I urge all RTPI members to participate in the 2017 Membership Survey by clicking on the above link. The closing date is 5 July 2017.
The RTPI has launched an online survey to find out what more we can do to increase the value of your membership and strengthen the voice of professional planning. The findings from the survey will help us to continue our commitment to providing our members with the best possible services, benefits and support to assist you at every stage of your professional career.
The survey will take no longer than 10 minutes to complete.
For every completed survey, the RTPI will make a donation to the International Committee of the Red Cross, which supports families and communities affected by armed conflict or natural disasters.
If you have any questions about completing the questionnaire, please call the survey helpline 0800 0092 117 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today, we are celebrating the achievements of the 2016 RTPI East of England Regional Award Winners – Bidwells LLP and Pollard Thomas Edwards – for their entry “Chelmsford City Park West“. A one-day seminar is being held today in Chelmsford to hear about the successful redevelopment and restoration work which has taken place in the city centre, particularly highlighting their award-winning project.
This could be you celebrating success in our 2017 Regional Award.
This is a great opportunity to highlight the positive impact planning has on our quality of life and to celebrate the work of planners and other members of the team.
Entry into the Award is free and easy.
Closing date: 10.00am on 31 May 2017
Entries need to be for projects or plans completed in the region within the last two years. Applications are invited from individual planners or project teams from the public or private sectors.
All shortlisted entries will be showcased at our Regional Gala Dinner, to be held in Cambridge in September.
I look forward to seeing your entries.
David Potter FRICS MRTPI
Convenor of the Regional Judging Panel
RTPI President, Stephen Wilkinson will be visiting us on 13th and 14th July.
Stephen is the Head of Planning & Strategic Partnerships at the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (the area of which includes parts of Essex and Hertfordshire). He has also worked for four London Boroughs and for the Audit Commission, where he advised planning authorities on their management arrangements. He has over thirty years of experience in planning and regeneration and sits on several regeneration boards.
After receiving a specific request from Stephen to visit Norwich and Great Yarmouth, we have organised a visit on 13 July to the Norwich Research Park, http://www.norwichresearchpark.com/home.aspx, an international centre of excellence in life and environmental sciences research, where he will find out more about the exciting projects taking place by the Park’s Chief Executive Officer. Stephen will be taken on a site visit to the Quadrum Institute, https://quadram.ac.uk, a new multi million pound state-of-the-art food and health research and endoscopy centre which is due to open in 2018.
The afternoon will be spent on the river, with a boat trip from Norwich city centre to Whittingham Country Park, returning to the offices of the Broads Authority for an Evening Reception with members and young planners. More details about this reception will be added to the website shortly.
The second day will be spent in Great Yarmouth, with a walk through the new Town Centre Masterplan area.
If you would like to meet Stephen during his visit, or if you have a project which you would like to share with the President, please let Adam or Michael know via the Regional Office email address of email@example.com
by Libby Hindle, RTPI East of England Young Planners Rep
If you have been through the RTPI Assessment of Professional Competence, or are currently working towards it, you will have an appreciation of the rigorous process involved in achieving Chartered Membership. The main route to Chartership is through competency-based assessments (L-APC, A-APC, EP-APC), which require candidates to demonstrate how their experience and competence meet the high standards required.
Having recently gained Chartered Membership myself, I know only too well the time and effort that is required. It is a challenging process, but it is also a valuable one, providing candidates with a great opportunity to reflect on both the experience they have gained, and their career aspirations.
Whilst busily getting on with the day job it is easy to assume that simply gaining more project experience and undertaking the odd CPD training will be sufficient to help us develop as Planners, and push us on through our careers. It is also easy to think of the APC simply as a necessary process to be completed, and not realising the benefits of the tasks involved.
