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Adams Hendry Planning & Built Environment News Round-Up - 14th November 2018

The Adams Hendry News Round-Up highlights recent news and commentary relating to planning and the built environment.


This week’s round-up includes a new habitats and EIA judgment from the CJEU, the launch of a new commission championing beauty in the built environment, and, is it time to make town planning ‘cool’ again?


Yet another habitats (and EIA) judgment from the CJEU: Case C-461/17 Holohan v An Bord Pleanála (Landmark Chambers)

“The CJEU has this week delivered judgment in Case C-461/17 Holohan v. An Bord Pleanála ECLI:EU:C:2018:649 , the third CJEU judgment this year concerning the Habitats Directive (as well as, this time, the 2011 EIA Directive).  Once again the case involved reference from the Irish High Court. The applicants challenged a decision of the An Bord Pleanála in July 2014 to grant consent for the proposed Kilkenny Northern Ring Road Extension which would, if constructed, cross the River Nore Special Protection Area and River Barrow and River Nore Site of Community Importance.

Amongst other things, the CJEU held:

  •  An appropriate assessment (AA) must catalogue the entirety of habitat types and species for which a site is protected.
  •  The AA must also identify and examine the implications of the proposed project for the species present on that site and for which that site has not been listed – as well as the implications for habitat types and species outside the boundaries of that site, insofar as those implications are liable to affect the conservation objectives of the site.
  •  Where the competent authority rejects the findings in a scientific expert opinion recommending that additional information be obtained, the ‘appropriate assessment’ must include an explicit and detailed statement of reasons capable of dispelling all reasonable scientific doubt concerning the effects of the work envisaged on the site concerned.
  •  Under Article 5(1)&(3) of the 2011 EIA Directive, the developer was obliged to supply information that expressly addressed the significant effects of the proposed project on all species identified in the environmental statement.
  •  Under Article 5 of the 2011 EIA Directive, the developer was required to supply information in relation to the environmental impact both of the proposed project and of all the main alternatives studied by the developer (including any such alternative that had been rejected at an early stage), together with the reasons for his choice taking into account of the environmental effects.

In relation to future projects, the final of these findings must be considered in the context of the new wording introduced by the 2014 EIA Directive relating to alternatives, which now requires developers to include a “description of the reasonable alternatives studied by the developer”.”


New commission will champion beautiful buildings (UK Construction Online)

“Communities Secretary, James Brokenshire MP, has launched a new commission designed to champion beauty in the built environment.

The commission has been brought together as an integral part of the drive to build the homes communities need, by developing a vision, plus practical measures, to help ensure new developments meet the needs and expectations of communities, making them more likely to be welcomed rather than resisted.

This move follows the government recently rewriting the planning rulebook to strengthen expectations for design quality and community engagement when planning for development. The new rules also ensure more consideration can be given to the character of the local area.

The ‘Building Better, Building Beautiful’ Commission will take that work further by expanding on the ways in which the planning system can encourage and incentivise a greater emphasis on design, style and community consent. It will raise the level of debate regarding the importance of beauty in the built environment.

The commission has three main aims:

  •  To promote better design and style of homes, villages, towns and high streets, to reflect what communities want, building on the knowledge and tradition of what they know works for their area.
  •  To explore how new settlements can be developed with greater community consent.
  •  To make the planning system work in support of better design and style, not against it.”

Adams Hendry are recruiting

Due to an expanding workload of high profile infrastructure and development projects, we are looking for experienced and enthusiastic Principal Planners, Senior Planners and Planners to join our team. Please see our website for more details: http://www.adamshendry.co.uk/join-us/

To see how Adams Hendry can help you navigate the planning system, see our website: http://www.adamshendry.co.uk or contact us by phone on 01962 877414, or by email at info@adamshendry.co.uk.


Eastleigh Borough Council submits its Local Plan (Eastleigh Borough Council)

“The Eastleigh Borough Local Plan 2016 – 2036 has been submitted to the Secretary of State for formal Examination on Wednesday 31 October 2018. It was submitted along with all the supporting evidence and representations that we received in response to our consultation on the Local Plan from the end of June to early August this year.

The Inspector conducting the examination will consider the soundness of the Local Plan along with all the representations. We now await the appointment of the inspector and advice of the Planning Inspectorate on the programme for the examination process.

The next stage is for the Inspector to review our plan submission and representations and we would expect the public hearings to begin in spring 2019.

The Local Plan sets out the Council’s policies on how land throughout the borough can be used until 2036 and will provide the basis for future planning decisions.

Council Leader Keith House said, “Taking the Local Plan forward helps ensure we get the right homes in the right places, deliver the infrastructure of roads, schools and facilities our communities need and protects vital green countryside and woodland gaps between our villages and towns.”

All information about the Local Plan can be found here.”


Planners given free access to satellite images (The Planner – Requires Log-in)

“Planning departments will have free access to the UK Space Agency’s archives of satellite images and radar data for research and development projects.

The move, announced by science minister Sam Gyimah, aims to provide an “unprecedented level of detail” of large UK cities, transport networks, national parks and energy infrastructure. The images offer sub-5m resolution with less than 15 per cent cloud cover.

Satellite data has already been used in pilot projects by Bournemouth Borough Council to identify the best locations for electric vehicle charging points, while the Environment Agency has trialled images as a tool to monitor plastic pollution off the UK’s shoreline to support clean-up operations and protect wildlife.

The data will be available for up to three years to explore what role high-resolution satellite data could have in public sector delivery.

The project feeds into the recently established Geospatial Commission, set up by the government to maximise the value of all UK government data linked to location and to create jobs and growth.

The move also aims to boost  the UK’s space industry, which already employs about 40,000 people, while benefiting the public sector in areas such as planning and development.”


For the sake of our cities, it's time to make town planning cool again (The Guardian)

“British cities are in crisis, but it is of an unusual and distinctly 21st-century form. Thirty years ago, the populations of London, Manchester and Glasgow were all in decline as city leaders struggled with deindustrialisation and inner city no-go areas. Economists wondered what the purpose of a city actually was.

Today, the UK seems to be facing almost the opposite problem. Global powerhouses in finance and business services, the world’s major cities are suffering not from a deficit but an abundance of private capital, speculative development and foreign investment in property.

For all the thrill of visiting or doing business in such cities, the experience of actually living in them has become increasingly bleak. In the maelstrom of global capital, even the middle classes are beginning to feel vulnerable. Conservative politicians mull over taxes on foreign property owners, while broadsheet newspapers fret over how young professionals have become priced out of urban living. And, while much of the attention focuses on London and its extraordinary levels of overseas investment, it is by no means alone as Asian capital floods into property across the United Kingdom.

 Housing associations and charities repeatedly call for more social housing. Local campaign groups focus on the loss of green spaces, pubs, independent retailers, cultural venues and studio workspace. Such civic energy and enthusiasm is heartening, but it also begs the question: where are the town planners in all this?”



Suzanne Pidgeon 01962 877414 | s.pidgeon@adamshendry.co.uk