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Adams Hendry Planning & Built Environment News Round-Up - 5th September 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 amendments to the EIA regulations, the postponement of the opening of Crossrail to autumn 2019, and a review by MHCLG into the application and effectiveness of planning policy for sustainable drainage systems.


Amendments to the EIA Regulations come into force on 1st October 2018 (Legislation.gov.uk)

The Town and Country Planning and Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (SI: 2018/695) come into force on 1st October 2018.

These regulations make amendments to a number of statutory instruments. This includes amendments to the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 (S.I. 2017/571) and the Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulation 2017 (S.I. 2017/572), correcting ‘minor drafting defects’ identified in the regulations.

One of the changes is to the threshold for Schedule 2, 10(a) projects (industrial estate development projects), which has increased from 0.5 hectares to 5 hectares. This corrects an error in the drafting of the 2017 EIA Regulations.


Elizabeth Line services through central London to start in 2019 (Crossrail)

“The Elizabeth line, which will redefine transport in London with quicker, easier and more accessible journeys, will open through central London in autumn 2019, Crossrail Limited announced today [Friday 31stAugust]. The revised schedule is needed to complete the final infrastructure and extensive testing required to ensure the Elizabeth line opens as a safe and reliable railway.

The hugely complex ten-year project, delivered by Crossrail Limited, brings together multiple infrastructure contracts, new trains and three different signalling systems. The Elizabeth line will add 10 per cent to central London’s rail capacity, and the project will boost the economy by an estimated £42bn.

Crossrail Limited has been working hard to maintain the programme and sufficient testing time is required to introduce the next phase of the railway – the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood – in a way that can be guaranteed to be safe and reliable.

The original programme for testing has been compressed by more time being needed by contractors to complete fit-out activity in the central tunnels and the development of railway systems software. Testing has started but further time is required to complete the full range of integrated tests.

The focus remains on opening the full Elizabeth line, from Reading and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, as soon after the central tunnels open as possible.”


DCO corrections and amendments continue to rise (Bircham Dyson Bell)

“Today’s entry examines changes to development consent orders.

Development consent orders (DCOs) can be changed in four ways: 

  • a correction order, which allows very minor changes (albeit more than just typographical corrections) to DCOs, and an application must be made within six weeks of the DCO being granted;
  • a non-material amendment order, which allows more substantial, but still minor, changes to DCOs;
  • a material amendment order, which allows substantial changes that fall short of the changed project being a different one; and
  • a new DCO, where the changes are so substantial that the project is essentially different.

The statistics on changes to the 70 DCOs that have been made so far are interesting (well, to me anyway): 

  • 32 DCOs have had correction orders;
  • 17 DCOs have had one or more non-material amendment orders;
  • 0 DCOs have had material amendment orders; and
  • 0 DCOs have been replaced with new DCOs.

To me this is a telling indication of two things: the lack of flexibility of DCOs and the difficulty in changing them to any great degree…


A review of the application and effectiveness of planning policy for sustainable drainage systems (Gov.uk)

“The report examines how national planning policies for sustainable drainage systems are reflected in local plans and the uptake of these systems across a range of housing and commercial developments in England.

The review was undertaken by MHCLG during 2016 and 2017 with the support of Defra and the Environment Agency.


One of the First - if not the First - Decision Letters Applying the Revised NPPF Design Policies Including Paragraph 130 (FTB Chambers)

“An appeal has been dismissed against the London Borough of Sutton’s refusal to vary two conditions attached to a planning permission in one of the first cases to be determined on the revised NPPF’s design guidance.

Redrow Homes had applied to vary two conditions attached to a planning permission granted in 2014. The result of the variation would be to substitute a full set of new plans for the second phase of the development scheme for Redrow Homes’ uniform design.

The application was resisted on two grounds at the appeal, which related to design matters and amenity space.

The Inspector noted that the revised NPPF sees the creation of high quality buildings and places as fundamental to planning, and a key aspect of sustainable development. Schemes should take opportunities for improving the quality of the area, or the way it functions, but where the scheme accords with relevant policy expectations, they should not be refused on design grounds.

The Inspector found that the proposed scheme would fail to take the opportunity to enhance the area and the way it functions, and would therefore diminish the quality of development compared to the previously approved scheme, contrary to NPPF para 130. The scheme was found to cause unacceptable harm to the character and appearance to the local area.

The decision can be found here.”


Northamptonshire councillors vote for plan to split county into unitaries (Local Government Lawyer)

“Stricken Northamptonshire County Council has voted to abolish itself in the first of a series of meetings due this week to settle the authority’s fate.

Councillors backed the proposal to replace the county and its districts with two new unitary councils. These would be North Northamptonshire, covering Corby, East Northamptonshire, Kettering and Wellingborough, and West Northamptonshire comprising Daventry, Northampton and South Northamptonshire.

Each district has a meeting due this week to vote on the proposal, which will then go to communities secretary James Brokenshire.”


Adams Hendry are recruiting

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



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