In preparing my submission, I had to take the time to reflect on my experience and competencies, on what goals I wish to aim towards, and how I plan to develop in order to achieve these. I found this to be a valuable opportunity, and markedly useful in shaping my personal and professional development. It highlighted to me the importance of being a reflective practitioner, and how I can shape and focus my professional development by preparing a navigated course to achieve my goals. Having now completed the ‘process’, I feel prouder of my achievements and my role within the profession then when I began my APC, having taken that time to reflect, and perhaps appreciate the value of my Chartered Membership more as a result.
APC Workshop – 24 April 2017
With many Young Planner’s in our region currently preparing their submissions, we were pleased to be able to host our annual APC seminar and workshop with staff from the RTPI’s Membership Team at Anglia Ruskin University in April. The evening was attended by around 30 student members, licentiates, and mentors.
Paige Harris, Planner at Boyer, who successfully completed her APC last year, attended the seminar to assist in her capacity now as an APC Mentor, and has provided an account of the evening together with her top tips for future candidates:
Becoming Chartered: Licentiate Assessment of Professional Competence (L-APC), 24 April 2017, Anglia Ruskin University
The presentation, given by Hilary Lush, Senior Membership Advisor for the RTPI, explained the three different APC routes to membership and provided specific guidance on the individual parts of the L-APC process, and how best to prepare for submission. Hilary explained in detail the requirements for each of the eleven professional competencies and talked through the latest L-APC Guidance Document. Attendees also had the opportunity to undertake an exercise relating to the Professional Development Plan (PDP). This is often found to be the area that applicants struggle with the most, so a chance to explore this in greater detail was greatly appreciated! Hilary broke down the elements of the PDP into manageable chunks so each could be looked at in detail, providing attendees with a clear understanding of the requirements.
The evening was very informative for both those undertaking the L-APC and those mentoring them. As a mentor, I found it acted as a good refresher of what’s involved and it was useful to have the guidance and process reaffirmed.
As a past candidate, here are my top tips for the L-APC submission:
- Read and become familiar with the Guidance – it may seem simple, but familiarising yourself with the L-APC guidance will help you put it into action, will save you time and ensure that you fully understand what is expected from the assessment criteria;
- Know what is expected and be reflective – ensure that you are confident of what is required from all the Professional Competencies and use the Competencies Checklist to ensure that each one is addressed. It is important to be reflective of what you have learnt through your experiences and how this has shaped your decisions and actions.
- Be SMART – the Professional Development Plan (PDP) needs to include clear actions, that can are measurable and achievable, with a clear timeframe.
- Keep up-to-date with your Log Book – you often see previous candidates mentioning this but it is so important. By updating your Log Book weekly/monthly you can remember what work you have undertaken in more detail and will mange to keep on top of it.
Good luck with your submissions!
Paige Harris MRTPI, Planner, Boyer
You can sign up for more information on Young Planners here: http://www.rtpi.org.uk/knowledge/networks/young-planners/become-a-young-planner/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow us and see our pictures on Twitter @RTPIEoEYPs
The RTPI East of England and RTPI South East organised a discussion between RTPI members and the National Infrastructure Commission on the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford Corridor. Our thanks to colleagues at David Lock Associates for hosting this event.
We heard a lot of enthusiasm for the concept of a corridor-wide strategic plan, along with a range of suggestions to ensure that it would have sufficient buy-in from local stakeholders and national government.
The RTPI will be writing a full response to the Commission’s discussion paper during May, and we encourage our members to submit further thoughts and comments before this deadline. All the details can be found at: rtpi.org.uk/knowledge/consultations/england-consultations/
The following is a summary of highlights from April that have come to the attention of the Planning Legislation Update Service.
IMPLEMENTATION OF PLANNING CHANGES: TECHNICAL CONSULTATION, RESPONSES, DCLG, 3rd April 2017.
