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Planning news - 13 September 2018

Published: Thursday, 13th September 2018

South Gloucestershire launches second judicial review of homes approvals, Proposal submitted to transform former Northallerton Prison, And more stories...

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

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South Gloucestershire Council is seeking its second judicial review within four months of Planning Inspectorate decisions to allow housing development.

The latest proceedings focus on the development of 121 homes at Charfield by Barratt Homes.

In June, South Gloucestershire launched judicial review proceedings against a planning inspector’s decision to allow up 350 homes and a care facility for the elderly to be developed by Welbeck Strategic Land at Thornbury.

The latest legal challenge concerns a ruling by inspector Christina Downes that the council failed to decide the Barratt Homes application within prescribed timescales while noting a shortfall in its five-year supply of housing.

The council said granting planning permission for the Charfield scheme would undermine the West of England Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) process and its impact upon the residents and communities of South Gloucestershire.

“As a council administration, we are determined to take robust action to challenging unsustainable development across the district,” said South Gloucestershire’s leader Toby Savage. “We reiterate that where we have taken difficult decisions to proactively and positively plan for future housing and jobs growth, we should not have decisions from the Planning Inspectorate which undermines this work as it only stores up economic, social and environmental problems for the future.”

“We are clear that enough is enough and we mean it. This unprecedented second legal challenge is evidence of our strong approach and considering each case on its individual merits.”

The West of England JSP, which covers South Gloucestershire alongside local authorities at Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol and North Somerset, was submitted for examination in April.

Cabinet member for planning Colin Hunt added that Charfield and other locations in the area are “under attack from speculative developers who are seeking to circumvent the plan-led system and community engagement in a manner which undermines the recently submitted JSP”.

6 September 2018
Huw Morris, The Planner


A planning application has been lodged with Hambleton District Council to redevelop the derelict Northallerton Prison into a retail and leisure complex.

The Central Northallerton Development Company (CNDC), a joint venture between developer Wykeland Group and Hambleton District Council, is seeking planning and listed building consent for the £17 million heritage-led project that could create up to 200 jobs.

The development, known as Treadmills, will look to turn the 1.5-hectare site’s five listed former prison buildings into shops, cafés, restaurants, a cinema, apartments, offices and car parking. The scheme will also feature a civic square and performance space.

CNDC’s planning application says the scheme will “redevelop a vacant local landmark and deliver a mix of uses, to the benefit of the local community and economy”.

Two public consultations in June saw 65 per cent of respondents support the scheme and 15 per cent oppose it.

6 September 2018
Huw Morris, The Planner


A woman who ignored planning rules when extending her house has been ordered to pay £10,000 following a prosecution by London Borough of Hillingdon enforcement officers.

Darshan Kingra had permission to build a single-storey side and rear extension at her home in Windsor Avenue, Uxbridge. However, she effectively built two extensions, one of which did not comply with the plans she had permission for while the other was unauthorised.

Despite several warnings, Kingra failed to rectify the situation and was served with an enforcement notice. She was required to demolish the extension she did not have permission for and to ensure that materials used on the extension for which she had permission matched the existing building. When she failed to obey, the council decided took legal action.

Uxbridge Magistrates' Court found Kingra guilty of breaching the planning enforcement notice and fined her £7,500. She was also ordered to pay £2,000 costs and a £170 victim surcharge.

“We cannot allow people to ignore the planning rules that are there to protect our borough and its residents,” said Hillingdon’s cabinet member for planning, transportation and recycling Keith Burrows. “We gave Kingra plenty of opportunity to bring her building work in line with the law and she failed to take suitable action.”

Kingra was previously prosecuted and fined for breaching a planning enforcement notice requiring her to remove an outbuilding from her garden. The council knocked the building down in 2015. The previous conviction was mentioned in court but not taken into consideration during sentencing.

5 September 2018
Huw Morris, The Planner


Bristol City Council has voted to scrap a major project for an arena that had received planning permission in 2016.

The council will instead pursue a mixed-use development including 460 homes, a conference centre, hotel, shops and 23,000 square metres of offices on the Temple Island site.

The 12,000 capacity arena proposal by Populous, championed by former mayor George Ferguson, would have required public sector investment of £173 million with the council bearing the development risk alongside the contractor.

A study by KPMG said developing the Temple Island site without a music and sports venue and building an out-of-town arena would provide better value for money, creating nearly 1,500 more jobs than those envisaged by the arena. Developer YTL outlined plans for a 16,000-capacity arena in the Filton area of Bristol last year.

Current Bristol mayor Marvin Rees had branded the original proposals championed by Ferguson a “completely undeliverable vanity project”.

5 September 2018
Huw Morris, The Planner


Residents have spurned a neighbourhood plan in Hull amid claims of poor consultation.

A total of 58 per cent of residents voted against adopting the neighbourhood plan for the Thornton area. On a turnout of less than 18 per cent of the electorate, 203 residents voted for the plan while 281 rejected it.

West Hull and Hessle MP Emma Hardy had called for the ballot to be postponed after residents complained they had received polling cards for the neighbourhood plan but no further information on what they were voting on.

The plan had been passed at an examination in March.

