Latest news

Planning News - 30 May 2019

Published: Thursday, 30th May 2019

Permitted development for home extensions comes into force, Deals agreed with local authorities to deliver 4,000 homes, A38 improvement scheme will be examined and more stories...

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

RTPI logo
Planner jobs

The extension of permitted development rights to allow homeowners to extend their properties without a full planning application – as well as high street conversions to offices and homes – has come into permanent effect.

The regulations, which were laid before Parliament earlier this month, do not include the right to allow upward extensions.

Under the rules, homeowners can put a single-storey rear extension on their property of up to six metres for terraced or semi-detached homes – or eight metres for detached homes.

Over 110,000 extensions have been completed since 2014 under the previously temporary rules.

Speaking about the extension, which became valid on 25 May, housing minister Kit Malthouse said: “These measures will help families extend their properties without battling through time-consuming red tape.

“By making this permitted development right permanent, it will mean families can grow without being forced to move.

“This is part of a package of reforms to build more, better, faster and make the housing market work – and sits alongside our drive to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.”

Local authorities can now consider proposals for the conversion of shops and other high street uses such as takeaways and launderettes to offices under the prior approval process. Class M already allows retail and sui generis uses to be converted to residential without the need for planning permission, but the new regulations would allow takeaways to be converted to housing.

High streets minister Jake Berry said: “This fantastic news joins our £675 million Future High Streets Fund and our High Streets Task Force in ensuring our country’s high streets are fit to thrive not just now, but in the years to come.
“Giving greater certainty to property owners and the wider industry, it will also help businesses to adjust to the changing needs of the consumer.”

Martin Tett, planning spokesman for the Local Government Association, said: “While we recognise building extensions under permitted development has been popular with homeowners, the planning process exists for a reason.

“We do not believe this right should be made permanent until an independent review is carried out of its impact, both on neighbouring residents and businesses, and also the capacity of local planning departments.

“The introduction of the prior notification scheme as a result of permitted development for larger household extensions has led to an increased workload for planning officers and a loss of income. Any continuation of this must see councils properly resourced.

“The current process also means that councils have limited opportunity to consider the impact of such extensions on the local area because they don’t go through the full planning process.”

Laura Edgar, The Planner
28 May 2019

Homes England has agreed funding deals worth £55 million to deliver 4,000 homes across England.

The funding for 12 local authorities has been awarded through the government’s £450 million Local Authority Accelerated Construction (LAAC) Programme.

Stephen Kinsella, executive director for land at Homes England, said: “This funding will enable local authorities to accelerate housing delivery by enabling them to prepare sites for development and bring forward the construction of new homes incorporating modern methods of construction.”

The money is expected to support infrastructure-enabling works, planning and technical expertise, and site remediation.

The LAAC Programme prioritises the use of modern methods of construction to (MMC) increase the pace of delivery across the developments by an average of 40 per cent.

The money will help to deliver 1,400 at a 400-acre site at Horton Heath in Eastleigh, a site Eastleigh Borough Council purchased the site in 2018. This development will receive £20.8 million of funding to speed up the delivery of one, two, three and four bedroom homes, and 30 per cent affordable housing.

The councils that benefit are:


  • City of York Council
  • Gateshead Council
  • Newcastle City Council
  • Pendle Borough Council


  • Eastleigh Borough Council
  • Medway Council
  • Dorset Council


  • Leicestershire County Council
  • High Peak Borough Council
  • City of Lincoln Council


  • Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk
  • South Norfolk Council

Housing minister Kit Malthouse said: “We haven’t built enough homes in this country for far too long… our accelerated construction programme is here to change that, and fast.

“This £55 million funding boost will help councils get 4,000 new homes built across the country using the latest modern methods that cut down on construction time.

“We must keep building more, better, faster to meet our ambition to be building 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.”

Laura Edgar, The Planner 
23 May 2019

The Planning Inspectorate has accepted an application that aims to improve three existing roundabout junctions on the A38.

The application was submitted by Highways England on 23 April 2019 under the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) regime.

The three junctions are the /A5111 Derby Kingsway Junction, the A38/A52 Markeaton Junction, and A38/A61 Little Eaton Junction.

Sarah Richards, chief executive of the Planning Inspectorate, said: “We have considered very carefully the application submitted by Highways England and decided that it meets the required tests set out in the legislation to be accepted for examination.

“Of course, this does not mean that consent has been given for the project to go ahead – acceptance of the application simply means that the examining authority can begin to make arrangements for the formal examination of the application.”

Highways England is seeking compulsory acquisition and temporary possession powers to acquire land and rights over land to support delivery of the scheme.

Works to the Kingsway Junction would include widening the A38 to three lanes between Kingsway and Markeaton junction. The speed limit would be increased from 40 mph to 50 mph. The A38 would be widened between the Markeaton junction and Kedleston Road junction and the speed limit would be increased from 40 mph to 50 mph.

The A38 at the Markeaton junction would be lowered to pass underneath a new roundabout, in a new underpass with two new bridges to carry the A52 and signalised roundabout traffic across the lowered A38.