Details of outcome:-
- Summary of responses and government response to the permission in principle and brownfield registers chapters of the technical consultation on planning changes (published 3rd April 2017)
- Summary of responses to the technical consultation on implementation of planning changes, consultation on upward extensions and Rural Planning Review call for evidence (published 7th February 2017)
Note chapter 7: extending the existing designation approach to include applications for non major development – response published separately
- Summary of responses and the government response to the neighbourhood planning chapter of the technical consultation on planning changes (published 2nd September 2016)
HOUSING DELIVERY TEST ACTION PLANS, DCLG, 19th April 2017.
The Housing White Paper, proposes that the new housing delivery test would, start in November. Where net additional dwellings measured over a rolling three-year period fall below 95 per cent of housing requirements, a local authority would be required to publish an action plan, “setting out its understanding of the key reasons for the situation and the actions that it and other parties need to take to get home-building back on track”.
Gavin Barwell, speaking at a Select Committee, said the action plans would require town halls to “provide a diagnosis of what the problem is” so that the government can “work with local authorities” to resolve those issues – giving town halls the opportunity to request help from government to remove blockages holding up development.
S.I. 2017/571 THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT) REGULATIONS 2017
These consolidate with amendments the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011 and subsequent amending instruments.
Come into force on 16th May 2017.
S.I. 2017/572 THE INFRASTRUCTURE PLANNING (ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT) REGULATIONS 2017
These consolidate with amendments the Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2009 and subsequent amending instruments.
They implement the requirements of the Directive for EIA procedures in the context of the nationally significant infrastructure regime which extends primarily to England and Wales.
Come into force on 16th May 2017.
BROWNFIELD REGISTERS AND PERMISSION IN PRINCIPLE, DCLG, 21st April 2017.
Information for local authorities in their implementation of new brownfield registers of land suitable for housing, and permission in principle. (see above)
SEVEN FURTHER SETS OF EIA AMENDMENT REGULATIONS HAVE BEEN ISSUED, ALL COME INTO FORCE ON 16th MAY 2017., AS FOLLOWS :-
- S.I. 2017/580 THE ELECTRICITY WORKS (ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT) (ENGLAND AND WALES) REGULATIONS 2017
- S.I. 2017/593 THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (AGRICULTURE) (ENGLAND) (NO. 2) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2017
- S.I. 2017/592 THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (FORESTRY) (ENGLAND AND WALES) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2017
- S.I. 2017/588 THE MARINE WORKS (ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2017
- S.I. 2017/582 THE OFFSHORE PETROLEUM PRODUCTION AND PIPE-LINES (ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT AND OTHER MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2017
- S.I. 2017/583 THE WATER RESOURCES (ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT) (ENGLAND AND WALES) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2017
- S.I. 2017/585 THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT (LAND DRAINAGE IMPROVEMENT WORKS) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2017
NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANNING ACT 2017.
Received Royal Assent on 27th April 2017.
This concerns planning, compulsory purchase and connected purposes. It covers: –
- Neighbourhood planning
- Local development documents
- Planning conditions – Restrictions on power to impose planning conditions
- Permitted development rights relating to drinking establishments
- Development of new towns by local authorities
- Register of planning applications etc.
Under compulsory purchase etc. amongst other things, it covers: –
- Power and procedure to take temporary possession of land,
- No-scheme principle and Repeal of Part 4 of the Land Compensation Act 1961.
There are three schedules: –
- Schedule 1 — New Schedule A2 to the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004
- Schedule 2 — County councils’ default powers in relation to development plan documents
- Schedule 3 — Planning conditions: consequential amendments
The following is a summary of highlights from March that have come to the attention of the Planning Legislation Update Service.
S.I. 2017/95 (L. 1) THE CIVIL PROCEDURE (AMENDMENT) RULES 2017
These Rules amend the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR) (S.I. 1998/3132), by amongst other things, substituting a new Section VII of Part 45, and inserting a new rule 52.19A, to change the rules governing costs protection in certain environmental claims.
These particular rules came into force on 28th February 2017.
S.I. 2017/210 THE HIGH SPEED RAIL (LONDON – WEST MIDLANDS) (QUALIFYING AUTHORITIES) ORDER 2017.
