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Planning Review and What to Look Out for in 2016

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As an organisation which is dedicated to keeping up to date with all the latest changes in planning, policy and regulatory requirements, Robinson & Hall has released a report on the key industry changes from 2015 which businesses, in 2016, need to be aware of as well as those to look out for over the course of the year. Naturally, with policy and legislation being an ever-changing landscape, businesses are urged to take heed of these words.

The following information has been provided by Robinson & Hall:

The Happenings of 2015

  • Updates to the National Planning Practice Guidance including clarification on how permitted development rules for the conversion of agricultural buildings to residential should be interpreted.

  • Requirements for developers to undertake community consultations on wind farms before submitting a planning application.

  • Consultation on the National Planning Policy Framework issued in December 2015 relating to starter homes. One key issue relates to offering ‘starter homes’ at 80% of their market value to first time buyers.

  • Amendments to the General Permitted Development Order since its introduction in 1995 were consolidated into one document in April 2015. Change of use from Class B1(a) offices to Class C3 residential; the conversion of agricultural buildings to Class C3 residential were included as permitted development highlighting the Government’s commitment to this type of development.

  • The Housing and Planning Bill – reiterates increasing emphasis on the delivery of starter homes.

  • The Government’s continued commitment to delivering Neighbourhood Plans has been reflected in appeal decisions for development in Neighbourhood Plan areas.

  • Renewed commitments from the Government to infrastructure spending in the south east.

  • Government seeking to require all Councils to have an adopted Local Plan in place by April 2017.

  • The Government issued a consultation in the autumn about devolved planning powers to set planning application fees at a local level. The response has been mixed and no changes have been made as yet.

Things to Look for in 2016

  • Changes to the National Planning Policy Framework with key issues of housing delivery, Green Belt erosion, a new approach for ‘starter homes’ and the delivery of strategic Local Plans.

  • Outcomes and impact of the agreement made at the Paris Climate Change Summit in December 2015 relating to renewable energy support.

  • The implications for resources at local authorities with the potential devolution of powers to set planning fees at the local level and the privatisation of planning services.

  • Potential taxation penalties for developers of unimplemented planning permissions as a way to secure higher rates of housing delivery.

  • Forthcoming adoption of Local Plans for Huntingdonshire, Bedford, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury Vale, and call for sites for Central Bedfordshire as they move towards a new Local Plan.

  • We will continue to report on any changes to the planning system, and local and national policy. If you wish to discuss any of the above issues, then please get in contact with one of our planning experts.

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BDC 314 : Mar 2024