Monthly Archives: October 2012

Growth and Infrastructure Bill Proposes Changes to Planning Procedures

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We have recently seen the draft Growth and Infrastructure Bill published for consultation. As regards planning, the Bill introduces a couple of procedural alterations aimed at speeding up planning decisions and kick-starting the delivery of approved developments.

This includes introducing a provision for applicants to be able to apply for planning permission directly to the Secretary of State in areas where the local planning authority has been designated as under performing, for example in the speed of their decision making. No details yet as to the criteria under which such local authorities will be identified.

The Bill also seeks to limit the powers of Local Planning Authorities to require information with planning applications, to that information which is reasonable, having regard to the nature and scale of the proposed development, and where the matter will be a material consideration in the determination of the planning application. Presently requirements are set out in national and locally adopted lists of validation requirements and the current system gives little scope for a local planning authority to use its discretion to waive a requirement if it feels it is not necessary in an individual case. I expect this is a change local planning authorities will be as happy to see as applicants and it should see a speeding up in the validation of planning applications.

And perhaps most controversially, the Bill would introduce the ability for developers to apply to modify or remove completely the obligation in a S106 to deliver affordable housing if this makes an approved scheme un-viable, with the provision to appeal to the SoS should the Local Planning Authority not grant the developer with a favorable decision. This reinforces the Governments pro-growth agenda and its intention to remove any obstacles to house building in particular.

Rural Solutions will be following the Bill’s progress through Parliament. Check back for updates on this and other planning news, including the eagerly awaiting draft legislation on permitted development changes.

The Key National Planning Policy References for Architects

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The Key National Planning Policy References for Architects Last month Rural Solutions Planning Team held a free training event for Architects on the National Planning Policy Framework and how it is being implemented across the country by Planning Officers and Planning Inspectors. A hand out listing the key references of interest in the NPPF was circulated to Architects and can be viewed by clicking here. The key messages from the event were:

–  Changes to Green Belt policy which allow the redevelopment of previously developed sites in designated area are significant and Architects are recommended to review previous proposals that failed on policy grounds;

–  The Government is firmly committed to significantly boosting the supply of housing meaning that applications for developments outside of ‘development limits’ are being permitted in areas of under supply;

–  There is strong support for economic development and development schemes which bring economic benefits to an area, if justified correctly, are being supported by Local Authorities; Rural Solutions’ Head of Planning, Duncan Hartley, explains to Architects how Government changes in to Green Belt policy were used to secure a residential development following release of the National Planning Policy Framework

–  The NPPF provides much greater scope for developments in rural areas and in particular supports the conversion of redundant buildings to a residential use. Rural Solutions Planning Team offered to review any development proposals and to advise on if and how they can be successfully promoted in light of the NPPF. If you have any queries about the NPPF and how it impacts upon development proposals or land and buildings please do not hesitate to contact Duncan Hartley, James Ellis or Shelley Coffey on 01756 796199.The Key National Planning Policy References for Architects

Osberton International Horse Trials – September 2012

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Rural Solutions was very pleased to be one of the principal sponsors of the three day event held at Osberton Estate in Nottinghamshire. Nicola Wilson and Tina Cook, both London 2012 Olympic silver medallists, took part as well as the reigning Rolex Grand Slam winner Pippa Funnell. We congratulate both Nicola Baguley and her horse Chance in a Million who became champions over the weekend. The weather stayed fair and the spectators were treated to a wide variety of equestrian events including Cross Country, Show Jumping and Dressage, as well as numerous other activities and trade stands available for the many visitors that attended. We look forward to being involved in the event again next year and we hope that we will see you there!