstrated the Government's desire to incentivise local authorities to promote growth. However, until that review is concluded, those authorities located in the growth areas which could deliver the kind of increased revenues needed to run a TIF project (and deliver the kind of growth the Government is looking for) may remain unable to access those funds and unlock their development potential. It remains to be seen whether the enterprise zones announced so far can really generate the type of growth needed to make a TIF project work.
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

Planning & The Budget – 24 March 2011

  • Today’s Budget and Growth Review update sets out ambitious proposals to ensure the planning system does everything possible to support economic growth and sustainable development, helping to rebuild Britain’s economy. These measures complement wider reforms underway to the planning system, including removing ineffective top-down central targets and encouraging local councils to bring forward more homes through incentives to share in the benefits of growth.
  • A summary of the proposals are:
    • A new presumption in favour of sustainable development.
    • A pro-growth national planning policy statement.
    • Changes to permitted development rights to cut red tape.
    • Immediately prioritising growth and jobs.
    • Piloting elements of the land auctions model.
    • Extending neighbouring planning to businesses.
    • Removal of arbitrary Whitehall targets.
    • Fast track, democratic system for major infrastructure applications.
    • Removing bureaucracy from planning application.
    • New duty for Councils to co-operate on planning issues.
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

A Guide to the Localism Act – 15 November 2011

  • New Freedoms & Flexibilities for Local Government:
    • Gives local authorities everywhere the formal legal ability and greater confidence to get on with the job of responding to what local people want
    • Cuts red tape to enable councillors everywhere to play a full and active part in local life without fear of legal challenge
    • Encourages a new generation of powerful leaders with the potential to raise the profile of English cities, strengthen local democracy and boost economic growth
    • Enables ministers to transfer functions to public authorities in cities in order to harness their potential to drive growth and prosperity
    • Reforms the governance of London so that more power lies in the hands of elected representatives who are democratically accountable to London’s citizens
  • New Rights & Powers for Local Communities:
    • Makes it easier for local people to take over the amenities they love and keep them part of local life
    • Ensures that local social enterprises, volunteers and community groups with a bright idea for improving local services get a chance to change how things are done
    • Enables local residents to call local authorities to account for the careful management of taxpayers’ money
  • Reform to make the Planning System Clearer, more Democratic & More Effective:
    • Places significantly more influence in the hands of local people over issues that make a big difference to their lives
    • Provides appropriate support and recognition to communities who welcome new development
    • Reduces red tape, making it easier for authorities to get on with the job of working with local people to draw up a vision for their area’s future
    • Reinforces the democratic nature of the planning system - passing power from bodies not directly answerable to the public, to democratically accountable ministers
  • Reform to Ensure that Decisions about Housing are Taken Locally:
    • Enables local authorities to make their own decisions to adapt housing provision to local needs, and make the system fairer and more effective
    • Gives local authorities more control over the funding of social housing, helping them to plan for the long term
    • Gives people who live in social housing new ways of holding their landlords to account, and make it easier for them to move
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

Decentralisation and the Localism Bill – 13 December 2010

  • Six essential actions to create a new decentralised Britain where power once again belongs to the people, have been set out today by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Decentralisation Minister Greg Clark.
  • The Coalition Government believes in a radical shift of power from the centre to citizens and communities, giving control and freedom back to people to manage their own lives as they see fit.
  • The Localism Bill, which begins its passage through parliament today, will provide the legislative foundation for putting power back into the hands of communities. But it will also require fundamental changes in the way government works at every level.
  • To achieve and maintain the radical shift in power, the Government has published Decentralisation and the Localism Bill: an essential guide. Its sets out six actions central government will need to take to do things differently - in behaviour, expectation, and culture, which must go alongside the changes in law proposed in the Bill.
  • They are to:
    1. Lift the burden of bureaucracy - by removing the cost and control of unnecessary red tape and regulation, whose effect is to restrict local action;
    2. Empower communities to do things their way - by creating rights for people to get involved with, and direct the development of, their communities;
    3. Increase local control of public finance - so that more of the decisions over how public money is spent and raised can be taken within communities;
    4. Diversify the supply of public services - by ending public sector monopolies, ensuring a level-playing field for all suppliers, giving people more choice and a better standard of service;
    5. Open up government to public scrutiny - by releasing government information into the public domain, so that people can know how their money is spent, how it is used and to what effect; and,
    6. Strengthen accountability to local people - by giving every citizen the power to change the services provided to them through participation, choice or the ballot box.
  • For further information read our Briefing Note in full.

