What’s in the Pipeline for Planning – 2018

10th January 2018

With planning being an ever-evolving industry, we share with you our outlook on what to expect in planning this year.

Application Fees:

  • 20% increase from 17th January.

Permission in Principle:

  • The application route will become available from 1st June

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF):

  • An updated draft NPPF will be published for consultation in February.
  • The final version is expected to be adopted by September (TBC).

Local Planning:

  • In early 2018, several new measures will come into force:
  • Implementing the new statutory duty to have an up-to-date plan.
  • Requirement on Local Planning Authorities (LPA) to identify strategic priorities and relevant policies to address them.
  • The Secretary of State will apply intervention powers where LPAs are ‘not planning effectively for the needs of communities.’
  • After 6th April, Local Development Documents (LDD) must be reviewed every 5 years to assess their relevancy, Local Planning Authorities (LPA) will then update their Local Development Scheme (LDS)(or decide that no change is needed).
  • 15  Local Planning Authorities (LPA) are under a threat of  Secretary of State (SoS) intervention because of not having published an up-to-date development plan for consultation; they have until 31st January to claim mitigating circumstances.

Neighbourhood Planning:

  • From April, LPA Statements of Community Involvement will be mandatory, involving neighbourhood planning groups in plan formulation from the earliest stages. Transitional arrangements will apply to allow current emerging plans to proceed.
  • From 31st January, Neighbourhood Plan (NP) groups will be notified of planning applications in their area, and NP adoption and amendment will be simplified.
  • From 1st April, additional grants will be available to NP groups for technical support when preparing NPs (applications can be submitted from February).

Housing Delivery Test (HDT):

  • An Illustrative HDT measurement for 2014-17 period will be published in the Spring.
  • The Housing Delivery Test (HDT) is intended to ensure that local planning authorities assume greater responsibility for delivering new homes in their area.
  • HDT should be viewed entirely separately to the calculation of a district’s five-year housing land supply. It will highlight when the number of homes that have actually been built in a district (as opposed to having planning permission) falls below the target identified in the adopted local plan.
  • In the event of a shortfall being identified, the HDT process will provide mechanisms for identifying the underlying reasons for the shortfall and the appropriate policy response to effectively boost housing land availability.
  • At this stage, HDT has not been fleshed out beyond what was announced in the White Paper, but it is expected that further details will emerge this Spring, following consultation across the housebuilding sector.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL):

  • In early 2018, there will be consultation on:
    • removing Section 106 pooling restrictions;
    • speeding up CIL adoption and amendment procedures;
    • indexation of charging schedules to house price changes;
    • allowing charging schedules to reflect differences in the uplift of value resulting from a change of use;
    • allowing combined authorities to introduce a Strategic Infrastructure Tariff to fund major infrastructure projects.

Draft London Plan:

  • Published in November 2017, the draft plan contains detailed policies, including:
    • higher densities;
    • bringing forward small sites;
    • limiting office to residential conversions;
    • protecting industrial sites and community facilities from a change of use;
    • requiring cooperative working with adjoining LPAs on accommodating outer boroughs’ housing requirements.
  • Consultation runs until 2nd March.
  • Examination is due to start in the Autumn.

Brownfield Registers:

  • First round should have been published 31st December 2017.
  • Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will review progress in January.

Register of Planning Permissions:

  • During 2018, DCLG will create a central register of residential planning permissions to give easier access to information on permissions and build out rates.

Other Budget Consultations:

  • Consultation will take place in early 2018, re:
    • Deleting allocated sites if no prospect of development coming forward.
    • Removing the exemptions from the deemed discharge of planning conditions.
  • A review panel – headed by Sir Oliver Letwyn – will examine build-out rates to attempt to explain the gap between housing completions and amount of land allocated or permitted. An interim report to be ready for the Spring Statement in March, and a full report on the Budget in November.

Change of Use from A3 to A3/A5:

  • Enforcement issues are beginning to arise when moped home deliveries increase and cause a nuisance to residents near food outlets. A sudden increase in home delivery services offered by restaurants has seen LPAs looking into whether a material change of use has occurred from Class A3 (Restaurants, Snack Bars, Cafes, etc.) to mixed Class A3/A5 (Hot Food Take-Away) use, because of an increased proportion of takeaway orders. Whilst the real problem is late-night noise and disturbance to local residents caused by the coming and going of moped deliveries, LPAs are finding that that alleging a material change of use is potentially a more effective enforcement tool than using noise abatement procedures.

If you have any questions in regard to any of the above information please do not hesitate to contact us on 01256 766673.

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