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Adams Hendry Planning & Built Environment News Round-Up - 29th August 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 commitment from the Mayor of London to ensure new buildings in the capital are ‘net zero carbon’ by 2030, a new report on regional infrastructure by the Confederation of British Industry, and the mock medieval castle deemed ‘obtrusive’ by a planning inspector.


New buildings in the capital to be carbon zero by 2030 (The Planner – Requires Log-In)

“Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is one of 19 mayors from countries across the world to have committed to ensuring new buildings in their cities are net zero carbon by 2030.

This forms part of the mayors’ plans to cut greenhouse gases significantly.

 The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Declaration also commits the leaders (see table), who represent 130 million urban citizens, to ensuring all buildings in cities, whether new or old, meet net-zero carbon standards by 2050.

 A statement from the leaders explains that net-zero buildings use energy “ultra-efficiently” and meet any remaining energy needs from renewable sources.

“Such bold commitments, made ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, are essential steps in delivering on the highest goals of the Paris Agreement and keeping global temperature rise below 1.5°C.”

Buildings in urban areas are one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

In London, Los Angeles and Paris, buildings account for well over 70 per cent of the cities’ overall emissions, the statement continues.

Khan said: ““My strategy to improve London’s environment includes some of the world’s most ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions from our homes and workplaces. This includes expanding my existing standard of zero carbon new homes to apply to all new buildings in 2019. We want to make London a zero carbon city by 2050 and we’re working hard to ensure its buildings are energy efficient and supplied with clean energy sources. I look forward to collaborating with other cities on our shared vision of achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

The declaration can be read here (pdf).

Unlock potential of local infrastructure or face two-speed England (Confederation of British Industry (CBI))

“The Government must build a coherent approach to improve infrastructure across the country and avoid the risk of regions being left behind whilst others pull ahead in a two-speed England, according to a new report.

With record levels of public investment in the transport system, and a commitment to developing major projects – such as HS2, Crossrail and the new runway at Heathrow – the Government has shown a strong will to improve infrastructure across the country. Transport has also become a key feature of the devolution agenda, and Sub-national transport bodies (STBs, such as Transport for the North) have been established to enable areas to speak with one voice on their priorities.

But Driving Delivery: Turning plans into action on regional infrastructure – the result of discussions with a wide range of businesses and transport organisations across England – identifies concerns that the complexity of infrastructure decision-making and a lack of transparency around how investment decisions are made are putting the promise of greater connectivity at risk. To remedy this, the UK’s largest business group is calling for:

  •  A commitment in the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review to increase local transport funding and to consolidate the number of funding pots for local transport investment
  •  Greater emphasis on future economic potential in the Government’s infrastructure decision making to deliver investment across regions
  •  STBs for the South West and East of England, so all parts of the country are represented, alongside clearer expectations of their role
  •  A framework from the Government enabling regions and local leaders to make the most of the opportunities of devolution
  •  A cross-Whitehall Infrastructure Committee, to better coordinate infrastructure planning, decision-making and delivery across government departments.”

It's the Summer of Para 64 - the Revised NPPF, Affordable Housing & CIL ... or... why shared ownership is your new best friend (at least for the moment) (Irwin Mitchell)

“Nothing is ever simple when it comes to the interplay between national planning policy, local planning policies and the actual law.

The cynical might even claim that bright ideas at central government level tend to lead to unintended consequences when it comes to their implementation.*

This has been brought home to me recently by the sheer number of entirely unrelated conversations that I have been having about the meaning of Paragraph 64 of the Revised NPPF and how this might impact schemes currently going through the planning process…”


Judge rules against council in noise dispute (Local Government Lawyer)

“Herefordshire Council committed a legal error by failing to consider new evidence about the noise made by a cheese factory adjacent to a proposed housing development, the High Court has ruled.

Ornua Ingredients challenged in the High Court a decision by officers under delegated authority to approve reserved matters for a 321-homes development at Ledbury.

HHJ David Cooke said the council failed to take into account representations made by the Ornua in December 2017 including a report by acoustic engineers which it said cast doubt on a previous conclusion that it would in principle be possible to provide acceptable noise mitigation for the homes.

The judge said it was not disputed that the council received the representations and that no consideration was given to them.

He noted Herefordshire argued that no error arose because the outline permission was subject to a condition that the council must first approve "a scheme of noise mitigation”.

“[Ornua’s] commercial concern of course is that it should not be at risk in future of claims for noise nuisance by occupiers of the houses that might cause it to have to curtail its operations or pay for noise mitigation measures of its own.,” the judge said.

He concluded in his judgment that further information coming to light about noise from the factory and casting significant doubt on the validity of earlier advice, “amounted to a material consideration”.

“It would…have been bound to tip the balance of consideration to some extent…it is not realistic to say this would not have been considered relevant.”

He said the error of law was “either as a failure by the planning authority to consider, either at the level of members or officers, a material factor…or as a failure by officers properly to exercise the delegated power they had been given by evaluating and coming to a conclusion on that information.

“In either case, the result is the same and the decision taken must be quashed and remitted to the authority for redetermination.””

Mock medieval castle deemed ‘obtrusive’ by inspector (The Planner – Requires Log-In)

“Described by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) as a “mock medieval castle”, the building in question is located at the Forbidden Corner, Tupgill, in Richmondshire.

Initially created as a private folly garden within the garden area to the west of Tupgill House at Tupgill Park, it remains a private residence but courtyard buildings are used commercially in association with the folly garden as a tourist destination.

Inspector Anthony J Wharton noted that the building has three recognisable elements - the gatehouse tower, the spiral staircase and the rectangular tower.

The enforcement notice was issued because the YDNPA was concerned about the effect the building has on the landscape, and that it “differs significantly” from other historic structures in the area. Further, the building extends too high (between six and nine metres) above the adjoining structure known as ‘the Long Walk” (a paved level walking surface across the full width of the garden).

The appellant was asked to reduce the height of the building so that it is no more than three metres above the Long Walk. The appeal proceeded on the grounds that planning permission should be granted for the building in question (a); the steps required to comply with the enforcement notice are excessive (f); and that the time given to comply with the notice is too short (three months) (g).

Wharton said the appeal building cannot be considered part of the cultural heritage of the park, and “it is certainly not a heritage building”. He doesn’t consider it to affect the cultural heritage significance of the distant historic buildings, but said that the Long Walk itself appears as a major noticeable built form and the appeal building is "clearly" a structure that is noticeable and, “in my view, obtrusive, when seen in the context of the pastureland to the west of the house”.

The inspector added that the plastic ivy does to some extent soften the appearance of the building but does nothing to reduce its appearance in terms of scale, bulk and height.

Wharton said he took into consideration relevant policies in the NPPF and the adopted Yorkshire Dales Local Plan - 2015-2030, and the Sandford Principle when making his decision. In conclusion, the enforcement appeal failed on grounds (a) and (f). Wharton however said that the three-month compliance period was too short, and extended it to nine months.”

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 and Associates to join our team. Please see our website for more details: http://www.adamshendry.co.uk/join-us/

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