This Order specifies the planning authorities (including Three Rivers and Herts CC) which are qualifying authorities for Schedule 17 to the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Act 2017, which establishes a planning regime that seeks to give the qualifying authorities an appropriate degree of control over the detailed planning aspects. (see next)
Came into force on 24th February 2017.
S.I. 2017/223 THE HIGH SPEED RAIL (LONDON – WEST MIDLANDS) (FEES FOR REQUESTS FOR PLANNING APPROVAL) REGULATIONS 2017
These set out procedures for fees etc. for requests for planning approval made by the nominated undertaker to relevant planning authorities under Schedule 17 (see above) to the High Speed Rail (London – West Midlands) Act 2017.
Came into force on 27th March 2017.
S.I. 2017/227 THE HIGH SPEED RAIL (LONDON – WEST MIDLANDS) (PLANNING APPEALS) (WRITTEN REPRESENTATIONS PROCEDURE) (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS 2017
The High Speed Rail Act 2017 allows the nominated undertaker to make requests for planning approval to relevant planning authorities and Schedule 17 provides that the nominated undertaker may appeal to the Secretary of State for Transport and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in certain circumstances against the decision of such an authority. These Regulations set out the forms and procedures.
Came into force on 27th March 2017
S.I. 2017/276 THE HOUSING AND PLANNING ACT 2016 (PERMISSION IN PRINCIPLE ETC) (MISCELLANEOUS AMENDMENTS) (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS 2017.
These Regulations made amendments to primary legislation for permission in principle. They provide that a local planning authority’s own application for permission in principle should not be exempt information at a local authority meeting and also give further powers regarding entries in planning registers for permission in principle and clarify that a permission in principle enures for the benefit of the land and also that a non-material change may be made for a permission in principle.
The regulations also amend the Planning (Hazardous Substances) Act 1990 -thus in dealing with an application for hazardous substances consent the hazardous substances authority shall have regard to any permission in principle that has been granted for land in the vicinity.
The regulations are also make amendments to the Commons Act 2006.
Came into force on the twenty-first day after 6th March 2017
S.I. 2017/281 (C. 26) THE HOUSING AND PLANNING ACT 2016 (COMMENCEMENT NO. 5, TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS AND SAVINGS) REGULATIONS 2017.
These bring into force various provisions of the Housing and Planning Act 2016, including section 160 which amends section 115 of the Planning Act 2008 to enable the Secretary of State to grant development consent for related housing development alongside a nationally significant infrastructure project in England. They also require the Secretary of State to take into account any matters set out in guidance when determining whether to grant development consent for development that includes related housing development.
Came into force on 6th April 2017.
S.I. 2017/314 THE INFRASTRUCTURE PLANNING FEES (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2017.
These Regulations amend the Infrastructure Planning (Fees) Regulations 2010 and the Infrastructure Planning (Changes to, and Revocation of, Development Consent Orders) Regulations 2011. The level of fees is generally increased by 50%. Each fee being increased annually in line with the consumer prices index, starting from 1st April 2018.
Came into force on 6th April 2017.
S.I. 2017/391 THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (GENERAL PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT) (ENGLAND) (AMENDMENT) ORDER 2017
This Order amends the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/596).
Article 3 concerns a proposed enlargement of a dwellinghouse which is joined to an existing enlargement given planning permission by Class A of Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO. It makes clear that restrictions apply to the size of the total enlargement (i.e. the proposed enlargement together with the existing enlargement).
Article 4 extends from one to two academic years the period for which a building may be used as a state-funded school under Class C of Part 4 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO.
Article 5 introduces a new permitted development right to provide a temporary state-funded school for up to three academic years on a site which was previously used for specified commercial purposes but on which all buildings have been demolished.
Article 6 removes certain restrictions relating to floor space and distance from the boundary of the curtilage where schools are developed under Class M of Part 7 of Schedule 2 to the GPDO.
There are some miscellaneous amendments and transitional arrangements.
