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Planning News - 19 July 2018

Published: Thursday, 19th July 2018

NPPF to be published before ‘summer recess’, says housing secretary, HM Land Registry launches digital register, New office tower approved in London and more stories...

This weeks planning news in association with The Planner, the official magazine of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

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Housing secretary James Brokenshire has said he hopes a revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) will be ready ‘before the summer recess’, which starts on the 24 July.

He was giving evidence to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee (HCLG) when the comments were made.

Labour MP Helen Hayes questioned Brokenshire on whether the government was planning to reassess its definition of affordability. He pointed out that the government’s social rent policies were important, while also saying there is a need to give local authorities flexible borrowing powers.

Hayes, though, said the government’s current definition meant some houses classified as affordable were not affordable in practice. The government’s funding commitments would alleviate supply and therefore improve affordability, vowed the housing secretary.

On the standardised methodology for assessing housing need, Hayes said it “only serves to further fuel housing market overheating”.

Brokenshire countered that it is just the “starting point for councils to use as part of their need and supply policies”.

He added that he would come forward with the finalised NPPF proposals “very, very shortly”.

11 July 2018
Laura Edgar, The Planner

HM Land Registry has introduced its new digital Local Land Charges (LLC) Register.

The creation of a digital LLC Register follows the launch of the first digital mortgage in April. Both mark milestones in using digital technology and data innovatively to provide quicker and simpler services for customers.

Warwick District Council will be the first to use the service. Residents in Warwick requiring local land charge searches in the local authority area will need to get them from HM Land Registry rather than going to the council.

Warwick District Council’s chief executive Chris Elliott said: “We welcome any measures which will speed up the process of buying a home.”

He added: “Opening up our data to HM Land Registry will be a huge benefit not only to those wishing to purchase a home or land in our district, but also to our busy planning team.”

HM Land Registry is working with up to 26 local authorities in England this year to migrate their LLC data to a central digital register in a phased approach.

To access the LLC Register visit GOV.UK, and search for local land charges.

HM Land Registry will keep customers informed when each local authority’s LLC records are migrated to the digital register.

11 July 2018
Prithvi Pandya, The Planner

The City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee has granted planning permission for a skyscraper – Cheesegrater 2 – at 100 Leadenhall.

Lai Sun Development Company will construct the building, which will comprise 56 storeys and reach 264.4 metres, making it the third-tallest building in the Square Mile.

The project will see the existing developments at 100, 106 and 107 Leadenhall Street demolished.

Dubbed Cheesegrater 2, the building will provide over 102,000 square metres of office accommodation, basement showers, cycle parking, ground-floor retail space, two podium terraces and a free public viewing gallery.

Outside of public viewing gallery hours, the levels will be used as a restaurant and bar. The tower will be one of seven such buildings due for completion by 2026 that will have a free public gallery.

It has been estimated that 6,300 workers will use the office once completed.

A new route through the site will create a link between Leadenhall Street and Bury Street, and it will be accessible 24 hours a day. Another route connecting Leadenhall Street to St Mary Axe will lead to a new garden space at the rear of grade I Church of St Andrew Undershaft.

Chris Hayward, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee, said: “As a leading business district accommodating 483,000 workers every day, it is vital to continue to deliver office space for the significant growth expected with the arrival of the Elizabeth line later this year.

“Leading to a church dating back to the 12th century, this development demonstrates the city’s distinctive ability to house the old and new side by side, while becoming more accessible to creative workers and members of the public.”

11 July 2018
Laura Edgar, The Planner

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) will ensure that local planning policies can incorporate facilities for charging electric vehicles, according to the government’s Road to Zero Strategy.

This forms part of the government’s plans on how to support the development of “one of the best electric vehicle infrastructure networks in the world”.

The strategy says that the government will increase the supply and sustainability of low carbon fuels in the UK through a “legally-binding 15-year strategy to more than double their use, reaching 7 per cent of road transport fuel by 2032”.

The document commits the government to consulting, this summer, on a proposal “to increase the height limit for the Permitted Development Right in England for the installation of electric vehicle chargepoints in designated off-street parking spaces”.

Another consultation will take place on amending building regulations to require relevant charging provision in new non-residential buildings.

Road to Zero Strategy states that the government aims to ensure that homes built “in the coming years are electric vehicle ready”.

“It is our intention that all new homes, where appropriate, should have a chargepoint available. We plan to consult as soon as possible on introducing a requirement for chargepoint infrastructure for new dwellings in England where appropriate.”

The government wants all new street lighting columns to include charging points in areas with current on-street parking provision and it will invest £4.5 million in the ‘On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme’ until 2020.

Road to Zero Strategy can be found on Department for Transport website.

9 July 2018
Laura Edgar, The Planner

The initial phase of the regeneration of the Brains Brewery site in the heart of the capital has been approved by the city council.

Ultimately this six-hectare strategic city centre brownfield location is intended to be home to what is known as the Central Quay project, a key element of Cardiff's Central Enterprise Zone and Regional Transport Hub plans.

Well over 110,000 square metres of offices, 600 flats, a 200-bed hotel, a new campus for Cardiff Metropolitan University and the infrastructure for the delivery of a new metro system are involved in this scheme.

The first phase, on a 2.2-hectare site, comprises an 11-storey fan-shaped office building known as The Ledger. It will provide 25,735 square metres of floorspace, a multistorey car park with 695 vehicle spaces and a new tree-lined public square. Other plans for The Ledger include a market, cafe and a gym.

A report to the council’s planning committee said the proposals “deliver a significant quantum of office space that unlocks the future development of the area by accommodating the future growth of Central Station and the redevelopment of the wider area”.

13 July 2018
Roger Milne, The Planner

A landowner has been found guilty of breaching a planning enforcement notice for two buildings he did not take down and which were built without planning permission on his farm in Arlingham.

Cheltenham Magistrates Court heard that a concrete office building and a large metal barn were built on what had been green field land with permission from Stroud District Council.

A repair business for large lorries was being run from the site, while a paint spraying enterprise was being operated from inside a building on the site too.

In court on 2 July, David Turner, owner of Lower Milton End Farm, Arlingham, denied that he had breached the enforcement notice.

Magistrates heard through residents’ concerns expressed in 2014 about large lorries that were negotiating the narrow lanes leading up to the farm. This led to an investigation by the district council.

The farm has permission for mixed agricultural use and bus storage, but not for the repair and paint spraying business, the office or metal barn.

Although discussions took place between the district council and Turner, the unlawful business continued and the buildings remained in place. In 2016, the council issued a planning enforcement notice, which required Turner to take down the buildings and cease the lorry repairs and paint spraying operations.

The court found Turner guilty of breaching the enforcement notice. He was fined £1,760, and ordered to pay costs of £4,220.90 and a victim surcharge of £170.

Ian Mallinson, senior planning enforcement officer at Stroud District Council, said: ““The council will always try to work with landowners to ensure planning law is complied with.

“Enforcement action such as that taken in this case is a means of last resort but we will robustly pursue those who flout planning legislation as necessary.”

9 July 2018
Laura Edgar, The Planner