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Planning & Built Environment News Round-Up - 8th May 2018

This news round-up highlights recent news and commentary relating to planning and the built environment.


This week’s round-up includes details of the recently submitted South Downs National Park Local Plan, the role of RTPI regions, a report on tidal power and are starter homes making a political comeback?



South Downs’ plan is a first for National Park (The Argus)

‘The first Local Plan to cover an entire National Park has been submitted to the Government.

The document for the South Downs incorporates more than 50 neighbourhood plans created by communities within and around the park.

It will set policy to determine the outcome of planning applications for years to come.

Margaret Paren, chairwoman of the South Downs National Park Authority, said: “The South Downs Local Plan puts our nationally important landscapes first and will ensure they sit at the heart of every planning decision we make.”

The plan has been submitted alongside all the evidence used in its preparation, and the more than 2,500 comments which were received in the pre-submission consultation in 2017.

 It was developed alongside communities and includes about 50 Neighbourhood Plans developed by South Downs towns and villages and provides development management policies and allocate land for development.

When adopted, its 96 policies will replace more than a thousand different policies from 12 local authorities currently in place.

Its authors hope it will provide a clear framework for planning in the National Park.’



Government calls for innovation in new homes (UK Construction Online)

 “Ministers have called on the construction industry to embrace the latest innovations in building techniques, in order to make sure the country will benefit from the good quality homes it needs. 

It is a directive of this Government to fix the broken housing market and address the housing crisis by ensuring 300,000 new homes are built in England by the mid-2020s. These homes need to be of good quality and design, and embrace the latest innovations to ensure the homes are valuable into the future.

The housing white paper published in February 2017 set out the government’s ambition to give communities a stronger voice in the design of new housing, and to drive up the quality and character of new development, building on the success of neighbourhood planning. It is crucial to ensure local support for the new communities, and recent research says that seven out of ten people would support new residential development if buildings are well-designed and in keeping with their local area.

To this end, the Government has hosted an industry summit to promote government and industry collaboration and innovation. Industry leaders, including local authority planners, developers and design professionals, attending the Design Quality Conference shared their expertise to ensure how homes look becomes just as important as the number delivered.”


Nations and regions focus: The role of RTPI regions (The Planner - Requires Log-In)

 “What part do regional RTPI groups play in the work of the institute? We take a look …

 Since March 2017, our monthly Nations & Regions focus feature has shone a spotlight on what’s happening across the RTPI’s five nations and nine English regions. We’ve looked at the main planning themes in each region, rounded up the key projects and offered detailed insight into specific topics and schemes.”


A Blast from the Past or History Repeating: Are Starter Homes making a political comeback? (Irwin Mitchell)

“Three years ago, Starter Homes were the Government's 'big idea' for tackling the affordability issue at the lower end of the Housing Market. 

The intention was to introduce a new 'tenure' or 'type' of affordable housing for sale, which would be developed by private developers and then sold to first time buyers at a discount of at least 20%. The concept was a Conservative Manifesto promise in 2015. Possible introductory legislation made it on the statute book in 2016, as part of the Housing and Planning Act, but these provisions have not as yet been bought into effect. 

In February 2017, a new housing white paper 'Fixing our broken housing market' was released;  which seemed to shift the focus of housing policy away from Starter Homes and towards making more affordable housing available across a wide range of tenures. 

Since then, things have gone eerily quiet on the Starter Homes front.... until now.”


Availability of affordable homes heads councillors’ agenda (The Planner - Requires Log-In) 

“Providing affordable homes for constituents is the top priority for councillors, according to Newgate Communications’ Planning Committee Barometer.

The barometer’s results are compiled from a poll of 5,500 members of planning committees across England, to which 670 councillors responded. It comes as people go to the polls tomorrow to vote for councillors in the local elections.

For councillors, the top priority is providing homes that are affordable for future generations. The green belt was cited as a priority by 18 per cent of respondents.”


Tidal power to reduce emissions and boost UK economy by £1.4bn by 2030, report finds (edie.net)

 ‘The UK's tidal stream could deliver £1.4bn to the UK economy by 2030, with wider marine technologies helping to reduce national carbon emissions by up to four million metric tonnes a decade later. 

Those are the key findings of a new report published by The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, which explores the potential of the UK’s emerging tidal stream sector alongside the less-developed wave energy sector.

 “The findings of our research are encouraging, with the potential for significant economic benefits to be realised from the UK marine energy resources,” ORE Catapult’s research and innovation director Dr Stephen Wyatt said.

“We will now continue our work with the tidal stream and wave energy industries, as well as relevant government departments, to discuss these findings and establish the best way forward for future support that will enable the UK to capture such advantage, in terms of growing our economy, creating jobs and exporting goods and services all over the world.”


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