NPPG Updates

30th August 2017

The following changes to the National Planning Practice Guidance came into effect on 28th July.

Brownfield Land Registers – NEW

LPAs in England must publish a Brownfield Land Register by 31st  December 2017.

Part 1 includes all qualifying sites; Part 2 is for those sites given Permission in Principle [PiP]. All sites in Part 1 must be assessed for inclusion in Part 2. [See below]

The qualifying criteria are set out in the Town & Country Planning (Brownfield Land Register) Regulations 2017.

Sites included in either Part 1 or Part 2 of the Register can still obtain outline or full planning permission via a planning application. Similarly, sites with permission can be included in the Register.

Deliverable windfall sites in the Register will count toward the LPA’s 5-year housing land supply.

Submission of sites for inclusion in the Register should be made in accordance with the LPA’s published

Procedures (as with SHLAA and HELAA submissions).

The thresholds are sites of 0.25 hectare or larger that are capable of accommodating at least 5 dwellings, (although sites below 0.25 hectare can be considered if they meet the dwelling target).

In determining whether sites are suitable for inclusion, LPAs must have regard to the NPPF and relevant adopted development plan policies. Public consultation will also be carried out.

Public consultation is not required for Part 1 sites, but is part of Part 2 designation.

LPA refusal to include a site in Part 2 of the Register cannot be appealed. The landowner’s alternative

Option is to submit an outline planning application.

The Part 2 entry for sites with PiP should provide an indication of the details that will be required as part of the subsequent Technical Details Consent application. [See below]

Also see: DCLG ‘Brownfield Land Registers Data Standard: Preparing and Publishing a Register’

Permission in Principle – NEW

At present, PiP can only be granted by inclusion in Part 2 of a Brownfield Land Register [see above]

Once secondary legislation has been introduced, PiP may also be obtained either via an allocation in a new development plan document or via application to the LPA.

Following PiP, a Technical Details Consent [TDC] will be required, to gain approval from the LPA for the details of the development. At that stage, the principle of development cannot be revisited. Similarly, the TDC must be in accordance with the terms of the PiP.

PiP only applies to ‘residential-led development’ – i.e. residential plus any compatible uses (shops, small offices, etc.),

PiP cannot be granted for any sites affected by habitat designations.

PiP is limited to location, land use, and the amount of development. No conditions can be attached. Other matters will be considered at the TDC stage. ‘Scale’ should include the max/min range of dwelling numbers and the amount of other uses that have been permitted.

PiP granted through an allocation or inclusion in Part 2 of a Brownfield Register lasts for 5 years, unless a longer or shorter period is specified or the development plan is superseded within that period. The TDC must be determined (not just submitted) within the 5 years. If granted on application to the LPA, PiPs will last for 3 years, as with an outline permission.

TDC applications will be subject to an application fee (amount as yet unknown)

TDCs must relate to the whole PiP site and include all the details necessary to enable full planning permission to be granted. They should be determined in accordance with the relevant policies in the development plan and NPPF.

Validation requirements for TDCs will be the same as for full planning or reserved matters applications.

The statutory time limits for TDCs are 5 weeks for minor development and 10 weeks for major ones, unless a longer period is agreed.

TDCs can have conditions attached, and are liable to CIL and s106 contributions. The refusal of a TDC can be appealed, as with any planning application.

Refusal of a TDC application does not affect the underlying PiP.

Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding

The updates relate to the information that must, and can be, included by LPAs in their Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Register, under the Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act, 2016

Part 1 of the register is every applicant (individuals or groups) who meets all the criteria for eligibility

– 1) at least 18 years old; 2) British or EU citizen; 3) local eligibility criteria (set by the LPA); 4) have paid the relevant fee; 5) are seeking a serviced plot of land in the LPA’s area for a self-build or custom housebuilding project. Part 2 is for those who fail the LPA’s ‘local residency’ test. Only Part 1 entries constitute a ‘demand’ for serviced plots.

The local residency tests are limited to: a) having a ‘local connection’ – such as residency, family in the area, or a work connection; and b) financial solvency – i.e. can the applicant afford to purchase a serviced plot in the area. These tests should be subject to public consultation before they come into effect. Former armed forces personnel are automatically entered in Part 1 without having to pass the local connection test.

SHMAAs should include an allowance for self-build and custom housebuilding plots, based on the demand shown by the register. Demand is calculated by the number of entries on the register in a calendar year, commencing on 31st  October 2016.

From the end of each year, LPAs have a statutory duty to grant permission for sufficient serviced plots to meet the identified demand within the next 3 years. These permissions do not have to meet the specific requirements of persons on the register.

A serviced plot of land will have access to a public highway and connections to electricity, water and waste water; or in the opinion of the LPA have a reasonable prospect of obtaining these facilities.

LPAs can apply for exemption from the duty to provide serviced plots; they cannot apply to be exempt from creating and maintaining a register.

When is Permission Required?

New paragraphs have been added to deal with farm shops, polytunnels and on-farm reservoirs, referring to permitted development tolerances and the need to consider agricultural and economic need for the facility.

Updates refer to the light industrial to residential permitted development – effective from 1st October 2017 – and other time-lined permitted development classes.

Consultation and Pre-Decision Matters

Minor updates relating to the 2017 EIA Regulations and the inclusion of Neighbourhood Forums as statutory consultees.

Determining a Planning Application

Changes to the designation criteria for ‘non-performing’ LPAs, which now include minor applications and appeals, but not householder applications. The Secretary of State will set the performance thresholds.

Confirmation that Neighbourhood Plans that have passed a referendum immediately become part of the development plan.

Local Plans

Updated guidance on the relationship between local plans and neighbourhood plans, including that Neighbourhood Plans that pass a referendum are part of the development plan and should be given appropriate weight.

Neighbourhood Planning

Updated guidance on the status of plans that pass a referendum, as above, plus a note on the interpretation of NPPF para 49 on 5-year land supply where a Neighbourhood Plan is in place.

LPAs must designate entire parish areas as a Neighbourhood Area if that is what is applied for.

LPAs must confirm a Neighbourhood Plan within 8 weeks of it passing a referendum. The only exception is if it breaches EU regulations or would harm human rights.

Environmental Impact Assessment

A general update of the NPPG chapter to bring it into line with the 2017 EIA Regulations.

Where the EIA process, including a screening request, was started before the 2017 Regulations came into effect on 16th  May 2017 it will continue under the 2011 Regulations.

NB – The ES thresholds under the 2011 Regulation have not changed.

Ensuring Effective Enforcement

Minor textual changes to the guidance on non-compliance with enforcement notice and stop notices and the related penalties.

Hazardous Substances

Minor changes to the technical guidance.

Crown Development

Minor change to the definition of Crown Land, which excludes the Queen’s private estates and the Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall.

Health and Wellbeing

Insertion of a new paragraph which confirms that LPAs can bring forward development plan policies and SPDs that promote health and wellbeing, if supported by appropriate evidence. Those policies and SPDs can then be used in the determination of planning applications.

LPAs can have regard to the proximity to locations where young people congregate, such as schools, community centres and playgrounds; evidence of high obesity and general poor health in specific locations; over concentration and clustering of certain use classes; odour, noise, traffic, refuse and litter impacts.

Policies can also request the provision of allotments as part of new developments.

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