Revised Draft National Policy Statement for Energy Infrastructure (Including National Infrastructure Plan 2010) – 28 October 2010

  • The Government wants a planning system for major infrastructure which is rapid, predictable and accountable. Planning decisions should be taken within a clear policy framework making these decisions as transparent as possible. The energy National Policy Statements (NPSs) will be a blueprint for decision-making on individual applications for development consent for the relevant types of infrastructure.
  • Between November 2009 and February 2010, the previous Government consulted on six draft energy NPSs and the Appraisals of Sustainability (AoSs), Habitats Regulations Assessments (HRAs) and Impact Assessment that accompanied those NPSs. Over 3000 responses were received. A Government Response to that consultation has been published alongside this document, which identifies the key themes and responds to them.
  • Having considered responses to the consultation and the outputs of the Parliamentary scrutiny process the Government has made changes to the draft energy NPSs and the accompanying documents. Given the changes that have been made, the Department for Energy & Climate Change are now consulting (18 October 2010 to 24 January 2011) on the revised draft NPSs and the accompanying documents.
  • The Government published on 25 October 2010 a National Infrastructure Plan outlining the Government’s vision for the future of UK economic infrastructure. This is the first ever infrastructure plan for the UK. It outlines the scale of the challenge facing UK infrastructure and the major investment that is needed to underpin sustainable growth in the UK.
  • For further information read our Briefing Note in full.

Comprehensive Spending Review – 20 October 2010

  • The Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) today set out departmental spending between now and 2014/15. Importantly, much of the detail of the savings were not announced today but will become apparent over the next month with the publication of departmental business plans.
  • There are substantial cuts in government spending overall and in most departmental budgets. Expenditure on Health, Education and the Devolved Assemblies has been protected relatively. The Department of Communities and Local Government is reduced significantly: there is a 33% cut in its expenditure in real terms (51% if the devolution of budgets to councils is taken into account). Councils will face a reduction in their budgets from CLG of 28% over the period of the CSR. Capital funding to councils will fall by 45% over the same period.
  • The Government identified the planning system (along with banking and schools) as a key area for structural reform to support economic competitiveness, and reiterated existing government proposals:
    • The Localism Bill aims to ensure that the planning system both works for sustainable growth and is responsive to the needs of local communities. As part of the wider reforms, there will be a new presumption in favour of sustainable development.
    • The New Homes Bonus will go ahead– giving local authorities financial incentives intended to ensure that local communities benefit from new housing and economic development in their areas.
    • There will be a reduction in the regulatory burden on the house building industry.
    • There will be a National Infrastructure Plan published next week.
  • The overall picture was one of cuts but the government also made the following planning-related announcements:
    • Investment in transport infrastructure including £10 billion on road, regional and local transport schemes; £14 billion on Network Rail; £6 billion upgrades on capital maintenance of London Underground; funding for Crossrail.
    • Flagship Green projects: up to £1 billion on commercial scale carbon capture and storage demonstrations; £200m for development of low carbon technologies including wind technology and manufacturing at port sites; a Green Infrastructure Bank.
    • Capital funding for over 600 schools.
    • A £1.4 billion Regional Growth Fund in place of the Working Neighbourhoods Fund, Growth Area Funding and the Thames Gateway fund.
    • A £530m investment to support broadband rollout.
    • £2bn investment in flood and coastal erosion risk management.
    • Significant changes to social housing provision including 150,000 affordable housing units over the next four years.
    • New powers to implement Tax Increment Financing would be forthcoming.
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

