Town and Country Planning

Confirmation received on timescale for increase in planning application fees and other planning related matters

8 August 2017 | Planning Policy Updates

The latest Planning Update Newsletter from DCLG to Chief Planners dated 31 July, provides additional details of, and revised timescales for, the consultation and other awaited updates relating to the Housing White Paper. The main issues relate to the following;

  • Planning application fee increase

The 20% planning application fees increase, which was initially due in July, will be brought forward in Autumn and will be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny.

  • Local Housing Need

The newsletter confirms that work is continuing to produce a consultation which will be released in September on a new method for councils to assess their local housing need. The newsletter also states that if LPAs submit their plan for examination ‘on or before 31 March 2018’ the LPA will be able to progress with that plan ‘using the existing methodology for calculating local housing need, as set out in current guidance’, but where the plan is subsequently withdrawn or found unsound, it is proposed that the new plan would be based on the new standardised method. Also, if an existing up-to-date plan (i.e. less than five years old) is in place then there will be no need to make any changes until the next review/update of the existing plan. Data on each LPA’s most recent assessment of need, and where there is an adopted plan in place the number of homes currently being planned for, for every English planning authority, will be published alongside the consultation.

  • Recladding of buildings

Following the recent tragic event in London, clarity is provided within the newsletter that if the re-cladding of a building meets the definition of development as set out in S55 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, then planning permission is required. The newsletter encourages the authority to work proactively with the applicant.

  • Improving planning performance

The DCLG will be restarting the publication of the LPA live tables on 10th August.

  • Ministerial Planning Casework

The Departments two divisions dealing with the Planning casework have been merged into a single casework unit; the Planning Casework Unit.

  • Brownfield Registers and Permissions in Principle

The Brownfield Land Register Data standard will enable LPAs to ensure their brownfield land register data is published in an open, national standardised format. This will ensure that nationally consistent information on suitable brownfield sites is kept up to date and accessible for communities and developers.

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