Came into force on 6th April 2017.
S.I. 2017/392 THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (COMPENSATION) (ENGLAND) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2017
These Regulations amend the Town and Country Planning (Compensation) (England) Regulations 2015 to add a new class of development to the list of permitted development rights for which compensation on withdrawal of the right is limited in various ways provided in the 2015 Regulations. (See above).
The practical effect is that if a local planning authority withdraws the new permitted development rights by issuing a direction under article 4 of the 2015 Order, compensation is only payable in respect of planning applications made within 12 months beginning on the date the direction took effect. The Regulations also allow local planning authorities to avoid compensation liability on withdrawal of the new permitted development rights by publicising their intention to make an article 4 direction at least one year, and not more than two years, ahead of the article 4 direction taking effect.
Came into force on 6th April 2017.
UPDATE ON FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANNING IN 2017/18, Letter from DCLG Chief Planner, 22nd February 2017.
DCLG announced arrangements for funding local planning authorities from the financial year beginning April 2017. See Annex A of the letter.
The letter also referred to Planning application fees-
It reminded Chief Planning Officers of the letter of 21st February on planning application fees. Section 151 officers were required to provide a commitment and submit information on the 2017/18 budget that demonstrates the additional fee income being spent on planning services, in order to benefit from new planning fees.
Responses were requested by Monday 13th March 2017.
CONSIDERATION OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING CONTRIBUTIONS FROM SMALL SITES IN APPEAL DECISIONS, PINS, March 2017.
A ministerial statement in 2014, stipulating that affordable housing contributions should not be sought from small schemes does not automatically outweigh local policies, the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) has said as it issued an apology to the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, which had complained over a series of decisions where inspectors had come to differing views. See letter from PINS:- here.
SPRING BUDGET 2017, HM Treasury, 8th March 2017.
Summary of aspects which may be relevant to planning:-
- £536 million for new free schools and to maintain existing schools
- £270 million to launch the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund – Initial funding will support research and innovation in universities and businesses, in areas like designing and manufacturing better batteries for new electric vehicles that will help improve air quality
- Improving transport with the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) – improvements to transport infrastructure, including:
- £690 million for new local transport projects, to improve congestion on roads and public transport
- £220 million to improve congestion points on national roads, supporting local projects
- A new strategy to make the UK a world leader in 5G technology- £16 million for a national 5G Innovation Network to trial new 5G technology. And £200 million for local projects to build fast and reliable full-fibre broadband networks.
- Air quality– The government will consult on a detailed draft plan in the spring which will set out how the UK’s air quality goals will be achieved.
CAMBRIDGESHIRE AND PETERBOROUGH DEVOLUTION, DCLG, 16th March 2017.
The new deal includes fresh powers to create new jobs, improve skills levels, build more homes and improve transport. It will be led by a new mayor elected on 4th May. Funding includes £600 million for economic growth and £170 million for housing.
NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANNING BILL UPDATE- DEVELOPMENT CORPORATIONS AND ALSO OFFICE-TO- RESIDENTIAL CONVERSIONS, House of Lords, 15th March 2017.
Local authorities could be given responsibility for development corporations set up to deliver garden towns and villages under an opposition amendment to the Neighbourhood Planning Bill that has been accepted by the government.
It is also understood that the secretary of state would not seek to limit article 4 directions removing the office-to-residential permitted development right “where an authority is meeting 100 per cent of its housing delivery requirement and can continue to do so after the removal of the right, and where it is able to demonstrate that it is necessary to remove the right to protect the amenity and well-being of a particular area”.
GUIDANCE ON NATIONALLY SIGNIFICANT INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS AND HOUSING, DCLG, March 2017.
Guidance covers changes to the Planning Act 2008 made by section 160 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (see above) which allow development consent to be obtained for housing which is related to a nationally significant infrastructure project.