Quango Cuts – 14 October 2010

  • The Cabinet Office announced on 14 October 2010 which public sector bodies ‘Quangos’ are to be either abolished, retained or to be reformed, or still under review.
  • From the planning and development perspective:
    • The Infrastructure Planning Commission is to be abolished and transferred into the Planning Inspectorate as a ‘Major Infrastructure Planning Unit’
    • The 8 Regional Development Agencies are also to be abolished as are Thames Gateway, Thurrock, and West Northamptonshire Development Corporations
    • English Heritage are to be retained, but CABE'e future is still under consideration
    • Homes and Community Agency (HCA), Environment Agency, and Natural England are all stay but to be substantially reformed
    • Sport England is to merge with UK Sport
    • British Waterways to be a charity trust
  • These measures are all part of the Coalition Governments overall ‘Big Society’ and budget deficit remit. Further major changes to the English Planning system to be incorporated into the ‘Decentralism and Localism Bill’, which is due be introduced in Parliament in November 2010 that could come into force in November 2011.
  • For a copy of the Public Bodies Reform – Proposals for Change.

Right to Light & Daylight / Sunlight - 10 September 2010

  • The terms ‘rights of light’ and ‘daylight and sunlight’ are not interchangeable, although both relate to the impact of proposed developments on the natural light to surrounding properties. The basic difference is that rights of light is a private legal matter between adjoining owners, while daylight and sunlight is a public planning matter that is considered by the local authority during the planning process.
  • A ‘right of light’ bestows a minimum acceptable level of light, so it is not the light removed that is important, but the level retained. Rights of light are a key consideration in the development process as the default remedy is an injunction, which may result in construction work being halted or the removal of the offending part of the scheme.
  • Daylight and sunlight is a consideration at the planning application stage and at appeal if the application is rejected by the local authority. Daylight relates to diffuse light from the sky visible to a particular window, whereas sunlight refers to the amount of direct sun received by windows. Windows in residential developments are of principal importance where proposed schemes may block out sky views.
  • Assessment of acceptable daylight and sunlight to residential buildings is usually analysed using the BRE (Building Research Establishment) guidelines, which set out methods for determining changes in levels. The guidelines are not mandatory but act as a guide for designers and planning officers. It is not unusual, particularly in dense urban locations, for there to be technical breaches of these guidelines in the design of a scheme but for the project still to be deemed acceptable.
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

Changes to Flexibility for Planning Permissions – 9 September 2010

  • On 9 September 2010 a consolidated version of the General Development Procedure Order (renamed the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2010) was laid before Parliament which will come into force on 1 October 2010.
  • The proposed changes will enable local authorities to grant a replacement outline planning permission to revise the timetable for the submission of reserved matters and the implementation of the remaining unimplemented phases for outline planning permissions granted on or before 1 October 2009. The new proposals cannot be used to apply for a replacement planning permission where the outline permission has expired.
  • This latest Government announcement marks the end of a period of lobbying by the industry to correct the anomaly and will provide greater flexibility to those with partially implemented phased permissions.
  • For further information read our Planning Article in full.

Government Action to Shorten and Simply Environment Regulations – 9 August 2010

  • The Government is taking swift action to shorten and simplify environmental regulations so it is easier for developers to green-proof their building projects, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said today.
  • New proposals published for consultation today: ‘The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2010’, will revoke four sets of rules about Environmental Impact Assessments, and replace them with one streamlined and user-friendly set of regulations. The closing date for consultation is 25 October 2010.
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

Grant Shapps: Extra Funding For Councils Who Go For Funding Growth Now – 9 August 2010

  • Housing Minister Grant Shapps has today told Councils that local communities who go for growth now and in the future will receive direct and substantial extra funding to spend as they wish, whether Council tax discounts for local residents, boosting frontline services like rubbish collection or improving local facilities like playgrounds.
  • Taking action to address this is a priority for Government. That's why Mr. Shapps has today announced that the New Homes Bonus will be introduced early in the Spending Review period.
  • Mr. Shapps also confirmed that the Government is working on business rate reforms to encourage economic development, as well as reforming the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to provide an even clearer incentive to develop.
  • A consultation paper on the final scheme will be published following the spending review.
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

Transport Planning Network: Workshop on Low Cost Options for Transport – 26 July 2010