At the Little Eaton junction, the A38 would be realigned to the south and east of the existing roundabout and built on an embankment. According to the documents submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, the existing roundabout extended to the south with new slip roads providing access on and off the new A38.

More information on the scheme can be found on the Planning Inspectorate website.

Laura Edgar, The Planner
23 May 2019

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has published a consultation on plans to fully dual the remaining single-carriage section of the A66 in the north of England.

The A66 links Penrith in Cumbria with Scotch Corner in North Yorkshire. It is an important route for freight traffic and is the main link to the Lake District and North Pennines to the east of England.

The government and Highways England hope that upgrading the A66 will benefit local people and change the way people travel around the UK, as the changes should improve connections from Scotland to the east coast of England, and Belfast’s port traffic, via Stranraer, onwards to ports in Hull and Felixstowe.

The 50-mile A66 includes 18 miles that is single carriageway. Proposals for this section include:

  • Allowing through traffic from the M6 or the North East to bypass congested Kemplay Bank Roundabout in Penrith.
  • Dualling the existing three-mile section between Penrith and Temple Sowerby, including a new junction arrangement for Center Parcs at the western end and an optional short bypass to avoid High Barn at the eastern end.
  • Providing an upgrade of the five-mile single carriageway between Appleby and Brough, to free up the existing A66 for local access-only traffic as well as walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
  • A new bypass north or south of Kirkby Thore and north of Crackenthorpe – following the route of the old railway line or the old Roman road.
  • Dualling the existing four-mile section between Stephen Bank and Carkin Moor but with three different options – including short bypasses – for the eastern end.

Grayling said dualling the A66 means that drivers’ journeys would be “quicker, safer and more reliable” across the Pennines, and it is part of the government's commitment to make sure that the business opportunities of the Northern Powerhouse “spread out from the great cities of the north of England to every city, town and rural community from the Midlands to the Scottish Lowlands”.

Transport for the North’s major roads director, Peter Molyneux, added that dualling the A66 “will enable economic growth and improved opportunities across the North”.

The consultation can be found here on the Highways England website.

Laura Edgar, The Planner
20 May 2019 

Ambitious proposals have surfaced for a significantly reconfigured Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project incorporating new renewable energy elements and thousands of ‘floating’ new homes at a mixed-use development dubbed Dragon Energy Island.

The scheme is the brainchild of the working party set up by Swansea City Council in the wake of the UK Government’s decision not to support a tidal lagoon power plant in Swansea Bay.

A report drawn up by Holistic Capital for the working party is due to be considered by next week’s meeting of the Swansea Bay City Region Joint Committee.

This reworked scheme would involve what is now being called an integrated renewables hub, which would combine power production with “sustainable, floating modular residential accommodation” to be located inside the lagoon and protected by its walls.

Other elements of the scheme would involve a solar farm, a battery storage facility, the production of pure hydrogen and oxygen and an underwater data centre.

The number of homes that could be delivered across the total scheme has been calculated at around 10,000.

With a projected demand of 4,000 public sector homes in prospect, Holistic Capital has suggested that there could be a case for establishing a modular homes manufacturing plant locally.

Rob Stewart, the city’s council leader and chairman of the city region’s task force, insisted that there was huge support to deliver the project.

He said: “Despite the UK Government not backing the previous proposals, we never gave up hope on the opportunity to deliver a major renewables project in Swansea Bay.

“The new proposal is a larger and more ambitious renewable energy development that's built upon the natural tidal benefits of Swansea Bay and complementary technology to generate zero-carbon power.

“The tidal lagoon is at the heart of the new proposal and gives us the opportunity to create a new floating community of homes and businesses within the sea wall.

“This has already been successful in countries like Holland, Germany and Denmark, providing a sustainable solution to issues including population density and climate change.”

Roger Milne, The Planner 
23 May 2019

A round-up of planning news

Housing minister bids for Tory leadership
Housing and planning minister Kit Malthouse has announced his plans to stand for leader of the Conservative party.

Launching his bid with an article in The Sun, Malthouse became the 10th contender to replace Theresa May, who announced last week that she would stand down as party leader on 7 June.

The MP for North West Hampshire is the author of the ‘Malthouse Compromise’ plan for Brexit to break Parliament’s deadlock. He suggested replacing the Irish backstop with alternative arrangements over a longer three-year period.

Malthouse told The Sun: “All the leadership candidates talk about the need for unity, but I’m the only one who got off my backside to make it happen.

“I gather that most of them are running on a variation of my plan. That’s what made me think I would be the person to deliver it.”
Council to sell site using digital auctioneer
Leeds City Council has instructed digital property auctioneer BidX1 to sell a greenfield site in its online auction on 24 July.

The site is located at Grange Farm in the village of Colton, which is on the eastern outskirts of Leeds. It is is listed with a guide price of £500,000 and is within the Colton conservation area.

The site is an L-shaped area of grazing land covering about 0.23 hectares. It currently houses several poor-quality storage buildings, has open fields on one side and forms part of the adjoining Grange Farm equestrian centre.