S.I. 2017/402 THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (PERMISSION IN PRINCIPLE) ORDER 2017
This Order, (in England only), sets out procedures for permission in principle.
It sets out the particulars which a register under section 14A of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (brownfield land register) must contain if the land in question is to be granted permission in principle as land allocated in that qualifying document.
It grants permission in principle to any land entered in Part 2 of the brownfield land register.
The Town and Country Planning (Brownfield Land Register) Regulations 2017 (S.I. 2017/403) (next) state that local planning authorities must enter land in Part 2 of the brownfield land register where they allocate land for residential development (which is defined in those Regulations as development the main purpose of which is housing development). The permission granted by this Order is an ‘in principle’ permission for development of land. Planning permission, in the form of technical details consent, would still be needed before development of the land could begin.
A local planning authority may, by direction, set the date when permission in principle in relation to a particular allocation comes into force.
The Order requires that each local planning register authority, as Part 2A of their planning register, must keep a register of any permission in principle, and sets out what each entry for permission in principle must contain and the date by which the entry must be made.
It sets the period of 5 years as the period during which a technical details application must be determined in accordance with the permission in principle.
The order also sets out a number of amendments to secondary legislation relating to permission in principle and technical details consent. In particular the amendments to the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 (S.I. 2015/595) make a number of changes to the application procedure for planning permission in the form of technical details consent.
It also inserts into the Town and Country Planning (Compensation) (England) Regulations 2015 (S.I. 2015/598) a new provision for compensation in relation to the modification or revocation of permission in principle granted by this Order. This provides that where such permission in principle for development is modified or revoked by an order under section 97 of the 1990 Act and subsequent to that modification or revocation (but within 12 months) an application for outline planning permission is refused for that development then compensation is payable under section 107 of the 1990 Act in the same way as for the modification or revocation of a planning permission. The order also provides that compensation is not payable if at least 12 months’ notice of the revocation or modification is given (but the notice may not be given more than 5 years before the revocation or modification is to take effect).
Came into force on 15th April 2017.
S.I. 2017/403 THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (BROWNFIELD LAND REGISTER) REGULATIONS 2017
These place a duty on each local planning authority responsible for determining applications for housing development to prepare, maintain and publish a register of previously developed land (commonly known as “brownfield land”) which is suitable for residential development. The register must be in 2 parts. Brownfield land will be entered in Part 1 where it meets the criteria in regulation 4(1) and in Part 2 where it has also been allocated by the local planning authority for residential development following mandatory publicity and consultation procedures. Where land is entered in Part 2 of the register, it will be granted permission in principle under section 59A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
The regulations set out exemptions, information which must be included for each entry in the register, public inspection of the register, review and revision of the register and provision of a power for the Secretary of State to be able to require local planning authorities to give the Secretary of State information in relation to their registers.
Came into force on 16th April 2017
CREATING BETTER ENVIRONMENTS FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH DEMENTIA, RTPI, March 2017.
This practice note gives advice on how good planning can create better environments for people living with dementia.
Celebrating the work of planners in the East of England, the Regional Award for Planning Excellence highlights the diverse and exciting planning projects and work taking place in the region right now.
Entering the Award is a wonderful opportunity to show how proud you are of your project and work.
* Entry is free *
Closing date: 10.00am on 31 May 2017
An Update from the Planning Legislation Update Service
The following is a summary of highlights from February which have come to the attention of the Planning Legislation Update Service.
FIXING OUR BROKEN HOUSING MARKET, WHITE PAPER, February 2017.
Planning objectives: –
- Making sure every part of the country has an up-to-date plan;
- Simplifying plan-making and making it more transparent;
- Ensuring that plans start from an ‘honest’ assessment of the need for new homes, and that local authorities work with their neighbours;
- Clarifying what land is available for new housing;
- Maximising the contribution from brownfield and surplus public land, regenerating estates, releasing more small and medium-sized sites, allowing rural communities to grow and making it easier to build new settlements;
- Maintaining existing strong protections for the Green Belt, and clarifying that Green Belt boundaries should be amended only in exceptional circumstances when local authorities can demonstrate that they have fully examined all other reasonable options for meeting their identified housing requirements;
- Giving communities a stronger voice in the design of new housing;
- Encouraging higher densities, where appropriate and reviewing space standards.
