Town and Country Planning
DCLG obtains permission from the Court of Appeal to appeal affordable homes threshold ruling

29 September 2015 | Planning Policy Updates

The government has been granted permission to appeal against a High Court ruling that forced ministers to remove a policy to exempt small developments from affordable housing contributions from national planning practice guidance.

In a statement today, a Department for Communities and Local Government (DGLC) spokesman said: \"We can confirm we have been granted permission to appeal against the judge?s decision on the West Berkshire and Reading court case?.

In July 2015, the High Court quashed the policy which excluded developments of ten homes or fewer or 1,000 sqm or less in floorspace, from the requirement to provide or contribute to affordable housing.

The ruling, which followed a legal challenge launched by Reading Borough Council and its neighbour West Berkshire District Council, prompted the removal of paragraphs from a section on planning obligations in the National Planning Policy Guidance related to the small development policy as well as the vacant building credit.

Mr Justice Holgate's judgment had said that the guidance contravened the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004's presumption in favour of the development plan, and that the consultation process had been unfair.

At the time, the DCLG said it would be seeking permission to appeal against the judge's decision, as it would have a \"disproportionate impact on smaller builders who are important in providing homes for local communities\".

The impact of the ruling were as follows;

  • Developers predicted that the removal of the guidance would lead to fewer homes being built as small firms respond by avoiding attempting to develop certain sites.
  • Problems were raised for a number of LPAs as a number of local plans contained affordable housing policies informed by the now ?revoked guidance.
  • Difficulties were also faced by councils that had incorporated the now deleted guidance into their draft Communty Infrastructure Lev charging schedules, typically opting to charge higher rates for smaller residential schemes because of higher levels of viability resulting from the affordable housing exemption

Success at Salcombe

28 September 2015 | Planning Applications

HPP is delighted to have obtained planning permission for the redevelopment of a former gas works site in Salcombe to form 300 sqm of A1, A2 and A3 ground floor commercial space and 5 residential units above. The LPA accepted HPPs argument that it would be unreasonable for the Council to insist on a marine based commercial use as the likelihood of any development coming forward would be minimal primarily due to the costs of decontaminating the site.

The site, which is located in a prominent position at a main junction in the town, is positioned close to the facilities and services within the town centre.

HPP were able to demonstrate that the proposal would result in an enhancement to this part of the Conservation Area. Furthermore, it was evident that the proposal was designed to provide high quality and sustainable housing in the locality that is sympathetic to both the context and character of the site and the surrounding built form.

New Flagship building for Hyundai

28 September 2015 | Ridge News

HPP is about to submit an application for the development of Hyundai's new flagship showroom. At the heart of the proposals is the delivery of a high quality building which will add to and enhance the character of the commercial frontage along the Great West Road which forms part of the A4. The proposed development will deliver a new flagship car showroom comprising:

  • New and used car sales and storage;
  • Workshop;
  • Caf

Residential use secured for former dairy buildings in Cotswold AONB

2 September 2015 |

Planning permission has been obtained for the conversion of agricultural barns, formerly used as dairy buildings, to 8 dwellings. The former barns, which are located approximately 0.5 miles from the Cotswold village of Elkstone, are steel framed and modern in character. A marketing exercise indicated that the barns were surplus to requirements and thus served no economic or functional need. The LPA accepted HPPs argument that the proposed scheme provided the opportunity to pragmatically re-use the redundant barns, the sympathetic conversion of which reinforced the character of the buildings and improved the appearance of the application site and the surrounding area, including the AONB, through its high-quality design.

New Planning Policy Statement on green belt protection issues

2 September 2015 |

On 31st August 2015, a new Planning Policy Statement was issued which sets out changes to national planning policy to make intentional unauthorised development a material consideration, and also to provide stronger protection for the Green Belt. As set out in the manifesto, this Statement affords stronger protection for the Green Belt.

Fracking applications now added to the ever-growing list of call-in applications.

2 September 2015 |

Proposals for exploring and developing shale gas, as set out in a statement to Parliament on 16 September 2015, has been added to the list of call in applications. A recovered appeal will be determined via written representations, a hearing or an inquiry in the same way as other planning appeals. Where an appeal case has been recovered, the Inspector will not make the decision but instead will write a report and include a recommendation to the Secretary of State who will make the decision. For details regarding the statement to Parliament please click on link below.

Success at appeal for the diversion of public footpath allows approval for a reserved matters proposal

2 September 2015 |

Following a successful appeal in respect of an application to divert a public footpath and extinguish another at Land adjacent to Badgers Field, Chipping Campden, HPP have now obtained approval for the reserved matters for the erection of 16 dwellings and associated works on behalf of Spitfire Properties LLP. The site, which currently forms agricultural land, is situated adjacent to the Development Boundary for the town. The approved dwellings, which incorporate the erection of 50% affordable units, are to be of a traditional design using local Cotswold stone.

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