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Planning News - 8 November 2018

Published: Thursday, 8th November 2018

Government launches shale gas consultation, New commission to guarantee new-builds are beautiful, Northampton urban extension green-lit, 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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The government has launched a consultation that asks whether local communities must be consulted on shale gas proposals in England before submitting a planning application.

The consultation seeks views on whether or not developers need to publish any information that is needed.

The developers must engage with local communities and stakeholders, and listen to residents’ opinions, which would then be addressed before final proposals are submitted to local authorities.

The government believes this consultation will speed up the decision making process, which could lead to fewer delays when it comes to planning applications.

The deadline for this consultation is Monday 7 January 2019. It can be found here on the government website.

31 October 2018
Prithvi Pandya


Housing secretary James Brokenshire has launched a commission to promote better design and style of homes.

It will develop practical measures to make sure that new developments meet the needs and expectations of communities so that they are more likely to be welcomed than resisted.

The revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) includes measures to strengthen design quality and community engagement, with the character of the area to be given more consideration.

The government said the ‘Building Better, Building Beautiful’ Commission will take these measures further. It will expand on the ways the planning system can encourage and incentivise a greater emphasis on design, style and community consent.

The commission has three aims:

  • To promote better design and style of homes, villages, towns and high streets, to reflect what communities want, building on the knowledge and tradition of what they know works for their area.
  • To explore how new settlements can be developed with greater community consent.
  • To make the planning system work in support of better design and style, not against it.

Although conceding that new homes are needed, Brokenshire said many people feel that new homes in their area aren’t “up to scratch”.

“Part of making the housing market work for everyone is helping to ensure that what we build is built to last. That it respects the integrity of our existing towns, villages and cities.

“This will become increasingly important as we look to create a number of new settlements across the country and invest in the infrastructure and technology they will need to be thriving and successful places.

“This commission will kick-start a debate about the importance of design and style, helping develop practical ways of ensuring new developments gain the consent of communities, helping grow a sense of place, not undermine it.”

Sir Roger Scruton will chair the commission.

Victoria Hills, chief executive at the RTPI, told The Planner: “The Royal Town Planning Institute looks forward to contributing to the discussions raised by the Building Better Commission when we meet with the Minister for Housing and Planning next week.”

Martin Bellinger, executive chairman at Guildmore, said appointing Scruton is a step forward in ensuring great design is delivered.

“As developers, we hope that the commission … will bring back considerations of good design and aesthetics into conversations about development, buildings, urban landscape and architecture. For too long we have focused on the number of homes we build, while losing sight of what value they create for people in local communities and how they reflect the heritage and history of the surrounding places.”

5 November 2018
Laura Edgar, The Planner


Outline plans for up to 3,000 new homes and two primary schools have been approved by Northampton Borough Council.

Phasing plan of the urban extension at Dallington Grange, Mill Lane, Kingsthorpe.

The “sustainable urban extension” is for land at Dallington Grange, Mill Lane, Kingsthorpe.

A local centre comprising a food store, six shop units, a restaurant or café, a pub and a hot food takeaway were also approved. Grange Farm will be redeveloped to provide a café, restaurant, pub or hotel. Employment land will be provided too.

Persimmon Homes and David Wilson Homes will deliver the development. Pegasus Group secured the permission.

Paul Burrell, executive director based at Pegasus Group’s Cirencester office, said: “This is a large and important urban extension that will take a number of years to deliver.

“The benefits of the scheme are many and we worked hard to present those benefits as fully and openly as possible to not only the council but also local residents.”

Section 106 contributions are expected to finance a multi-use community building, public transport, healthcare, local highway improvements, and the management of open spaces. Community Infrastructure Levy cash will help finance the Northampton North-West Relief Road, a secondary school and off-site sports provision.

1 November 2018
Laura Edgar, The Planner


Potential changes to the government's standard methodology for calculating housing need mean two Staffordshire councils have delayed consultation on their draft joint local plan.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council said they need more time to consider the implications of the new standard methodology for assessing housing need, which was introduced in the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in July.

Last week, the government said local planning departments should use household projections from 2014 when assessing housing need, rather than 2016 figures. The government is consulting on proposals until 7 December.

The councils said: “In order to assure the Joint Local Plan is sound and robust, further work now needs to be undertaken. It is vital that we consider the housing need and supply issues in light of the policy changes before confirming proposed sites in the city and borough.