  • £683m in-year budget cuts at the Department of Transport have already been announced, and £309 million has been cut from the local transport budget in England. Also, the removal of ring-fencing from capital grants for major projects could mean councils can transfer the funds to higher priorities.
  • Regional government bodies have also been abolished, together with Regional Spatial Strategies (RSSs) and the suspension of Regional Funding Allocations (RFAs). This means responsibility for strategic planning outside London will lie with local authorities who will decide how they will work together on planning issues that cross administrative boundaries.
  • This provides both a challenge, and an unprecedented opportunity for change. This could enable us to re-think transport policy away from capital-intensive schemes. Also, ‘Big Society’ could provide us with new models of delivery, especially to operate public transport.
  • This workshop session debated some of the key questions for transport planners, relating to these issues under the following headings:
    • Governance
    • Priorities
    • Funding
  • For further information read the attached Briefing Note prepared by Mr. Chris Ferrary (Chair) – Transport Planning Network Advisory Group.

Eric Pickles Puts Stop to Regional Strategies - 6 July 2010

  • An order laid in parliament today will revoke Regional Strategies with immediate effect. Councils will now have the freedom to prepare their local plans without having to follow top-down targets from regional quangos and bureaucrats that prescribe exactly what, where and when to build.
  • In London, the London Plan will continue to provide the planning framework for the London Boroughs. However, the guidance letter also states that the Government is also considering whether powers and discretion can be shifted downwards from central Government to the Mayor and the assembly, to the London Boroughs and to local neighbourhoods.
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

Call to Arms in Battle to Cut Red Tap – 1 July 2010

  • The Government has issued a call to arms against pointless regulation and unnecessary bureaucracy, launching a new Your Freedom website at: www.hmg.gov.uk/yourfreedom. The site asks the public how they want the Government to redress the balance between the citizen and the state.
  • The Your Freedom website at is an opportunity for anyone to suggest ideas on restoring liberties that have been lost, repealing unnecessary laws and stripping away excessive regulation on businesses.
  • Your Freedom asks three questions:
    • Restoring civil liberties: which current laws would you like to remove or change because they restrict your civil liberties?
    • Cutting business and charity regulations: which regulations do you think should be removed or changed to make running your business or organisation as simple as possible?
    • Repealing unnecessary laws: which offences do you think we should remove or change and why?
    Cutting business and charity regulations: which regulations do you think should be removed or changed to make running your business or organisation as simple as possible?
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

Emergency Budget 2010: Analysis & Response – 22 June 2010

  • The coalition Government announced the details of its first (Emergency) Budget on 22 June 2010:
    • Macroeconomics - £40bn per year in additional cuts until 2015.
    • Department Spending - 25% cuts to departmental budgets over 4 years (including CLG, Environment, and Transport).
    • Business & Tax Changes - Corporation tax will be cut by 1% / VAT to rise to 20% from 4 January 2011.
    • Public Sector Pay - 2 year public sector freeze for staff earning over £21,000.
    • Pensions & Benefits - Pension age to rise to 66 / Housing benefits to be by £1.8bn over next parliament.
    • Environment & Benefits - Aviation tax / Government to forward plans for Green Investment Bank.
    • Planning & Regional Growth - Regional Development Agencies abolished / Creation of Local Enterprise Partnerships / Use of Local Development Orders.
    • Infrastructure & Transport - Capital spending will not be further cut / National Infrastructure Plan introduced / Establishment of Infrastructure UK (IUK).
    • Local Government - Freeze in council tax in England in 2011-12 / Government monitoring of Public Works Loans Board.
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

Planning Inquiry for a Wind Farm – 10 June 2010

  • Wind farm inquiries all too easily become examples of what should not be done:
    • Objectors engage in hopeless process of attacking Government policy
    • Applicants engage in the equally hopeless process of attaching up-to-date Development Plans including RSSs
    • Expert witnesses produce thousands of pages of exhibits or so-called core documents, most of which are never referred to in the Inquiry
  • This briefing note seeks to concentrate on essentials and to suggest what really matters when considering applications for planning permission onshore farms.
  • For further information read our Briefing Note in full.

