Since the introduction of the NPPF in 2012 there has been a 36% success rate of appeals against decisions on all types of development in the Green Belt which is up from 31% before the NPPF was introduced. Over the same period there was a 3% reduction in the proportion of appeals dismissed to 58%. The NPPF states that inappropriate development in the Green Belt can only be justified by "very special circumstances". Eric Pickles recently said that the unmet demand for housing is ‘unlikely to outweigh harm to the Green Belt and other harm to constitute the very special circumstances justifying inappropriate development in the Green Belt".

National Statistics on Housebuilding

Research commission by the Local Government Association has found that there were 6,500 schemes with planning permission yet to be completed on the 31st March 2013, this consists of 381,390 unbuilt homes. Furthermore, it now takes 27 months (on average) from sites receiving planning permission to building work being completed, which is seven months longer than in 2007/08. Although the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme has helped the house building industry this year there is still room for more to be done as these figures demonstrate.  The LGA report will be published in full next month.

Earls Court regeneration a step closer to reality

The proposed regeneration of Earls Court has taken a step closer to development after the DCLG said it would not be calling the scheme in for a public inquiry. The proposal is for 7,583 homes based on a masterplan by architect Sir Terry Farrell and involves the demolition of the Earls Court Exhibition Centre. Nick Boles reached this decision on the basis that the application does not raise issues for the wider strategic or policy, although he did agree that the proposals are controversial locally.

Planning permission granted on appeal for 100 home scheme in Lancashire

A 100 home scheme (at Wesham) was refused by Fylde Council last September against the recommendation from the planning officer. Councilor’s refused the application as the proposal would be contrary to local and national policies on the provision of land for housing, arguing that more appropriate deliverable sites are available, to help secure a 5 year housing supply. The Planning Inspector said he had not been shown there were deliverable sites within the district that could secure the 5 year housing supply and that the NPPF’s presumption in favour of sustainable development was therefore engaged. This is due to the significant portion of affordable housing along with the benefits of this scheme to the local economy.

Planning appeal hearings to be open to all

New guidance has been released by Eric Pickles which will allow the public and journalists to film, report and tweet planning appeal hearings (as long as it doesn’t disrupt proceedings), which ‘will open up a previously mysterious and rarely seen side of the planning process’. This guidance will be published soon and issued as part of the government’s review of planning practice guidance.

New football stadium for Queens Park Rangers proposed at Old Oak

QPR have announced this week that they are looking to relocate their stadium to the new regeneration scheme proposed at Old Oak. This proposal will include 19,000 new homes, shops, schools, open spaces and offices and will arguably create Britain’s busiest train station. This will transform the industrial area into a vast new hub. This scheme is currently open for consultation and says that the involvement of a major name such as a sports team could help the regeneration of the area. QPRs existing stadium can only hold 18,439 the new stadium could hold 40,000 and will help the future ambitions on the club.

LOCAL PLAN NEWS

Bexley Borough – The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), Draft Charging Schedule is open for consultation.

Camden Borough - Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), Draft Charging Schedule is open for consultation.

Ryedale District Council – the Local Plan Strategy was found sound subject to an extra 20% housing provision for the first 5 years of the plan as required by the NPPF.

Tandridge District Council – Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), Draft Charging Schedule is open for consultation.