One of the most relevant points to come out of the Budget 2015 for the construction industry is that of automatic planning permissions which is likely to be granted on all brownfield sites deemed "suitable" under a new "zonal system" across the UK.
According to a 90-page blueprint called ‘Fixing the Foundations: Creating a more prosperous nation', which is due to be released today, proposals will include much stronger compulsory purchase powers to build on brownfield land, while extra powers will be given to the Mayors of both London and Manchester.
We don’t wish to take political sides, but with the upcoming General Election in May, it is interesting to observe how the political parties are looking at ways to secure votes and win over the electorate.
One of these potential “vote winners” appears to be focused on the restrictions of proposed house-building particularly on Green Belt land. Despite Local Planning Authorities having to demonstrate that they have allocated sufficient building land (including green field sites) to meet their 5 year projected housing supply needs, they will still be able to cite the Green Belt as a major constraint when considering any development proposed within its boundaries. Although this might severely restrict the land available for development to take place, it is considered by the current Government to be essential to prevent unnecessary urban sprawl which is against the wishes of the local people/ electorate of the area. Appropriate development should be considered in consultation with local people using the established Local or Neighbourhood Plan, if there is one currently available (see our next article for further details).
This is bad news for developers and an excellent time to get your voice heard and object to any such development. Talk to your local MP and remind him or her of the upcoming election and the strength of local opinion against the development, it is sure to be a vote winner!
Watch this space for further election updates regarding planning and development which may affect you and your local community…..
Plans to regularise and upgrade a biogas energy production facility at Crouchland Farm in Plaistow, Sussex have been forcefully refused by West Sussex Council planning committee (March 3, 2015).
Crouchland Farm Biogas attempted to obtain planning permission to allow upgrades of an anaerobic digester together with ancillary equipment together with two further CHP power plants, an effluent lagoon and related infrastructure. Despite the planning application being considered in March 2015 the applicant had already undertaken much of the work that they subsequently sought to obtain permission for... effects of which had already resulted in misery for residents of nearby houses and surrounding villages.
image c/o: http://www.pore.org.uk/news
Private nuisance is usually caused by a person doing something on their own land, which they are lawfully entitled to do, but which becomes a nuisance when the consequences of what they are doing extends to a neighbour’s property.
In February 2014, the Supreme Court delivered an important judgment on the principles of private nuisance which could have practical implications on individuals, developers and operators of various noisy [or other nuisance causing] activities.
The case concerned a claim by property owners, Ms Lawrence and Mr Shields, who owned land in West Row (Fenland, Cambridgeshire) against the owners of a racing track and stadium situated nearby.
The track and stadium were used for various motor sports throughout the year and in July 2002 the council granted permanent planning permission for it to be used as a motocross track.
The planning system is in a near constant state of flux - owing to precedent set by one case or other. With this in mind, it is more important than ever to obtain specialist advice on how the current legislation, national and local planning policies and material considerations impact on development proposals.
The Localism Bill, was implemented with a plan to abolish 'regional spatial strategies' (containing regional house building targets) and instead to introduce neighbourhood plans together with the Community Right to Build.
In all matters it is worth taking advice on
Whether you are a potential applicant or a hot under the collar objector, it has never been more important to seek professional help in planning matters.
A recent poll by the Royal Town Planning Institute, (the body representing 23,000 planners) reveals that a 79% majority of the public want more say over the development in their communities.
Cath Ranson, President of the RTPI, said:
“With the general election just six months away, all the political parties need to recognise that local people want more, not less say, over the future development of their communities. Our poll also shows they are ahead of politicians in understanding that what makes a place economically successful also involves proper investment in infrastructure and local services, as well as maintaining an attractive area, with green spaces and good local amenities.
Here at iObject, we have been asked on several occasions if we have a planning objection checklist available. So, we are considering offering just that; a checklist that covers all of the tasks that you, wanting to object to a planning application will need - a checklist that can be used as an aide memoir.
As there is a great deal of detail to consider when objecting and given that we have some of the most experienced planning professionals in the country on our team, having a professionally produced checklist could be of help to the DIY planning objector. We are interested in your views on this - please let us know what you think.
Here is how we can help each other:
Using our Contact Us form, please let us know if you'd like us to produce a Planning Objection Checklist. If we get sufficient replies wanting one, we will produce one and make it available on the website.
Either way, we will be pleased to produce and send a Planning Objection Checklist to every person that pings us a reply on our Contact Us form, completely free of charge.
Thanks for your input.
Objectors are livid - accusing Bolton Council of “stifling democracy” after the local planning department decided to stop publishing public objections on their planning applications website.
As with most local authorities, public representations (of both supporters and objectors) were previously published alongside statutory consultation responses and the applicants own details.
However Bolton Council have taken the decision to remove the facility 'to help austerity measures' in an aim to cut more than £2 million worth of expenditure from its bottom line.
A Council spokesman was quoted in saying:
“We would like to reassure the public that this does not affect the consultation process and people can still make comments on planning applications, which are considered accordingly."
“We are now looking to provide information by responding to specific requests to view third party representations."
“Through-out the course of the application we will still be publishing all statutory and technical consultee responses and further information provided by the applicant, so people have as much information as possible to decide if they want to make any comments on the proposal.
The council said the move was taken to save time and cut down on admin costs — and emphasised the fact that representations are still included in planning committee members’ bundles and all representations are still available to see at the local Town Hall.
We would argue that requesting, copying and accessing letters through the new system is far more time-consuming than ever (which will inevitably come at a cost to the council) and that other potential objectors are now less aware that an application has been met with local opposition.
Cllr David Wilkinson, who served on Bolton Council’s planning committee for 17 years, said the council was “salami-slicing” the planning process.
What is clearly evident is that under this regime, local people will no longer be able to consider the views of other residents in their application. This is good in some respects, but it does not allow a less able people to get to grips with the full process - or those matters observed by others that may affect them...