Planning News Round-Up - January 2010 to June 2010

  • A round up of some of the major planning news between January 2010 and June 2010. News includes:
    • Industry reacts to Government’s initiative on ‘garden grabbing’ and density target
    • Pickles moves to scrap regional plans
    • Government signals legislation to change planning regime
    • Under-threat IPC remains open for business
    • Shake-up at Homes and Communities Agency
    • National planning guidance (PPS4 and PPS5) published
    • Grant cuts warning over housing land supply
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

New Powers Preventing Unwanted 'Garden Grabbing' – 9 June 2010

  • Land is a rare commodity. Price rises of 762% over the last 20 years confirm that it is becoming increasingly sought-after.
  • Over the last decade, many Councils have been left frustrated at being unable to prevent a dramatic increase in the number of new houses being built on previously residential land such as people's back gardens.
  • Councils and communities are being given new powers to prevent the destructive practice of 'garden grabbing' and to decide what types of homes are suitable for their area.
    • To take gardens out of the Brownfield category.
    • Scrap the minimum density target.
    • Deliver more family homes.
  • For further information read our Planning Article in full.

The Planning System within a Coalition Government – 25 May 2010

  • The Decentralisation and Localism Bill covers the new Coalition Government’s proposals for a wide range of planning and related legislation. The Government propose that the main benefits of the Bill would be:
    • Empowering local people.
    • Freeing local government from central and local regional control.
    • Giving local communities a real share in local growth.
    • A more efficient and more local planning system.
  • Where do the two Government parties stand on planning?
    • The Conservative Party believes that: Britain’s planning system is vital for a strong economy, for an attractive and sustainable environment, and for a successful democracy.” It sees the current system as unnecessarily centralized and bureaucratic, and in need of a radical overhaul in order to promote the wider aims of a Conservative Government.
    • The Liberal Democrats stat that they want to build an economy that is based on innovation and sustainability. Like the Conservative proposals, many of the Liberal Democrats policies have a focus on strengthening the role of local communities, with the party stating that: “local people and families know best about how things should be done in their area.”
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

The Planning Appeal Services – 14 April 2010

  • All the changes that are being introduced by the Planning Act 2008 are designed to ensure that the appeal process is simpler, easier, and more efficient for all the main parties. In order for this to happen, there will be a number of changes that will have to occur.
  • For further information read our Briefing Note in full.

The Changing Face of Football: Stadiums and Communities – 9 April 2010

  • There is an extremely large number of football stadiums and pitches in England with approximately 116 clubs in the top five tiers of the English football league system as of the 2009-10 season.
  • Football is regarded as a ‘representational’ sport. Professional football clubs represent places large and small – villages, towns, cities, and nations. The stadium has always exemplified a facility that generated both positive and negative effects. These impact on both the broader urban community and the local community situated around stadiums. It becomes clear that there are crucial variables in understanding different effects that football may have on local and regional communities. This is an important point to bear in mind.
  • The recommendations of the Taylor Report and the need for football clubs to appeal to all markets and fans have resulted in the need for new and expanded stadiums. A new stadium offers benefits for the football club and their supporters, and also provides regenerative effects for the local community and act as a catalyst for new investment. Obtaining planning consent for such development can prove a long and tricky process albeit not impossible.
  • For further information read our Planning Article in full.

Planning Policy Statement 25: Development and Flood Risk – 29 March 2010

  • Planning Policy Statement 25 (PPS25) sets out Government policy on development and flood risk.
  • Its aims are to ensure that flood risk is taken into account at all stages in the planning process to avoid inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding, and to direct development away from areas of highest risk. Where new development is, exceptionally, necessary in such areas, policy aims to make it safe, without increasing flood risk elsewhere, and, where possible, reducing flood risk overall.
  • This replaces Planning Policy Guidance 25: Development and Flood Risk (PPG25) published in July 2001.
  • For further information read our Briefing Note in full.

