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Adams Hendry Planning & Built Environment News Round-Up - 8th August 2018

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

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This week’s round up includes the Housing Secretary’s letter to the Mayor of London regarding the new London Plan, a new planning case law resource, and the stories behind some of England’s ‘secret and unknown’ listed memorials.

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Brokenshire tells Khan London Plan will be examined against previous NPPF (The Planner – Requires Log-in)

“Housing secretary James Brokenshire has announced that the draft London Plan will be examined against the previous National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) so that the Mayor of London can ‘continue to progress’ the plan.

The announcement comes in a letter from Brokenshire to Sadiq Khan following the publication of the revised NPPF last week (24 July).

Brokenshire notes that London faces the “most severe housing pressures”, with average house prices now over 12 times median earnings, which is “clearly unacceptable”.

While welcoming the proposed increase of London’s housing target from 42,000 to 65,000 homes a year as a “helpful first step” to meeting the capital’s need, Brokenshire explains that he is "not convinced your assessment of need reflects the full extent of housing need in the London to tackle affordability problems".

Having listened to Khan’s representations as well as others, Brokenshire says that the public interest lies with making sure the mayor is delivering the homes London needs as quickly as possible.

Therefore, Brokenshire writes: “I have decided to amend footnote 69 of the revised National Planning Policy Framework so that the draft London Plan will be examined against the previous National Planning Policy Framework rather than new national policy. This will mean you can continue to progress your plan and start delivering your London Plan targets for which you are responsible”.

The draft London Plan will need to have regard to other new national policies, however, and Brokenshire expects Khan to review the London Plan once it has been published so that it reflects the revised NPPF.”

 

New green belt housing applications push total to a record 460,000 (The Guardian)

“Applications to build an additional 35,000 homes on green belt land were submitted last year, taking the total number proposed for construction on protected land to a record 460,000.

New data from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) released on Monday showed that more than 24,000 homes were constructed in the UK’s green belts in the past nine years. Its State of the Green Belt 2018 report reveals that the number of finished homes constructed on the protected areas almost doubled last year to about 8,000.

The government has pledged to protect green belt land but housing campaigners believe much more controlled land could be released to build badly needed affordable new homes.

Most of the construction to date has been on brownfield sites within the green belt, but the data suggests that the vast majority of homes constructed on greenfield green belt land is in higher price brackets unattainable to most buyers. Only 27% of homes built or approved on greenfield land since 2009 fitted the government’s definition of affordable housing.

The CRPE data, collated from various sources, came just weeks after the government’s revised national planning policy framework, issued last month after a consultation period in the spring. The new framework, released with a slew of other announcements just before the parliamentary recess, contained a number of crucial policy points.”

 

Parliament opines on Geological Disposal NPS (Bircham Dyson Bell)

“Today’s entry reports on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee’s views on the National Policy Statement for the geological disposal of radioactive waste.

The Government has been trying to find somewhere to bury radioactive waste produced by nuclear power stations for a while. Back in 2012 it seemed that a site in Cumbria might be acceptable but in January 2013 Cumbria County Council rejected it. The Government published a White Paper in 2014 setting out a new process that involved bringing communities along at all stages, with financial incentives for them, and ‘UK Government is currently of the view that no one tier of local Government should be able to prevent the participation of other members of that community’ (I wonder why).

As part of this process, geological disposal and test boreholes were to become nationally significant infrastructure projects and brought within the Planning Act 2008. This duly happened in March 2015. An accompanying National Policy Statement was also promised, but this suffered various delays (partly due to two general elections) and was finally published in draft in January this year. It can be found here.

A public consultation was held from then until 19 April, and the requisite parliamentary scrutiny was also undertaken. This week, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, the relevant select committee in the House of Commons has published its report. The report can be found here.”

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The Town Library: Planning Court Case Law Resource (Simonicity)

“If you are a user of this blog, you may be interested in our new resource: The Town Library. It has been a labour of love.

In starting up as a planning law firm, what we really wanted was a case law service providing weekly summaries of, and hypertext links through to, all final judgments of the Planning Court from the previous week, as well as all subsequent appellate judgments and other court rulings of relevance to planning lawyers, together with access to a complete chronological list of all rulings since the Planning Court was established in April 2014. We found that this sort of focused resource is not available, even on a paid subscription basis from commercial providers of legal information services.

But rather than giving up, we embarked on creating our own service, helped by legal engineers Wavelength Law and the invaluable BAILII case law resource (to which we have made a charitable donation).

Our summaries (prepared by my colleagues Susie Herbert and Harriet Ballard) start in March 2018, although the list of cases in the Town Library goes back to 2014.

For the last couple of months we have been testing and using the Town Library internally but now, and until further notice, we are opening this up as a free service to all. The system please just requires your details for subscription to the weekly update (click here).”

 

Planning has ‘matter of life and death’ role in adapting to heatwaves (The Planner – Requires Log-in)

“Local spatial plans and urban development must be at the forefront of adapting to soaring temperatures as “a matter of life and death” in the next 20 years, according to an influential group of MPs.

As the Met Office projects that UK summer temperatures could regularly hit 38.5°C by the 2040s, the Environmental Audit Committee said the government must “stop playing pass the parcel” with local authorities and the NHS and develop a strategy to protect the country’s ageing population.

More than 2,000 deaths were caused by the 2003 heatwave, which is predicted to be the norm within 20 years.

The MPs noted that funding for programmes to support local authority climate change adaptation was withdrawn in 2015/16, leading to the closure of numerous regional climate change partnerships.

Cities can be up to 10°C hotter than surrounding countryside due to the urban heat island effect with hard surfaces absorbing heat during the day and emitting heat at night. However the committee said measures to reduce the urban heat island effect are not included in local plans and the government’s planning framework does not mention it.”

 

Heatwave sparks call to cut modular homes funding (Construction Enquirer)

“The Government should stop funding construction of modular homes because they are “not resilient to heatwaves.”

The call was contained in a report from MPs on the Environment Audit Committee.

It said: “The Committee heard that public money is used to support the construction of modular homes.

“Modular homes are not resilient to heatwaves, and the Committee is calling for the Government to end public funding for them.”

The MPs put forward a raft of recommendations across all sectors warning that “there will be 7,000 heat-related deaths every year in the UK by 2050 if the Government does not take action.””

 

Public Call-out Uncovers England’s Secret and Unknown Memorials (Historic England)

  • “Hundreds of nominations received as public share their knowledge of local monuments, street shrines and community tributes
  • Some of the nominated memorials are today [30th July 2018] listed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
  • Call-out part of Historic England's Immortalised season to explore who is remembered, and how, in our streets, buildings and public spaces
  • Many memorials put forward will be unveiled in a new free exhibition that opens in London on Thursday 30 August
  • Public statues and monuments are under increasing scrutiny and Historic England asks, how will we remember in the future?”

 

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 here for more details: Join Us

 

 

For more news follow us on Twitter @AdamsHendry, and LinkedIn.

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

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Contact

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