7 September 2018
Huw Morris, The Planner


A round-up of planning news

Webinar: Establishing Effective Engagement – Consultation in 2018

The Planner – in association with the developers of the community engagement platform Commonplace – is set to debate the best ways in which planners can manage truly effective consultation processes in a free webinar.

The discussion will take place during an hour-long live webinar, to be broadcast on Wednesday 26 September, at 12:00 midday.

Read more about the webinar and how to register here on The Planner website.

First planning technical support apprentices graduate

The first town planning technical support apprentices in the country have completed their course at Chichester College.

The entry-level apprenticeship programme was introduced at the college in 2015. Five apprentices started on the course, which was developed by the RTPI and the Construction Industry Council.

Jamie Alley, Nicholas Whittington, Greg Anderson, Alex Carruthers and Andrew Pommells were the first five to sign up and completed their course in 2017, followed by 20 more completing their studies this year.

There are now 60 apprentices that have either completed or are currently studying the apprenticeship around the country – Bridgwater and Taunton College, Chichester College, Oaklands College and Moulton College.

The scheme is aimed at people working in a technical or administrative support role in the field of planning and can lead to membership of the RTPI.

Three neighbourhood plans approved in Lichfield

Residents in Alrewas, Armitage and Handsacre, and Longdon have voted in favour of their area’s respective neighbourhood plans.

In total, 94.5 per cent supported the Alrewas plan, 90.7 per cent voted to approve the Armitage and Handsacre plan and 66 per cent supported the Longdon plan.

The neighbourhood plan referendums were held to determine local support, and whether the plans should form part of Lichfield District Council’s process for assessing future planning applications across the neighbourhood areas.

The plans will now go before a full council meeting.

Information on all Lichfield’s neighbourhood plans can be found on the council website.

Government urged to stop unwanted phone boxes

Camden Council has written to the government stating that planning policy that makes it “difficult” for councils to challenge permitted development rights for new phone boxes needs to be changed.

In the letter sent to housing minister Kit Malthouse, Danny Beales, Camden’s cabinet member for investing in communities explains that planning law is being exploited by telecoms companies to create advertising space in the shape of phone boxes.

As a result, Camden has received planning applications for 170 new phone boxes in the past two years – 30 of which have been approved as the council can only reject them on limited grounds, while some were approved on appeal.

Beales said: “In the modern age phone boxes have become somewhat redundant. We certainly don’t need the amount of them that we are receiving applications for.

"Camden’s residents don’t want this unwelcome street clutter, nor the antisocial behaviour issues that are often linked to unused telephone boxes. Our local planning system is also under significant pressure and could do without this level of demand for infrastructure that the borough doesn’t require.”

Consultation launched on Scotland’s historic environment policy

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has launched a consultation on its draft Historic Environment Policy, a document comprised for decision-makers in the planning process as well as others that manage heritage assets.

The document will replace the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement in 2019.

Based on the campaign and stakeholder feedback so far, the new policy aims to:

  • Consolidate HES’s role as the lead public body for the historic environment.
  • Focus on the whole of Scotland’s historic environment, not just the properties HES is responsible for or designates.
  • Demonstrate that everyone has a stake in the historic environment and how it is looked after.
  • Provide leadership and best practice direction for heritage management issues.
  • Show that HES has responded to public and stakeholder views.
  • Align with the ‘Our Place in Time’ strategy, the first Historic Environment Strategy for Scotland.

The consultation closes on Monday 3 December. It can be found here on the HES website.

Three developments approved in Macclesfield

Cheshire East Council as approved three housing applications in Henley, Macclesfield, which total almost 400 homes.

All of the sites are allocated for development in the area’s local plan.

Consultancy GVA HOW Planning acted for Jones Homes, Redrow, and brewery company, Frederic Robinson’s.

Frederic Robinson’s owns one of the sites, and is supported by Bellway Homes as a potential future developer.

Collectively, up to 398 houses will be delivered across the three sites, with 30 per cent designated as affordable. 

Student accommodation approved in Surrey

Epsom and Ewell Borough Council has approved an application for a 99-bed student development in Epsom.

Property consultancy Carter Jonas secured the permission on behalf of private residential developer Willco Properties Ltd.

Willco Properties Ltd has an ongoing relationship with the University of the Creative Arts to provide student accommodation across Epsom.

Known as Bradford House, the six-storey building will also comprise 2,384 square feet of grade A office space and basement parking.

Designed by architects Geoffrey Sloan Associates, it will replace the vacant office building located on East Street.

New shipyard proposed for the Thames

A new shipyard is being proposed for the River Thames in London as part of a regeneration plan to counter the loss of creative and productive land use in London.

Owned by the Mayor of London, Albert Island is a 25-acre site in the Royal Docks – the capital’s only enterprise zone, and is part of the wider docks regeneration.

The site is being developed by London and Regional, with LDA Design set to work as landscape architects on the masterplan with lead Haworth Tompkins.

Plans for the £300 million development include a state-of-the-art shipyard with Europe’s biggest ship lift to service and repair Thames riverboats, industrial units, and a makers’ yard.

Full public access to the island will be restored, with plans aiming to attract a mix of businesses, supported by the development of a transport and engineering education hub, and an innovation and research quarter.

11 September 2018
Laura Edgar, The Planner