Planning Policy Statement 5: Planning for the Historic Environment – 23 March 2010

  • Housing and Planning Minister John Healey today confirmed the new planning policy to make heritage assets the centre pieces of rejuvenated towns and cities, and protect the historic environment for future generations.
  • The new guidelines provide the first integrated approach for developers and councils to work together to restore and enhance historic buildings, as well as monuments, parks, gardens and industrial sites.
  • The planning policy for the historic environment has been strengthened following extensive consultation, and sends a clear message that our heritage should be protected and viewed as a catalyst for regeneration, rather than a barrier to development.
  • The new approach will ensure that individual heritage assets get the level of protection they deserve, and changes to the historic environment make an important contribution to tackling climate change and promoting green development.
  • A detailed Practice Guide from English Heritage accompanies the new guidance and explains how councils and developers can apply the new policies, and use heritage assets such as old theatres, churches and factories to inspire imaginative new development and high quality design.
  • Improvements to the final policy statement include:
    • Definitions of what makes a building, monument or landscape significant, so it is easier for councils and developers to understand the impact of the proposed change.
    • Greater emphasis on the role the historic environment can play in regeneration and economic development, to encourage heritage to be seen as an asset rather than a barrier to development.
    • Explaining the range of information sources councils and developers can use to assess the impact of their applications on the historic environment.
    • Reinforcing the presumption in favour of protecting designated heritage assets.
  • For a copy of Planning Policy Statement 5. James Lloyd Associates Limited will be preparing a bulletin in due course giving our commentary. In the meantime, for further information please contact us.

Amendments to Permitted Development Rights (GDPO) – 16 March 2010

  • The Government announced on the 16 March that it will be amending the 1995 General Permitted Development Order so as to expand the scope of permitted development for non domestic premises. These proposed changes are to be introduced by The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2010 which will be in force on 6 April 2010.
  • The principal changes to be introduced by the 2010 amendment order to the GDPO are identified as follows:
    • Industry and warehouse developments – To expand existing rights to allow for the construction of new buildings of up to 100 sq.m. To extend some of the industry and warehouse rights to research and development uses.
    • Schools, colleges, universities and hospitals – To expand existing rights to allow new buildings or extensions to existing institutions of up to 25% of the gross floor space of the original building, or 100 sq.m, whichever is the lesser.
    • Office buildings: To introduce new rights to allow for extensions to existing office building of up to 25% of the gross floor space of the original building, or 50 sq.m, whichever is the lesser.
    • Shops and financial and professional services establishments: To introduce new rights to allow extensions for existing shops and financial and professional services establishments of up to 25% of the gross floor space of the original building or 50 sq.m, whichever is the lesser.
  • All of these permitted development rights are subject to certain constraints, designed to minimise impacts on neighbors, and the wider environment.
  • In addition, the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2010 also:
    • Amends the procedure by which local authorities make local directions restricting permitted development rights, so that the approval of the Secretary of State is no longer required.
    • Gives permitted development rights for buildings used as small scale houses in multiple occupation shared by three to six people - Class C4, to be used as dwellinghouses (Class C3), so that specific planning permission is not required. This reflects the Use Classes (Amendment) England Order 2010 introducing the new Use Class C4.
  • There are also further proposed changes in the pipeline to speed up the planning process including the introduction of ‘prior approval regimes"’ for shop front alterations and ATMs.
  • For a copy of Improving Permitted Development: Consultation – Summary and Government Response. James Lloyd Associates Limited will be preparing a bulletin in due course giving our commentary. In the meantime, for further information please contact us.

Climate Change Planning Policy – 9 March 2010

  • Two new draft Planning Policy Statements (PPSs) were published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG), for public consultation, on 9 March 2010 in relation to helping to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions through the English planning system.
    1. Planning for a Low Carbon future in a Changing Climate
    2. Planning for a Natural and Healthy Environment
  • Public consultation closes on 1 June 2010. CLG intend to publish the final versions later in 2010.
  • CLG also published on 9 March 2010:
    1. Planning Policy Statement (PPSS) 25 Supplement: Development and Coastal Change
  • These Planning Policy Statements give guidance to English Regional and Local Planning Authorities of the type of policies that they need to have within their respective Regional and other Development Plan Documents in order to assist in achieving the Government's agreed national targets of reducing carbon emissions and combating future climate change. Guidance is also given to Local Planning Authorities in England as how they should determine planning applications so that proposed developments also reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change, including protection of the natural environment.
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC): Receiving Applications - 1 March 2010

  • On the 1 March 2010 the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) will now determine applications for ‘Major Infrastructure Projects’. These are the large scale facilities that support the economy and vital public services. They include railways, large wind farms, power stations, reservoirs, harbours, airports, and sewage treatment works.
  • The IPC was brought into existence by the Planning Act 2008 and will now be responsible for considering and making decisions on significant infrastructure planning applications. As a non-departmental public body, the IPC will operate within the policy framework prescribed in the Planning Act secondary legislation and the National Policy Statements.
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

