Category Archives: government-legislation

INDUSTRY COMMENT – Government Consultation; Planning for the Right Homes in the Right Places

By | construction, government-legislation, land owners, local planning authority, planning, residential, rural diversification, rural economy, rural-affairs, rural-housing, Uncategorised | No Comments

Rural housing, residential development, local plan, housing shortage, housing need, government consultationLast month the government published its follow up to the White Paper; Fixing our Broken Housing Market, delivering on its promise to consult on a proposed standardised method for calculating local housing need (including transitional arrangements).

Rural Solutions will be providing detailed responses to the consultation before the deadline of 9th November. In the meantime James Podesta, Head of Planning, offers these thoughts on the consultation… Read More

INDUSTRY NEWS – Permission in Principle (PiP) explained

By | brownfield land, consultancy, government-legislation, planning, rural business, rural economy, rural-affairs, rural-housing | No Comments

The PiP is a new planning consent route which has been introduced this year which will essentially simplify, speed up and encourage the allocation of brownfield land for housing-led development.  The process has two stages: the consideration of matters of principle for proposed development and the technical detail of the development. Read More

INDUSTRY COMMENT – CLA Priorities for General Election

By | government-legislation, planning, residential, rural business, rural economy, rural-affairs, rural-housing | No Comments

By James Podesta – Head of Planning

In May the CLA set out what it believes the priorities for the next government should be in the build up to the general election in June. In a very useful summary (CLA Priorities) they set out five priorities that they feel will help to shape the future of the rural economy and its communities. Read More

NEWS RELEASE – Rural landowners urged to “capitalise on unique conditions facing rural estates”

By | agriculture, Brexit, estate owners, government-legislation, land owners, rural business, rural diversification, rural economy, rural estates, rural-affairs, Uncategorised | No Comments

Rural Solutions announce the release of our latest White Paper. By landowners taking control of their business and investing in a broader business base, they can protect themselves in the current climate despite Brexit uncertainties. Read More

INDUSTRY COMMENT – Solving the housing crisis with rural development

By | government-legislation, Industry Comment, planning, residential, rural-housing | 2 Comments

By Willy Browne-Swinburne

Yorkshire Post – 10 New Homes – Ric Blenkharn

After reading this article in the Yorkshire Post recently, all of us at Rural Solutions offer a round of applause to the journalist. At last someone who has identified three important insights covering the desperate need for housing this country has and how rural settlements of all sizes could contribute.  Read More

INDUSTRY COMMENT – Government intervention where no local plan is in place

By | construction, government-legislation, Industry Comment, planning, residential, rural-housing | No Comments

By James Podesta – Head of Planning

Gavin Barwell, Minister of State for Housing and Planning, has stated that it is ‘unlikely’ the Government will step in to enforce its ‘early 2017’ deadline for local plan production, until a revised version of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is in place (expected in summer).  No action is likely to be taken until the Government’s consultation on standardising the methodology for assessing housing need has been published alongside the revised NPPF.

Read More

By | architecture, construction, consultancy, general, government-legislation, green-energy, planning, project-management-2, recruitment, renewable-energy, rural business, rural economy, rural-affairs, rural-housing, rural-offices, rural-solutions-news | No Comments

Rural Solutions will be exhibiting at the Farm Business Innovation Show at the Birmingham NEC on 9 and 10 November – the leading diversification and innovation event for farmers and landowners. Come and visit our stand and click on the link above for your free entrance tickets!

Court backs government plans to exempt small sites from affordable homes obligations

By | government-legislation, rural-housing | No Comments

The government has won a legal challenge against a High Court ruling that quashed a national planning policy intended to exempt small sites from affordable housing obligations.

The Court of Appeal in London today backed government plans to exempt small development sites from the need to have affordable housing included on them.

Reading Borough Council and its neighbour West Berkshire District Council claimed that the new policy, introduced in a ministerial statement in November 2014, would drastically reduce the amount of affordable housing across the country by more than 20 per cent.

And they claimed that it would have a particular impact in their areas, as well as providing a windfall to landowners and developers.

Reading had claimed that the policy would result in a loss of up to 30 much-needed affordable homes per year in its area, out of a target of 167. And the more rural West Berkshire council said it would lose almost a quarter of its affordable housing under the policy.

In July 2015 Mr Justice Holgate backed their arguments and quashed the policy, which excluded developments of ten homes or fewer, or 1,000 square metres or less, from the requirement to provide or contribute to affordable housing provision.

However, today’s judgement of the Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson, and Lords Justices Laws and Treacy, which ran to more than 13,000 words, overturned the High Court ruling.

Lord Dyson, backed by two other Lords Justices, upheld all four appeal grounds brought by the government, and reversed Mr Justice Holgate’s decision to quash the policy.

However, the councils’ battle may not be over yet. There is still the possibility the matter could go to the Supreme Court for a further, last ditch appeal, in which today’s decision would be challenged.

