The PiP is a new planning consent route which has been introduced in 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
Category Archives: government-legislation
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
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
By Willy Browne-Swinburne
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
Announcement to create largest area of national park land in England welcomed by campaigners after two-year wait for decision.
Two of England’s most celebrated national parks, the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, are being extended, the government has announced.
The additional 188 square miles (48,7oo hectares) of national park land will include parts of the Orton fells, the northern Howgill fells, Wild Boar fell and Mallerstang, as well as Barbon, Middleton, Casterton and Leck fells in the Yorkshire Dales. In the Lake District, newly protected areas include from Birkbeck fells common to Whinfell common and an area from Helsington Barrows to Sizergh fell.
The extensions come into effect from August 2016. They follow a public enquiry and are in line with recommendations made by the government’s advisors at Natural England. Campaigners had been frustrated that it had taken the government two years to make a decision on the Planning Inspector’s report.
Environment secretary Liz Truss made the announcement during a visit to Wensleydale Creamery, based in the Yorkshire Dales national park and home of the protected Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese. She said the extensions would protect the land for future generations as well as boosting tourism and supporting rural businesses.
“The Dales and the Lakes have some of our country’s finest landscapes, beautiful vistas and exciting wildlife. They are part of our national identity,” she said. “National parks are fabulous national assets that welcome over 90 million tourists and contribute to our vibrant rural economy – we are committed to helping them thrive.”
Fiona Howie, chief executive of the Campaign for National Parks, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news. Very simply, these are beautiful, inspiring and important areas of the countryside that always deserved to be part of our national parks. They were originally excluded because of administrative reasons but now, after years of hard work by a lot of people, this is now going to be put right.”
Howie said proposed extension areas for the Lake District national park had been accepted in their entirety, and there were only two minor areas not accepted in the Yorkshire Dales park.
Emma Marrington, at the Campaign to Protect Rural England also welcomed the news. “This extension form[s] a ‘bridge’ that includes iconic landscapes such as the Orton and Howgill fells in Yorkshire and large tracts of common land in Cumbria. This announcement has been a long time coming.”
She said: “Only our finest landscapes are granted national park status. National parks enjoy the highest level of planning protection and are exemplars of sustainable development. The challenge now is to ensure that the two national park authorities have the resources they need to protect and enhance these landscapes in the long-term.”
Natural England chairman, Andrew Sells, said: “They represent some of England’s most treasured natural assets. With international appeal, their stunning landscapes stand out as a beacon to the people who come to enjoy them whilst their intrinsic value drives the communities, businesses and biodiversity they support.”
Original article from Guardian.com