Programme for Replacement of PPG / PPS – February 2010

  • The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has recently published a programme for the replacement of Planning Policy Guidance’s (PPGs) and Planning Policy Statements (PPSs). Highlights include:
    • Publication of the final draft of PPS15 (Historic Environment) in Spring 2010.
    • Publication of the amended PPS25 (Flood Risk) in Spring 2010.
    • Consultation drafts replacing PPS1 Climate Change Supplement, PPS9 (Biodiversity & Geological Conservation), PPG17 (Sport & Recreation), and PPS22 (Renewable Energy) in preparation and to be published ‘shortly’.
  • For a copy of the recently published DCLG programme.

Community Infrastructure Levy - 10 February 2010

  • The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a flexible new hypothecated local levy which local authorities in England and Wales can choose to introduce to fund infrastructure in their areas.
  • The ‘Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010’ were laid before the House of Commons on 10 February 2010 and will, subject to approval by MPs, come into force on 6 April 2010.
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

Politics & Planning in London – 8 February 2010

  • Includes stories on:
    • Crossrail – Labour MP for Leeds West, John Battle, has called for Crossrail to be put off until the government gives its backing to a high speed rail link to Leeds.
    • East London – The East London Bond has been launched to help finance community renewal projects in deprived parts of east London.
    • Hackney - Residents have overwhelmingly said ‘yes’ to the idea of having a wind turbine on Hackney Marshes to generate green energy, with 87 per cent in favour of the proposal.
    • Haringey – The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) has criticised aspects of Tottenham Hotspur’s proposals to develop a new stadium adjacent to their current White Hart Lane site.
    • Harrow – Harrow Council is to examine potential tenants’ dogs and will not house the owners of those it deems dangerous or that could be used as ‘status dogs’, according to reports in The Times.
    • Kensington & Chelsea – Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham Councils have attacked plans for the Thames Tideway Tunnel. The move follows DEFRA’s announcement that the Infrastructure Planning Commission will consider Thames Water’s planning application for a 32km tunnel running up to 75m beneath the River Thames.
    • Sutton – Outline plans have been submitted to build a "sustainable suburb" in the London Borough of Sutton. The plans, submitted by Schroder Property Investment Management, are intended to transform the 7.7ha disused Felnex trading estate in Hackbridge into a new district with its own centre.
    • And more...
  • For further information read our Planning Bulletin in full.

Mayor of London: Reorganises to Prepare for Re-Election – 1 February 2010

Planning Policy Statement 4: Planning for Sustainable Economic Development – 21 January 2010

  • Communities and Local Government published in late December 2009 the final version of Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 4: Planning for Sustainable Economic Development.
  • The finalised version of PPS4 (which now supersedes PPS6: Planning for Town Centres (2005) and Planning Policy Guidance Note 4: Industrial, Commercial Development and Small Firms (1992) places into one document planning policy guidance in relation to ‘economic development’ – which comprises of industry, warehouse, public and community uses, and ‘main town centre uses’ which includes retail, leisure, restaurant, hotel and office development.

Proposed Changes to the English Planning System – 19 January 2010

  • Communities and Local Government published for consultation in December 2009 until 19 March 2010, proposed changes to the English Planning system aimed to improve in the delivery of sustainable development and help remove further administrative burdens of the planning system on business.
  • The proposed changes are given in three consultation papers entitled as follows:
    1. Development Management: Proactive planning from pre application to delivery.
    2. Improving the use and discharge of planning conditions.
    3. Improving the engagement by statutory and non statutory consultees.

London Plan: Minor Alterations to the Consultation Draft Replacement London Plan – December 2009

  • The Mayor has launched a minor London Plan Alteration on waste arisings.  He has also taken the opportunity to make a number of minor corrections to the draft Replacement Plan.  In summary:
    • Additional gypsy pitches needed is 538 – not 538 p.a.
    • Office based employment growth is 303,000 (not 325,000).
    • Office growth revised to 3.6 million ft2 (from 4.2 m ft2) – the table showing location is amended: 58% to be in Central Activities Zone (from 54%).
    • Total trips per day will be 27 million by 2021.
  • For a copy of the Draft Replacement London Plan.

