“Ombudsman offers practical guidance to planners when recording decisions”

It then neglects to post a link to the guidance on its website ….. anywhere ….. including using the search facility …..

“The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has issued new guidance for planners when recording the decisions they make.

The Ombudsman receives more than 2,000 complaints and enquiries each year about English local authorities’ planning functions.

Common areas in which the Ombudsman finds fault with the decision-making process include failing to explain properly the reasons for decisions, or overlooking material considerations.

Based on real casework examples, the learning points in the report offer clear, practical steps planners can take to ensure the decisions they make are evidenced and recorded properly.

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, Michael King, said:

“Communities can only have confidence in the planning process if councils fully and accurately record the reasons for their decisions, including the information they have taken into account to make them.

“We have created this new guidance to share the learning from our investigations with professionals about this aspect of the planning process, and to help councils improve their procedures, and services for the public, to ensure the decisions they make are as transparent as possible.”

The guidance also includes a number of good practice suggestions, along with links to relevant legislation and resources, including the framework Ombudsman investigators use to publish their own investigation decisions.”

https://www.lgo.org.uk/information-centre/news/2018/sep/ombudsman-offers-practical-guidance-to-planners-when-recording-decisions

Blackhill Quarry: planning application at DMC 4 September 2018 10 am

Owl says: How unfortunate that people who work for a living may not be able to attend.

But how fortunate so many of the DMC members are long-retired and can be at Knowle at 10 am with no problem at all.

TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1990
PROPOSAL:
LOCATION:
Outline application seeking approval of access for construction of up to 3251 sqm (35,000 sq ft) of B2 (general industrial) floor space with access, parking and associated infrastructure (details of appearance, landscaping, scale and layout reserved for future consideration)

Blackhill Quarry Woodbury Exeter EX5 1HD

… the application has been placed on the agenda for consideration by the Council’s Development Management Committee at their meeting on 4 September 2018.

The meeting will take place at The Council Chamber, Council Offices, The Knowle, Sidmouth and is due to commence at 10am.”

“Manchester launches consultation on planning system reform”

“Manchester City Council has set out measures it says will “improve the transparency” of the planning process, including adding public viability assessments for new housing projects.

The council has started a consultation on the changes, which it says would signal “a new approach for developer contributions”.

Among the key changes will be the inclusion of affordable housing statements and viability assessments for all new housing projects; typically, viability statements are not typically made available on the city’s planning portal.

The council said public affordable housing statements would “provide an overview of the affordability ambition of a new development”. Currently, the council stipulates that 20% of new homes should be designated as affordable.

Under the consultation, it is proposed that affordable housing statements are made public for schemes of 15 or more homes. Where no affordable housing is proposed, a full, un-redacted copy of the viability assessment will need to be submitted.

Meanwhile, the inclusion of viability assessments would allow the public to scrutinise developer requirements for Section 106 contributions.

These will be required when a project does not “include the necessary policy provision or financial contributions”, justified on viability grounds.

Viability assessments will need to be provided “in its entirety,” according to the consultation guidelines. This includes the purchase process, purchase costs, estimated construction costs, professional fees, land acquisition price, and estimated profit and developer target returns.

The consultation is now open and is set to run until 14 September, and the documents can be accessed here.

Cllr Angeliki Stogia, Manchester City Council’s executive member for environment, planning and transport, said: “We want the people of Manchester to have faith in the planning process so they know the decisions being made have been fully scrutinised and where possible, Section 106 is being negotiated working with developers on larger developments.

“This consultation signals a new approach for developer contributions so that everyone who has an interest in the planning process is clear whether affordable housing contributions will underpin new development in the city.

“The move towards publication of viability assessments and affordable housing statements mark the first step in making the process more open and transparent bolstering our clear commitment to affordable housing through the planning process.”

https://www.placenorthwest.co.uk/news/manchester-launches-consultation-on-planning-system-reform/

New planning rules = developer free-for-all again

As Owl understands it (feel free to correct) Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans are now basically ripped up unless developers are BUILDING just about everything for which they have permission (building, not land-banking).

A new “Housing Delivery Test” will apply from November 2018. If DEVELOPERS have not built enough homes using these calculations COUNCILS will be penalised by having planning decisions taken from them and DEVELOPERS WILL BE ALLOWED TO BUILD JUST ABOUT ANYWHERE. Just like the old days when we had no Local Plan. Neighbourhood plans will then also count for nothing.

