On the 28th August the Government launched the new national planning practice guidance web-based resource for testing. The website is currently in Beta with the guidance in draft form, the Government is seeking feedback on the website. Comments can be made here.

The new website is part of Lord Taylors review in streamlining the planning process. None of the current planning practice guidance will be cancelled until the final online guidance is in place later this year. This new advice will set out guidance on a range of issues including; how to start a neighbourhood plan and a new affordability test for the level of affordable housing for developments.

4th Neighbourhood Plan found ‘sound’

Following Thame, St James, Upper Eden; Tattenhall has become the fourth Neighbourhood Plan to be approved. The plan requires individual developments, within or adjacent the village, to be limited to 30 dwellings. The inspector found this was not contrary to the NPPF, as it will contribute to the achievement of sustainable development for the village in Cheshire. A version of the full report can be found here

New Planning Guidance to be published on Town Centres

The Government will be publishing new guidance on town centres. This guidance will state that the ‘council should understand the important role appropriate parking facilities can play in rejuvenating shops, high streets and town centres’. To ensure the viability of the town centres this new guidance will require local authorities to seek to improve the quality of parking in the centres. Eric Pickles said, ‘town halls need to ditch their anti-car dogma, making it easier to park will help support local shops, local jobs and tourism’.  This is part of the Governments aim to streamline planning guidance.

London Planning error results in compensation

The London Borough of Redbridge is to compensate two householders whose homes were devalued by a planning error. The homeowners were not consulted on in regard to a new school building, which was also not properly designed to take into account the proximity of their properties. The council has now reviewed their processes to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

Judicial Review on a 725 home scheme on a wildlife site

Outline planning approval for a 725 home scheme in Essex is set to go to a judicial review on the grounds that the site is of ecological significance; however, the proposal does not adhere to the NPPF. 
This review is being proposed by a collection of environmental groups which are against the site being lost for development,  as the site is a designated local wildlife site, and is subject to a bio-diversity action plan. The council said all relevant bodies were consulted on and that the proposal includes mitigation measures suitable to allow the development to go ahead.

New 1,500 home development near Aviemore

The Cairngorms National Park Authority has granted planning permission in principle for a new 1,500 home community at An Camas Mòr near the skiing resort of Aviemore, which will include associated business and community facilities. The permission is granted subject to Section 75 planning obligations and measures to minimise the impact on the area ecology are produced. Now the principle has been granted, applications for the full/landscape, ecology master plan(s) and subsequent development phases can come forward.

New 3,500 home schemes proposed in Scunthorpe

An outline application has been submitted to North Lincolnshire Council to build 3,500 homes on the edge of Scunthorpe. This will form part of the wider Lincolnshire Lakes development which is one of the largest leisure, housing and commercial mixed use developments in the country. This will help meet demand for housing from the creation of the South Humber Gateway project, which will be the UK’s largest deep-water port.