Northern Line Tube extension – Update

The proposed extension of the Northern Line from Kennington to Battersea via Nine Elms took a step towards reality this week as the Transport for London submitted a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) application to the Secretary of State for Transport. This marks the beginning of the statutory process whereby members of the public, stakeholders and the effected communities can make representations to government on their views of the proposed scheme, which aims to support the creation of 25,000 jobs and 16,000 new homes. This is one of the last major development sites in centre London.

Growth and Infrastructure Act receives Royal Assent

Guidance on the new provisions has been issued by DCLG which sets out an overview of the viability evidence to be submitted. This Act introduces several new legislative provisions relating to planning:

  • The introduction of a new application and appeal procedure enabling the affordable housing provisions contained in existing Section 106 Obligations to be varied where they are no longer viable. The application must be accompanied by a viability assessment. Appeals can be submitted where the Council do not agree with the revised proposal or not determine the application.  The provisions do not apply to permissions granted on Rural Exception Sites.
  • Limitations on the information required to be submitted with planning applications to ensure it is reasonable in relation to the nature and scale of the development and must relate to a material consideration in making the decision.
  • Allowing new applications for ‘major’ development to be made direct to the Secretary of State where the local council has a poor performance record. Further secondary legislation is required before this comes into effect.

New Homes Bonus grant contributions revealed

The Government has released details of the grant payments to individual Councils for 2013-2014 for increasing the number of homes in use within their administrative areas. Whilst the top ten beneficiaries (see below) are spread around the country, London collectively dominates the figures with the boroughs collecting £146.957m, about 22% of the total. The Isles of Scilly received the lowest grant at £29,820.

Tower Hamlets - £16,070,851
Birmingham - £10,269,899
Cornwall - £9,617,909
Islington - £9,201,616
Hackney - £8,891,679
Southwark - £8,061,156
Leeds - £7,976,111
Wiltshire - £7,592,854
Milton Keynes - £6,727,164
Westminster - £6,350,402

2500 homes approved in Barwell

Leicestershire Council Hinckley and Bosworth has approved planning permission for a 129ha mixed use scheme in Barwell. The scheme also includes 1000 sq m of retail and commercial space, a primary school and health care facilities.

North Warwickshire Core Strategy recommended for withdrawal

An Inspector has advised North Warwickshire Borough Council to withdraw its draft Core Strategy on the basis its Strategic Housing Market Assessment (produced in 2008) is too old to provide an objective assessment of housing needs. With a population growth of just 100 people in the 10 years up to 2011, the Council felt the evidence presented was proportionate to the area’s need.

Neighbourhood Plans – Update

On 2nd May, the next two Neighbourhood Plans (NP) went to referendum (Thame NP in Oxfordshire and St. James NP in Exeter). If both pass the referendum, it will mark an important step in the success of the Neighbourhood Planning process.

Colliers International- Leading in London

Jonathan Manns, Associate Director in the London Planning Team is acting as Expert Planning Advisor at the Grand Designs Live show, which runs from 4-12th May at London’s Excel Centre. Following this, he is set to lead a day-long debate alongside Colin Wilson (Strategic Planning Manager at the Greater London Authority) and Lisa O’Donnell (Head of Spatial and Environmental Planning at Westminster City Council). The debate is titled, ‘Developing London: Up or Out’ on 7th June, part of the International Federation for Housing and Planning’s Centenary World Congress 2013.

Finally, we wish to congratulate Jonathan Manns on his recognition for RTPI Young Planner of the Year. Jonathan has been long-listed for the award, for which voting will run until 30th May at 5pm.  RTPI members may show Jonathan their support by voting and for him via the RTPI website. We wish him much deserved success.