As the CPRE points out:

“…Rather than delivering ‘what communities want’ as it claims to promise, the new planning rulebook and its new ‘housing delivery test’ will result in almost all local plans becoming out of date within two years. It is a speculative developers’ charter and will lead to the death of the plan-led system.

“Without a local plan, councils and communities have little control over the location and type of developments that take place. This results in the wrong developments in the wrong places – local communities’ needs are ignored and valued countryside destroyed for no good reason.”

https://www.pbctoday.co.uk/news/planning-construction-news/revised-national-planning-policy-framework-provokes-mixed-feelings/43866/

Nice one, Tories!

For the geeks amongst us, the methodology of the “Housing Delivery Test” – (9 pages) which will be implemented from November 2018 – is here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/728523/HDT_Measurement_Rule_Book.pdf

RIP EDDC Development Management Committee and goodbye Local Plans

“Council chiefs today warned the Government was creating a developers’ charter that could see local objections to house building ignored to hit targets.

Under new rules unveiled today, housebuilders would be able to ignore local plans for mapping areas for homes if fewer than 75 per cent of those required by Whitehall targets for 2020 are constructed.

It means in some cases developers could be able to override a rejection of planning permission by appealing over local councillors.

The Local Government Association (LGA) claimed the new ‘housing delivery test’ would ‘punish communities’ opposed to bad developments.

The test is part of the new national policy planning framework (NPPF) announced by Communities Secretary James Brokenshire on Tuesday.

Mr Brokenshire said the rules would create a planning system ‘fit for the future’ which married requirements for building numbers, build quality and environmental requirements.

But Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, said the plan failed to give councils the powers they needed ‘to ensure homes with planning permission are built out quickly, with the necessary infrastructure, in their local communities’.

He said: ‘It is hugely disappointing that the Government has not listened to our concerns about nationally set housing targets, and will introduce a delivery test that punishes communities for homes not built by private developers.

‘Councils work hard with communities to get support for good-quality housing development locally, and there is a risk these reforms will lead to locally agreed plans being bypassed by national targets.

‘Planning is not a barrier to housebuilding, and councils are approving nine out of 10 applications.

‘To boost the supply of homes and affordability, it is vital to give councils powers to ensure homes with permission are built, enable all councils to borrow to build, keep 100 per cent of Right to Buy receipts and set discounts locally.’

In a written ministerial statement Mr Brokenshire told the Commons that the NPPF ‘provides greater certainty for local authorities in the decision-making and planning appeals processes’, adding: ‘A new Housing Delivery Test will also measure delivery of homes, with consequences for under-delivery.’

The British Property Federation said it welcomed the test.

Ian Fletcher, its director of real estate policy, said: ‘This will provide a consistent measure against which different local authorities’ performances can be compared.

This is the way that the Government will deliver on its housing promises, and as importantly, cater for a generation that wants to have a home to call their own.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5987591/Council-chiefs-claim-planning-overhaul-developers-charter.html

New National Planning Policy Framework – effective from TODAY

Very rushed so there must be a great number of controversial changes!

Report to follow.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/revised-national-planning-policy-framework

EDDC current planning policy encapsulated in one planning application

Monopoly planning:

No affordable housing? Check
Too many houses? Check
Primary school which may never get built and in wrong location? Check

You have 3 ticks – do pass Go and don’t go to jail!

“Controversial plans that would see 350 new homes and a new primary school built on land at the edge of Exmouth are being recommended for approval – despite concerns about a lack of affordable housing and whether a new school is even needed.

The outline plans, for land at Goodmores Farm, off Dinan Way, also seeks outline permission for employment, commercial, and community uses.

The plans, which will be considered by East Devon Council’s development management committee on 3 July, are recommended for approval despite considerable concerns by Exmouth and Lympstone councils, local ward councillors, Devon County Council and residents.

Some objectors question whether there is a need for future housing and a new primary school in the town. Others accept the principle of the development but question if the primary school is in the best location, and they fear that the development will not provide adequate funding of about £2.5m toward the school.

But the council’s officers say the application from Eagle Investments Ltd has been viability-tested and the proposal was “considered to comply with existing planning policies”.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-devon-44546422