- Reducing the scope for local and neighbourhood plans to be undermined by changing the way that land supply for housing is assessed; … ‘to qualify for protections set out in December’s written ministerial statement on neighbourhood plans, neighbourhoods “should be able to demonstrate that their site allocations and housing supply policies will meet their share of local housing need”
- Boosting local authority capacity and capability to deliver, improving the speed and quality with which planning cases are handled, while deterring unnecessary appeals;
…. ‘local authorities will be able to increase fees by 20 per cent from July 2017 if they “commit to invest the additional fee income in their planning department”.
- Ensuring infrastructure is provided in the right place at the right time;
- Securing timely connections to utilities;
- Tackling unnecessary delays caused by planning conditions, facilitating the strategic licensing of protected species and exploring a new approach to how developers contribute to infrastructure; the government “will examine the options for reforming the system of developer contributions including ensuring direct benefit for communities” and will respond to the CIL review and “make an announcement at Autumn Budget 2017
- Holding local authorities to account through a new housing delivery test. “From November 2017, if delivery of housing falls below 85 per cent of the housing requirement, authorities would in addition be expected to plan for a 20 per cent buffer on their five-year land supply, if they have not already done so,”
- Supporting custom-build homes with greater access to land and finance;
- Encouraging modern methods of construction in house building.
- Continuing to crack down on empty homes, and supporting areas most affected by second homes;
- Encouraging the development of housing that meets the needs of our future population; (The document confirms that the government will not introduce a statutory requirement for Starter Homes “at the present time”.)
The White Paper expands on the above and invites comments – see next
CONSULTATION ON FIXING OUR BROKEN HOUSING MARKET, WHITE PAPER, February 2017.
This document set out some wider changes to national planning policy in relation to sustainable development and the environment.
The consultation closed on 2nd May 2017.
PLANNING AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR BUILD TO RENT, DCLG, 7th February 2017.
This consultation (in association with the Housing White Paper sought views on planning measures to support an increase in Build to Rent schemes across England. This includes changing the National Planning Policy Framework policy to support and to increase the number of new Build to Rent homes, and the provision of Affordable Private Rent homes as the main form of affordable housing provision on Build to Rent schemes.
This consultation closed on 1st May 2017.
THE HIGH SPEED RAIL (LONDON-WESTMIDLANDS) HYBRID ACT 2017
Received Royal Assent on 23rd February 2017 – it is essentially the planning application for the new line – construction will begin in the spring and is proposed to be completed in 2026. The route includes a small part of Three Rivers DC in Hertfordshire.
The government has previously introduced a comprehensive package of compensation and assistance for those directly affected by HS2.
Also, launched, were schemes totalling £70 million for communities along the route.
HIGH SPEED RAIL (LONDON TO WEST MIDLANDS) ACT 2017: SCHEDULE 17 STATUTORY GUIDANCE, DfT and HS2, 23rd February 2017.
Schedule 17 allows the Secretary of State for Transport to issue statutory guidance to planning authorities about the exercise of their functions in relation to the proposal. Planning authorities are required to have regard to this guidance when considering a request for approval made under Schedule 17. (see later)
HEATHROW EXPANSION: DRAFT AIRPORTS NATIONAL POLICY STATEMENT (NPS): NEW RUNWAY CAPACITY AND INFRASTRUCTURE AT AIPORTS IN THE SOUTH-EAST OF ENGLAND, DfT, 2nd February 2017.
The government says “need for additional capacity in the south-east of England is best met by a new north-west runway at Heathrow Airport.”
The planning policy framework which the applicant would have to comply with in order to get development consent is set out in this document. See also next.