The local planning authority has suggested that the site could suit a courtyard scheme of five dwellings.
TPS opens nominations for People’s Award
The Transport Planning Society (TPS) has opened nominations for the People’s Award to mark the official launch of Transport Planning Day 2019 on 20 November at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London.

The TPS People’s Award looks for the UK’s best community-focused transport initiatives that have made a real difference to people’s access to services, quality of life and well-being.

It forms part of the Transport Planning Day campaign, which showcases the role of transport planners in improving everyday life across the UK. The TPS aims to have communities tell professionals about the transport projects that have made a significant difference and improved their day-to-day lives.

The society is also working with the Transport for New Homes project to develop new awards focusing on the importance of sustainable transport for housing developments.

Nominations are open through the society’s website until 2nd August, and finalists will be announced in the autumn. Nominated initiatives must have been in operation for at least one year.
Heritage Partnership Agreement signed at King’s Cross Station
A Heritage Partnership Agreement has been signed at King’s Cross Station with Historic England, Network Rail and Camden Council to guarantee the efficient future management of the nationally significant site by streamlining the formal listed building consent process.

This new Heritage Partnership Agreement (HPA) will streamline and simplify this process, as more minor works no longer need formal consent. This will make managing the building much easier, saving time and money, while protecting what is special about it.

Historic England says it hopes that this project will inspire other similar sites to consider it as an option for sound, efficient management of our heritage.

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: “The project shows that through close partnership working, combined with expertise and a passion for our heritage, exceptional, vibrant places can be shaped for everyone to enjoy. This new HPA agreement builds on this project, ensuring that King’s Cross station can continue to be efficiently looked after for the future.”

Green light given for £2.5m housing scheme
Lovell Midlands has been awarded a grant of £770,000 by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to construct 151 new homes on a former industrial site in Steelhouse Lane, Monmore Green, Wolverhampton.

The £2.5 million scheme will see Lovell develop brownfield land to provide a mix of homes to buy or rent. The scheme will provide a mix of two, three and four-bedroom open-market and affordable homes.

A total of 76 homes will be sold by Lovell, whilst a further 16 will be available on a shared ownership scheme called Home Reach from Heylo Housing. The other 59 homes will be managed by WHG Housing Association on an affordable rental basis.

The site, which has been lying vacant for more than a decade, is being brought back into use after the WMCA used funding to clean up the land and make it ready for development.

Construction work on the 8.5-acre site, to be named Saints Quarter, is due to start in the summer.
Beam Park construction begins in East London
Homebuilder Countryside and housing association L&Q have begun the £1 billion construction of the 3,000-home Beam Park regeneration site in East London.  

Following the completion of phase one preparatory works, the regeneration of Beam Park will transform the derelict site of a former Ford manufacturing plant into a new and vibrant destination spanning 29-hectares (71.7 acres).
The first phase of the development will deliver 640 new homes, as well as extensive community facilities, including the Beam Park railway station, which will be framed by a high-quality Station Square, providing a lively heart to the development.

Phase one will also see the delivery of a three-form entry primary school, as well as a new linear park to the north of the site.  

Sales of the new homes are due to launch in May this year, with the first homes ready in 2020. The first phase of the development should be fully completed by 2022.

The marketing suite will open on the site in May 2019, with two show apartments and a show home available to view.

When the masterplan is complete in 2030, Beam Park will also deliver an additional school, retail spaces, a gym, nursery, community facilities, a multi-faith space, and two energy centres.
MEPC unveils 20 year Milton Park masterplan
MEPC has created an emerging 20-year masterplan with Perkins+Will to create a neighbourhood-style campus at Milton Park to bring the workforce to 20,000.

Milton Park is currently home to more than 250 companies, employing 9,000 people.

The plans will eventually bring the total square feet at Milton Park to over four million square feet, all within the site's existing Local Development Order (LDO) planning boundary. MEPC said that this will play an important part in the 2040 Vision plans as it streamlines the planning permission process, allowing applications within certain parameters to be approved within 10 days.

The 2040 Vision Masterplan aims to make more efficient use of the existing 300-acre site, with 41 per cent of new space focused on creating world-leading labs.

The Vision work completed at Milton Park will change how business parks are perceived by modernising design, creating a flexible and adaptable framework for future development and improving amenities to boost well-being.

Peter Baird, associate at the London office of Perkins+Will, said: “The 2040 Vision will provide the framework that business parks across the country can follow, dramatically changing the way in which they are they are utilised and perceived in the UK.”
Scheme at Aero Centre Yorkshire submitted
A reserved matters planning application has been submitted by Trebor Developments and partner Hillwood for an speculative industrial scheme at Aero Centre Yorkshire.

This follows an exchange of contracts between the developers and Peel Land and Property.

The proposal comprises two units of 45,976 square feet and 59,159 square feet in size. They will be suitable for B1/B2 and B8 uses.

Laura Edgar and Prithvi Pandya, The Planner
28 May 2019