Seven New National Planning Policy Statements: Strategic Direction for Overhaul of Energy System – 9 November 2009

  • The UK Government has unveiled its detailed vision for energy policy over the coming decades in six key areas that will help fulfil its ambition of meeting its legally binding targets for deep cuts in carbon emissions.
  • For further information read our Bulletin in full.

Draft Replacement London Plan – 12 October 2009

Emerging Tory Party Planning Policy – October 2009

  • With the general election a matter of months away, there is increasing interest in emerging Tory Party planning policy. Tory Party policy is seeking to be more locally driven with incentives for delivery rather than regionally imposed targets and policy.
  • For further information read our Briefing Note in full.

Environmental Impact Assessment & Environment Statements – 28 August 2009

  • EIA is a procedure that must be followed when seeking planning permission for certain types of development. The requirement for EIA comes from a European Directive (85/33/EEC as amended by 97/11/EC).
  • The procedure requires the developer to compile an Environmental Statement (ES) describing the likely significant effects of the development upon the environment and proposed mitigation measures.

Proposed Changes to Permitted Non Householder Development – 5 August 2009

  • Proposed changes to the General Permitted Development Order (GDPO) for non-residential development announced by Communities and Local Government.
  • The consultation paper seeks to reduce further the need to have to apply for planning permission for minor development – such as altering shop fronts or extensions to existing office, industrial and warehouse buildings.
  • For further information read our Bulletin in full.

Draft PPS15 - Planning for the Historic Environment – 31 July 2009

  • The Department of Communities and Local Government published for consultation on July 24 2009 until 30 October 2009, draft Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 15 entitled: Planning for the Historic Environment.

Is The Time Really Right for New Planning Regulations – 22 July 2009

  • This month, culture secretary Ben Bradshaw announced that the race was on to find the United Kingdom’s first City of Culture. Following on from Liverpool’s success as European Capital of Culture in 2008, the winning city will become a focus for national attention in 2013 – with lasting economic and social benefits the intended legacy.
  • For further information read our Article in full.

The Mayor's Outer London Commission, Interim Report – 22 July 2009

  • The Outer London Commission’s interim report (and its recommendations) is a thorough review of the challenges facing Outer London and a realistic approach to how these can be tackled. It seeks evolution rather than revolution; building on Outer London’s strengths.
  • For further information read our Briefing Note in full.

London Housing Design Guide (Draft for Consultation) – 8 July 2009

    Following the publishing of the Mayor’s Draft Housing Strategy in May, on 8 July the Mayor published guidance on the design of all new publicly funded homes built in the capital from 2011 (including schemes receiving grant and those which include affordable housing.
  • For further information read our Briefing Note in full.

Relaxation of Planning Rules

Guidance on Local Plan Viability Testing Launched

Local Shop Parades Plan

Community Infrastructure Levy

National Planning Policy Framework

Relaxation of Planning Rules

New Enterprise Zone Locations

Planning & The Budget

A Guide to the Localism Act

Decentralisation and the Localism Bill

Energy Infrastructure

Comprehensive Spending Review

Quango Cuts

Right to Light & Daylight / Sunlight

Flexibility for Planning Permissions

Environment Regulations

Extra Funding For Councils

Transport Planning Network

Stop to Regional Strategies

Battle to Cut Red Tap

Emergency Budget 2010

Planning Inquiry for a Wind Farm

Planning News Round-Up

Garden Grabbing

The Planning System within a Coalition Government

The Planning Appeal Services

The Changing Face of Football

Development and Flood Risk

Planning for the Historic Environment

Amendments to Permitted Development Rights

Climate Change Planning Policy

Infrastructure Planning Commission

Programme for Replacement of PPG and PPS

Community Infrastructure Levy

Politics and Planning in London

Mayor of London Re-Election

London Plan Alterations

Energy System

Draft Replacement London Plan

Tory Party Planning Policy

Proposed Changes to GDPO

First City of Culture

Challenges Facing Outer London

London Housing Design Guide