This consultation closed on 25th May 2017.
APPRAISAL OF SUSTAINABILITY FOR THE DRAFT AIRPORTS NATIONAL POLICY STATEMENT, DfT, 3rd February 2017.
An Appraisal of the potential social, economic and environmental impacts of the proposed policy in the above draft NPS and sets out options for mitigating potential impacts.
DRAFT UK AIRSPACE POLICY: A FRAMEWORK FOR BALANCED DECISIONS ON THE DESIGN AND USE OF AIR SPACE AND AIR NAVIGATION GUIDANCE ON AIRSPACE and
DRAFT NOISE MANAGEMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL OBJECTIVES, DfT,
2nd February 2017.
DfT is consulting on proposals to support the reform of airspace, thereby maximising the economic and social benefits of aviation and minimising negative local impacts.
This consultation closed on 25 May 2017.
CONSULTATION ON TRANSPOSITION OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT DIRECTIVE: REGULATIONS ON ELECTRICITY WORKS, BEIS, 16th February 2017.
This invites comments on proposals for implementing amendments to the European Union Directive on EIA for the Electricity Works Regulations.
This consultation closed on 16th March 2017.
CONSULTATION ON TRANSPOSITION OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT DIRECTIVE: REGULATIONS ON OFFSHORE HYDROCARBON-RELATED DEVELOPMENTS AND ON PIPE-LINES, BEIS, 16th February 2017.
This invites comments on proposals for implementing amendments to the European Union Directive on EIA for the Offshore Production and Pipe-lines Regulations.
This consultation closed on 16th March 2017.
Message from Wendy Hague, RTPI East of England Regional Chair 2017 (pictured left, receiving the Regional chain of office from 2016 Regional Chair, Michael Hand)
“Planning in the Spotlight”
The New Year began with a government announcement about garden villages and towns. This was covered in detail by the media and provoked many a discussion in households on the Bank Holiday Monday. The RTPI issued a statement on 4th January and Trudi Elliott CBE, RTPI Chief Executive, referred to the fact that many of these settlements have been part of Councils’ planning strategies for some time… planners in the public and the private sectors are at the centre of this growth agenda.
However, as we know, new settlements are only part of the answer to address housing need. The role of planners in articulating the debate about the management of growth and the measures required to mitigate adverse effects is essential to our prosperity, particularly at a time of uncertainity about the direction of travel post the Referendum. The skills we possess as a profession are critical to delivering goals and reducing risk.
So as your new Regional Chair, I would like to urge you not to under-estimate your importance and to look forward to 2017 with renewed vigour and confidence.
The incoming Chairs for the Nations and Regions met in London on 14 December 2016. We were asked to present our objectives for 2017. One of mine was to establish stronger links with academic institutions within the East of England. The shortage of experienced planners is particularly acute in the East of England. We need to encourage more young people to consider the profession as a career.
The RTPI’s Future Planners initiative aims to inspire and support the next generation of town planners. As part of that project, RTPI members can volunteer to attend careers events, give talks to students, run school activities, anything that gets young people talking about planning and promoting planning as a career. If you would like more information, please see the weblink above to register as a volunteer Ambassador. By registering, you will receive regular e-bulletins and news on the Future Planners project. Not sure? Contact the Regional office for more information.
Given the constraints upon training budgets, we also need to deliver CPD events which meet your needs in the most efficient way possible. We will be discussing the results of the recent Regional Member Survey at a forthcoming Meeting of the Regional Activities Committee and we will endeavour to tailor our CPD programme based upon this survey.
I look forward to seeing you at conferences and seminars over the coming months.
The Regional Management Board met on 5 January 2017. We expressed our gratitude to Michael Hand for all of his hard work as Chair over the last year and to Jackie Ward who has served as Honorary Secretary for four years and is now stepping down.
Should you wish to contact me this year, the contact e-mail address is email@example.com .
Wendy Hague, RegionalChair, RTPI East of England 2017