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Adams Hendry Planning & Built Environment News Round-Up - 18th October 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 an assessment of the success of the Planning Act 2008 regime, the Law Society’s response to the review of planning appeal inquiries, and the listed places which tell us about the early days of aviation.


Has the Planning Act 2008 worked? (Bircham Dyson Bell)

“Today’s entry assesses whether the Planning Act 2008 regime could be considered to have ‘worked’, after ten years since it was given royal assent.

I was given the privilege of addressing the Joint Planning Law Conference in Oxford this month, prompted by the tenth anniversary of the Planning Act, and I chose for my subject ‘Ten years on: has the Planning Act 2008 worked?’. Here is a short summary of what I said – if you want fuller details you should have gone to the conference, although a paper accompanied my talk and it will be published in due course in the Journal of Planning and Environmental Law, as happens to all the speakers’ papers. There were a number of excellent presentations, one of particular relevance to infrastructure projects being on air quality, by Katie Nield of ClientEarth.

So, has the Planning Act 2008 worked? I’ll tell you at the end. I first considered what attributes of a legal regime should be measured to decide whether it has worked. You may have other suggestions, but mine were: 

·         Stability: has the regime remained reasonably constant over time?

·         Certainty: do promoters know what is likely to get consent before making their applications?

·         Attractiveness: where they have had the option, have developers chosen to use the regime or to avoid it?

·         Timings: have decisions been delivered as efficiently as envisaged?

·         Validity: have projects and decisions survived legal challenge?

·         Participation: do the public get a fair say?

·         Delivery: are projects being built that have used the regime? …”

Law Society backs planning inquiry system but calls for clearer procedures (Local Government Lawyer)

“Planning inquiries are the only appropriate procedure for determining more complex appeals and the appeals process “generally works well”, the Law Society has said in response to a call for evidence. 

In its submission to the Independent Review of Planning Appeal Inquiries, Chancery Lane accepted, however, that the successful conduct of an inquiry might depend upon the skills and experience of the inspector. 

“There is a need for much greater resourcing of the planning inspectorate; for clearer procedures, and more transparency,” it added. 

The Independent Review of Planning Appeal Inquiries was announced by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in March 2018 and Bridget Rosewell OBE was appointed as Chair on 22 June 2018. 

Its purpose is to make recommendations to significantly reduce the time taken to conclude planning inquiries, while maintaining the quality of decisions…”

Brokenshire to cap new leases at £10 (The Planner – Requires Log-in)

“Housing secretary James Brokenshire has launched a consultation on the government’s plans for most new-build homes to be sold as freehold and for the ground rents on new leases to be capped at just £10. 

It is hoped that the plans will bring an end to the “unjustified” selling of new houses as leasehold. 

Leasehold generally applies to flats with shared spaces, but a number of developers, said the government, have been increasingly selling houses on these terms, which adds to the financial burden for people looking to buy a house of their own through surcharges like ground rent. On average leaseholders pay over £300 ground rent each year. 

This can mean that selling a home is more expensive and can take longer than selling a freehold property. 

The consultation also considers what the appropriate and fair exemptions are, such as shared ownership properties and community-led housing, to ensure that consumers’ best interests are at the heart of the property market. 

Brokenshire said: “Unfair ground rents can turn a homeowner’s dream into a nightmare by hitting them in the back pocket, and making their property harder to sell. 

“That’s why I’m taking concrete action to protect homeowners and end those unscrupulous leasehold practices that can cost tenants hundreds of pounds.”


Sadiq Khan announces 100 new drinking fountains for London (The Guardian)

“London could soon be awash with drinking fountains, with 100 new installations in the pipeline across the capital.

This year plans for 20 fountains were unveiled in a joint venture between the mayor of London and partners, with recent figures suggesting those installed so far have already dispensed thousands of litres of water to thirsty members of the public.

Now the mayor, Sadiq Khan, has announced a partnership with Thames Water to build on the success and install a further 100 fountains between spring 2019 and the end of 2020.

Khan said: “For many years, our public water fountains were discarded and neglected whilst single-use plastic waste soared. We’re determined to reverse that trend and help deliver hundreds more free public fountains in the capital for everyone to enjoy.

“There is a real appetite for refilling and I want Londoners to lead the way in topping up on tap water when we’re on the move. This great new fund will significantly boost the number of public fountains in some of the busiest places across London from next spring.”

Shirley Rodrigues, deputy mayor for environment and energy, said: “We have seen how popular [the approach] is. We are getting kids writing in to Sadiq all the time saying: ‘We want to see more drinking water fountains, what are you doing?’”

Thames Water and the mayor are each contributing £2.5m to fund the venture, with the mayor’s share coming from cash earmarked in his budget for efforts to tackle the issue of single-use plastic.”

9 places that tell the story of early flight (Historic England)

“On this day 110 years ago, 16 October 1908, the British Army Aeroplane 1 took off in what was the first formally recognised, sustained, powered, heavier-than-air flight in the United Kingdom.

It was built by American aviation pioneer Samuel Franklin Cody at the Army Balloon Factory in Farnborough and signalled a new age of daredevil experimentation and sky-high ambitions.

In celebration of this anniversary, we take a look at nine listed places that tell us about the early days of aviation…”


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