Planning Portal News – 3rd September 2015 – redefinition of traveller sites regime

The Government has revised its special planning policy for travellers. From this week it will only apply to those “who lead a genuine travelling lifestyle”.

Ministers insisted this would mean that any application for a permanent site, including caravan sites, by someone who does not travel will be considered in the same way as an application from the so-called settled population.

The policy, drawn up by the Department for Communities and Local Government stated that if a local planning authority cannot demonstrate an up–to-date five-year supply of deliverable sites, this should be a significant material consideration in any subsequent planning decision when considering applications for the grant of temporary planning permission for traveller pitches.

However, there will be exceptions, designed to buttress the protection of green belt land and sites in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Parks, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and land designated as local green space or protected under the EC’s Birds and Habitat directives.

The policy states that inappropriate development is harmful to the green belt and should not be approved, except in very special circumstances.

DCLG claims the new policy made clear the need to ensure fairness in the system, with planning policy reflecting the requirement that caravan sites should be made available for those who travel permanently.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “I’m determined to ensure fairness in the planning system, so everyone abides by the same rules.

“This new policy strengthens the hand of councils to tackle unauthorised development in their area, ensures all communities are treated equally and that the protection of the green belt is enforceable.”

Planning minister Brandon Lewis added: “Unauthorised traveller sites can blight communities, causing misery for their neighbours and creating resentment that planning rules don’t seem to be applied fairly.”

(Ed: the Government Planning Portal can be reached on the  Links Page )

Planning Portal News – 27th August 2015 – Proposals for starter homes on rural exception sites

Relaxed planning rules covering the construction of low cost ‘starter homes’ for local residents could be extended to rural towns and villages in England as part of plans to boost the rural economy which also include moves to make neighbourhood planning more straightforward.

Last week the Treasury and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs unveiled a package of proposals aimed at boosting rural productivity.

A key element would involve amending planning rules to allow so-called ‘starter homes’ to be built on Rural Exception Sites for the first time.

According to the policy paper, the government intends to make it easier for local areas to establish their own neighbourhood plans. They could then use these to allocate land for new homes, including starter homes on rural exception sites. The government also intends to review the existing threshold for the conversion of agricultural buildings into residential buildings.

(The Links Page provides easy access to the Government Planning Portal)

Planning Portal News – 7th February 2013 – New Garden Cities concept

For your convenience we provide a link (on the Links Page) to the Government’s Planning Portal because it is always worth a browse. Sometimes we go further, and recommend selected articles to you.

Of particular interest, the 7th February Planning Portal News includes a heading:

Report finds Infrastructure funding is holding up major residential projects.

The Report referred to has been prepared by property consultants and  analysts, GVA under their own banner ‘National Policy Research Bulletin‘. Within their Bulletin is an article ‘Unlocking Garden Cities‘, which GVA themselves describe as ‘the Government’s Garden Cities and Suburbs Aspiration’:

Planning for large scale housing development lies at the heart of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and features in the Government’s National Housing Strategy published in November 2011. The New Garden Cities concept features as one of the preferred delivery routes to achieving a significant increase in new housing numbers.

So, what is ‘the New Garden Cities’ concept?

You can find the answer to that by reading the article by GVA which can be reached via the Planning Portal for 7th February 2013 . Report finds Infrastructure funding is holding up major residential projects  It is very readable and contains much of educational value for anybody who has an interest in current planning issues and tensions at the national level. These are real issues which in the foreseeable future have the potential to impact most of us living in the South East of England, directly or indirectly.

We believe that WPAG members will find this an interesting read.