West Berkshire District Council & Anr v The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Case Number: C1/2015/2559


Original taken from Planning Resource which can be accessed here.

Government Opens Rural Planning Review Call for Evidence

By | government-legislation, planning, rural business, rural economy, rural-affairs, rural-housing, rural-offices | No Comments

A new Rural Planning Review will look to reduce regulatory burdens in support of new homes, jobs and innovation.

Rural entrepreneurs and housebuilders in England will have the opportunity to provide ideas on how the planning system can better support rural life, making it simpler for them to expand their businesses and to build much needed new homes.

The move comes as the government launches a planning review to reduce regulatory burdens in support of new homes, jobs and innovation. It will also review the rules for converting agricultural buildings to residential use, building on the success of the 2014 changes which have seen more than 2,000 agricultural buildings being allowed to be converted to much-needed homes.

The Rural Planning Review, jointly published by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, is the latest milestone in the delivery of the Government’s Rural Productivity Plan, launched last summer by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, and Environment Secretary, Elizabeth Truss.

The plan sets out new measures to boost the rural economy by investing in education and skills, improving infrastructure and connectivity, and simplifying planning laws for rural businesses and communities. Already the Government is delivering on these objectives, designed to drive up productivity and ensure the countryside becomes an ever more attractive place for people to live, work, start a business and bring up a family.

Planning was one of the priorities for rural action included in the government’s response to the Lord Cameron Review on Rural Proofing published in December, which sets out a series of measures to ensure government departments fully understand rural issues to better protect the services delivered for rural communities, as well as boosting productivity in the countryside. Defra and Cabinet Office have since agreed with Lord Cameron that the development of rural proofing guidance should be given priority.

All evidence and comments are to be submitted by 21 April 2016.

What Lakes and Dales national park expansions mean for planning

By | government-legislation, planning, rural-affairs | No Comments

Two national park authorities are gearing up to take control over planning in areas covered by new boundaries, but it is not yet clear how much government cash will be made available for the bodies’ extra responsibilities.

Lake District National Park: park will extend by just 3%
Lake District National Park: park will extend by just 3%
This gives both park authorities until next August to assume planning duties from several town halls. Both the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authorities will take on responsibilities for areas currently covered by South Lakeland District Council and Eden District Council. The Yorkshire Dales will also take on planning duties in areas covered by Lancaster City Council and Lancashire and Cumbria County Councils.Truss said future government funding decisions “will take account of the planning functions the national parks will inherit from the local authorities”. Peter Stockton, head of sustainable development at the Yorkshire Dales, said he sees this as a hint that it will receive extra money to manage the extended area. However, he said he also expects an overall funding reduction in this month’s spending review. “It’s a matter of how we resolve that internally,” he said. He added that “we’ll probably have some sort of reorganisation of our service”.

The Lake District authority’s head of development management David McGowan said it intends to pick up the extra work with existing staff. A lot of his authority’s relatively small extension “is open countryside with little in the way of population and not much development”, he explained.

The local authority that will hand over the biggest chunk of land is Eden District Council. But Gwyn Clark, its head of planning services, said the area represents just seven per cent of the applications it receives annually. “We get roughly 80 applications per year in the area that’s being taken over by the Yorkshire Dales and four to five for the Lake District,” he added.

As well as the other four affected local authorities, Eden will also have to pass on information on its development strategy. Stockton said the Yorkshire Dales, whose local plan does not currently apply to the extension area, will “be implementing the existing plans currently in place there”. He added that “perhaps eventually we’ll do a new local plan, but in the interim, we will implement the relevant bits of the Eden local plan and the other existing plans in those areas”. McGowan said the Lake District would do the same.

So what does the new national park designation mean for development? The most “topical” difference will concern permitted development rights that allow the conversion of agricultural buildings into certain other uses without the need for planning permission, said McGowan. One potential effect of last month’s announcement could be a “rush of people trying to convert their barns” while they can still use these rights, Stockton predicted.

Dorothy Fairburn, director for the north of England at the Country Land and Business Association, told Planning that the national parks’ exemption from the permitted development rights “makes it harder for people to either provide rural housing or rural jobs in national parks, and both of these are deeply needed in national parks”.

Overall, the national park planning regime is more restrictive, according to Tony Kernon, of Kernon Countryside Consulting. He pointed to paragraph 115 in the National Planning Policy Framework, which states that “great weight should be given to conserving landscape and scenic beauty in national parks, which have the highest status of protection in relation to landscape and scenic beauty”. According to Fairburn, the added emphasis on landscape – and a stronger requirement on buildings to fit the local vernacular better – can make development more expensive.

The designation also means added bureaucracy, said Duncan Hartley, director of planning at Rural Solutions. The consultancy represented seven landowners opposing the Yorkshire Dales extension when it was first proposed three years ago. “One of the roles of national park authorities is to preserve the character and appearance of the area as well as the duty to mange the land to aid tourism and development,” Hartley said. But he added that “the perception among landowners is that the authorities put greater emphasis on the protection and less on their economic role”.