Consultation on planning system changes

6 January 2023|

The Government issued in December 2022 two linked consultations to 2nd March 2023 on changes to the planning system that will arise from the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill receiving Royal Assent in its final form, together with other changes which the consultation describes and regulations that the Secretary of State will produce.
There is a consultation included on a draft version of a new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which at this stage contains some of those changes but will be amended as more are confirmed.
One of the proposed planning changes is the introduction of National Development Management Policies (NDMP) which London Forum opposes due to the way in which they are proposed to be applied, effectively ‘trumping’ policies in Local Plans.
There is a blog on the consultations by Litchfields which London Forum members may find helpful. The Planning Magazine published an article by Richard Garlick which lists thirty-nine key proposed changes to the NPPF.
Councils are concerned about the need to replace all Supplementary Planning Documents with new versions, as here.

More shame on LPAs failing social tenants

30 December 2022|

Housing Secretary Michael Gove has demanded answers and action from Orbit Housing, Lambeth Council, Hackney Council and Notting Hill Housing after the Ombudsman found severe maladministration in their handling of complaints. They follow eleven other providers to have faced severe maladministration findings. More details here.
Michael Gove said “Housing providers will have nowhere to hide once our Social Housing Bill becomes law early next year. A beefed-up Regulator will have the power to enter properties with only 48 hours’ notice and make emergency repairs with landlords footing the bill.”

Levelling-Up Bill – update 22nd Dec 2022

22 December 2022|

Further to the updates below on this subject, the December 2022 issue of Insights gave more details on #LURB including that the Government had suspended the Commons Report Stage discussions on amendments to the Bill, due to Tory MPs’ rebellion against Government imposition of housing targets.
The Secretary of State considered the points made and the proposals for changes submitted for the Bill and he wrote a letter to MPs on 5th December about them and followed it with a statement outlining amendments to the Bill and other Government planning intentions.
The lawyer Simon Ricketts wrote a blog about those and an article on the most significant planning changes was published in PlanningResource.
Several of the Minister’s proposals are welcome, particularly the emphasis on placing local communities at the heart of the planning system.
The second day of the Bill’s deferred Report Stage was held on 13th December 2022 and London Forum will be analysing the fate of LURB amendments that had been proposed and submitting changes for consideration in the House of Lords where Peers commence their work on the bill from January 17th 2023.

Chief Planner’s newsletter November 2022

2 December 2022|

A further Planning Newsletter was published on 28 November by the DLUHC Chief Planner to local authorities and it covered:

  • Nutrient Neutrality Update
  • Housing Design Awards (open for entry on 1 December 2022)
  • DLUHC Planning Software Improvement Fund
  • Natural England testing of a Biodiversity Net Gain Habitat Management and Monitoring template
  • PAS guidance on Biodiversity Net Gain and Nature Recovery
  • Slurry Infrastructure grant and habitats regulations assessment
  • Planning practice guidance on flood risk and coastal change training, by the Town and Country Planning Association on 13 December 2022
  • Short films on Natural Flood Management for planners

Government letter on TfL funding

9 September 2022|

The financial settlement for Transport for London was explained in a letter by the Government which indicates on what the Mayor can spend the money and what may not yet be funded.
here are comments on the implications in a MyLondon report.< ONLONDON interviewed the Commissioner of Transport for London, Andy Byford, who expressed pride in the “acceptable” funding agreement secured, saying it has saved London from the worst outcomes implied by the Government’s initial offer.

Chief Planner’s September 2022 newsletter

8 September 2022|

Joanna Averley has issued her September 2022 letter to planning officers.
It contains an update to the Healthy and Safe Communities guidance for Councils to put controls on litter when considering applications for takeaway food businesses.
Lambeth and Southwark councils are trialling a new user-centred service for planning applications, as here.

Landmark decision on design

4 September 2022|

An appeal was dismissed on a proposed development in LB Barnet as here.
The Inspector made good use of the NPPF, some London Plan policies and the latest BRE guidelines on natural light standards to homes in finding the development too dense within it and too harmful to its surroundings. An article in the London Forum’s September 2022 Insights gives more details which civic and community groups could use in other situations.
There is a UDL guide on applying design considerations in planning appeals.

Levelling-up Bill – update 11th Nov 2022

28 August 2022|

The future of the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill will not be clarified until Parliament reconvenes in October 2022. Meanwhile, Hugh Ellis of TCPA has written a blog about the situation.
Clive Betts MP Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee wrote on 24th August 2022 to Secretary of State the Rt Hon Greg Clark, MP, with concerns about the Bill.
Mr Betts commented that “It has been difficult to conduct scrutiny due to a lot of the detail of the provisions having not yet been published. Our advice is that more information is provided on what the Government’s intentions are, and that the Government states unambiguously that it is not seeking to centralise planning decisions.” He received the reply here.
The Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill Committee has completed its discussion of the clauses and amendments proposed for the Bill which in November 2022 will enter its Report Stage and then be assessed in the House of Lords.

PDR – town centre uses to housing

23 June 2022|

There was a briefing on this subject here and a paper published by the House of Commons Library on permitted development and change of use.
The permitted development rules may result in the loss of shops, social infrastructure facilities and local services. London Forum proposed that prior approval applications for town and district centre change of use should be added to the GLA Planning London Datahub for monitoring. That was agreed but it’s accuracy depends upon boroughs uploading data.