“Other areas – such as the Greater Manchester Combined Authority – have taken the same decision over their local plan process.”

Stoke and Newcastle confirmed they are committed to continuing to work together on the joint plans. Work will continue on all other aspects of the plan, with the government aware of the timetable. The housing need figure will be decided after the government’s consultation

Braintree District Council and Fareham Borough Council have also expressed concerns.

1 November 2018
Laura Edgar, The Planner


Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry has confirmed a £600 million devolution deal for the North of Tyne. It is expected to generate £1.1 billion for the local economy.

Berry said the deal is proof “we’re witnessing a new golden era for the North East”.

The deal aims to boost the region’s economy, provide 10,000 new jobs and drive over £2.1 billion in private sector investment. A North of Tyne Combined Authority will be established, and an election is planned for May 2019 to vote in a mayor.

The £600 million will be transferred to the combined authority over a 30-year period. An inclusive growth board will be set up to work on reforming skills and employment across the area, including establishing a North of Tyne Education Improvement Challenge to drive excellence in schools.

The combined authority will cover Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.

Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “We still have much to do in bringing further powers and decision-making back to people here, but this devolution deal marks a big step forward in our plans to create more and better jobs across Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.”

Peter Jackson, leader of Northumberland County Council, added: “We’re working on a number of exciting and transformative schemes which will benefit millions of people in the region now, as well as future generations, and we are all excited by the opportunities that lie ahead.”

5 November 2018
The Planner


A round-up of planning news:

Hotel approved in Finsbury Park

Islington Council has approved a new hotel that will be manufactured offsite.

It will be located at 240 Seven Sisters Road, which is near the Emirates Stadium.

Designed by tp bennett, the hotel will be constructed in a factory in Bedford. Work will begin on site to create foundations and a concrete core.

Developer Tide Construction said the hotel would be highly energy efficient owing to the design of its modular technology, as well as tp bennett’s use of building information management software during the design process.

Plans include the creation of new public realm and a ground-floor restaurant; the rooms will comprise a mix of two to four beds.

Freehold site in East Yorkshire brought to market

Property consultancy Carter Jonas has brought a site with planning permission to market in Flamborough, East Yorkshire, on behalf of the private landowner.

The 5.34-acre site has permission for 55 dwellings, and is located on the north western outskirts of the coastal village. It is 15 miles south of Scarborough. 

The site is offered as a whole and offers should be made in writing to Carter Jonas’s Leeds office by Thursday 15 November 2018.

Affordable housing green-lit in Watford

Watford Borough Council has granted planning permission for 79 affordable homes on Sydney Road, West Watford.

Brought forward by Sydney Road Developments, the scheme involves the redevelopment of brownfield land. It comprises 21 social homes, 90 per cent of which will be three and four-bedroom homes; 39 shared ownership homes; and 19 homes for affordable rent.

Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said the scheme aims to help Watford meet its aspiration of increasing the supply of social housing.

“We are committed to delivering social housing to give local people permanent homes that they can afford. At a time when very little social housing is being built elsewhere, we are pleased that this partnership puts us in a position to provide homes for local families.”

South Worcestershire seeks views on plan

A public consultation has been launched on the review of the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP).

Malvern Hill District, Worcester City and Wychavon District councils are jointly producing the plan. They want the public’s views on how to best accommodate housing and employment growth in the area to 2041.

This will include more homes to meet demand, and 169 hectares of employment land to support companies to grow and create new jobs.

The current SWDP was approved by the three councils in 2016 and set out proposals to deliver 28,400 new homes and 300 hectares of employment land by 2030. The government requires plans to be reviewed every five years.

The government’s new standard methodology, introduced in the revised National Planning Policy Framework, means that the councils must deliver an additional 14,000 homes by 2041.

Full details of the plan can be found here.

Peabody acquires TCHG

Town and Country Housing Group (TCHG) has announced plans to merge with Peabody.

The organisations will be working on consents and consultations over the coming months, and plan to make a final decision next year.

Under the proposals, TCHG would become a distinct subsidiary of Peabody, enabling the organisations to build 800 ‘quality’ homes across the South East every year.

This is 500 more homes than TCHG would be able to deliver on its own and would take Peabody's new homes target to 3,300 a year from 2021.

6 November 2018
Laura Edgar, The Planner