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Local Authority Bulletin - August 2019

Published: Tuesday, 27th August 2019

Planning Portal announce first annual conference, New local land charges data analysis tool available for local authorities, First global standards for land measurement released and more stories...


We are pleased to announce that the project to improve the redaction of some information our online planning application forms will be introduced on Friday 30 August.

We are committed to assisting local planning authorities in achieving GDPR compliance. As part of this commitment, we recently reviewed the redactions we provide in the submissions we send to local authorities in England.

We found that our redaction provisions needed updating to provide consistent redaction across all our forms. We have been finalising the requirements for this work and we want to share the details of the upcoming changes with you.

Once the update goes live, the following details will be redacted across all application types (for England only):

  • All applicant and agent contact details (apart from name and postal address)
  • All question fields that specifically request third party names and contact details (apart from where this is a postal address)

Please note: Application downloads will still also contain a full unredacted version of the form. 

This means that for third party ownership information (e.g. certificates or tree ownership), the redacted version will only show postal addresses and not the names and other contact details associated with them.

As part of the update, we will also rename the current ‘ApplicationFormNoPersonalData’ file to ‘ApplicationFormRedacted’. We feel this name sets better expectations in regard to its content.

We believe this enhanced level of redaction strikes an appropriate balance for local authorities; covering their basic GDPR needs without removing details that some authorities may want to make publicly available on the planning register.

Of course, based on the policies of individual local authorities, further redactions may be required on application forms before they are published.

Additionally, there is always the possibility that applicants will enter personal information into areas where no redaction will be applied by us (e.g. the description of proposed works or details of any neighbourhood/community consultation).

Therefore, alongside these updated redaction provisions, we will also publish guidance on the redactions we make and on the responsibilities of all parties in the provision and transfer of data and its subsequent use.

The development of this work has progressed and although later than anticipated, this project is currently in the testing phase. We will provide a confirmed date of when you can expect to see these changes in due course.

Please note for England and Wales: As part of the update, we will also rename the current ‘ApplicationFormNoPersonalData’ file to ‘ApplicationFormRedacted’. We feel this name sets better expectations in regard to its content. 

This is not a change to the schema as this file is treated as an attachment and defined under the FileAttachment element. The fields in this element are free text so we have not defined what he filename will be. This should not therefore have been hardcoded and your 1APP connectors should continue to retrieve applications in the usual way.



The Planning Portal are delighted to announce their first annual Conference, Planning Portal Conference 2019, taking place on 14-15 November 2019, at Birmingham Hilton Metropole. 

The event will bring senior-level delegates together from across the private sector and local and national governments, providing an opportunity to discuss the issues affecting planning and building, today and into the years to come. With key, thought leading industry speakers, panel discussions and extensive networking opportunities, it’s the ideal event for senior strategic decision makers of their field to cover pertinent topics which will shape the future of their organisations. 

With the Conference taking place just two weeks after the Brexit deadline, the morning of 14 November will take an in-depth look into the likely impact on planning and building in the short term, and considerations for the future. In addition, there will be insight into Planning Portal application data, offering a wider picture of applications and their trends. 

This will be followed by an afternoon focusing on Technology in Planning, including what AI and other technological advancements mean for planning both now and in the future. Theo Blackwell, the Chief Digital Officer for the Greater London Authority (GLA), will be sharing his insights into GIS and open planning data.   

The event will include a networking Drinks Reception and Gala Dinner on 14 November, where guests can enjoy an evening of entertainment, fine dining and socialising with other industry experts. Friday 15 November will start with a morning discussing the Hackitt Review and the Building Safety Programme’s impact on planning, before considering the different models of housing delivery and the drive to build more houses. The day will end with lunch and a chance to discuss the topics covered over the two days and other fundamental issues with industry leaders.  

Super Early Bird tickets are available until 31 August. For more information and to book tickets, visit our event website.

For information about sponsoring, exhibiting or becoming one of our speakers, please contact us by calling 0117 403 3372 or emailing conference@planningportal.co.uk

 


HM Land Registry (HMLR) has developed a data analysis dashboard tool to help local authorities prepare their local land charges (LLC) data for migration to the central LLC Register. 

How will it help you prepare your data?

The free data analysis dashboard tool will analyse as much or as little electronic data as you can provide.

It provides local authorities (LAs) not currently in the migration process with a dashboard indicating the current state of their data. This allows you to more accurately identify the number and type of amendments you may need to make to prepare data for migration. Understanding the data is critical to predicting with more certainty how long each migration will take. Providing accurate predictions allows you to commit resources to the migration within a defined period.

The dashboard will show you an overview of the status of your data in four spreadsheets consisting of a summary, textual analysis, spatial analysis and data quality checks. 

What are the benefits of using it?

  • You can estimate the number of charges you may need to amend before migration.
  • You will know the type of amendments needed.
  • You will know which charges HMLR can assist in fixing automatically.
  • You will know which charges you may need to fix manually.
  • You can plan resources to begin this work before the migration process begins.
  • You will have a clearer idea of what the migration process will involve and how long it might take.
  • HMLR business analysts will have more time to work with you on the more complex charges because the more basic initial work is automated.
  • It indicates your readiness for migration at an early stage in the process.
  • It uncovers any major issues earlier on.
  • Its visual format clearly shows the condition of the data.

How to find out more

Free engagement event 

HMLR is holding an engagement event in Durham on 10 September. This free event will include:

  • a demonstration of the data analysis tool; 
  • information and advice on data analysis; 
  • overview of spatial data quality assurance; 
  • interactive discussions;
  • sharing best practice; and
  • networking opportunities. 

Book your free ticket at the Durham event

Tuesday 10 September, HM Land Registry Durham Office, Southfield House, Southfield Way, Durham DH1 5TR

Annual HMLR conference

Our annual local land charges conference is on 2 October at Aston Villa Football Ground, Villa Park, Birmingham.

Come and join us to learn about:

  • progress made migrating local authorities onto the new national Local Land Charges Register; 
  • our newly developed tools to support you in preparing your data for migration;
  • next steps for the Local Land Charges service; and
  • the latest news on HM Land Registry’s digital transformation.  

You can expect:

  • presentations from key industry experts; 
  • interactive syndicate sessions; 
  • demonstrations of our new migration helper tool; 
  • demonstrations of the benefits of our data analysis dashboard tool; and
  • opportunities to network and ask questions.

Book your free ticket at the Birmingham Annual Conference 

Wednesday 2 October, Aston Villa Football Club, Villa Park, Birmingham, B6 6HE

LLC data analysis 

If your local authority is interested in completing an LLC data analysis, please get in touch at llcproject@landregistry.gov.uk.

 


Based on the amendments to the Community Infrastructure Levy regulations that take effect from 1 September 2019, we have been working with MHCLG to ensure our CIL forms and information are updated in line with the changes.

All the updated forms (including Form 10 & 11) will be available for downloaded from our CIL section www.planningportal.co.uk/CIL on the afternoon of Friday 30 August. The completely new forms (12, 13 & 14) will be made available by Friday 6 September.

Broadly speaking, the updates make minor amends to all the existing forms, and more significantly:

  • Labels the initial 'Additional Information Form' as 'Form 1'
  • Changes the current numbering of Form 1 (Assumption of liability) to 'Form 2'
  • Removes the references to ‘Self Build’ from the exemptions for residential annexes/extensions (Forms 8 & 9)
  • Replaces the existing Form 2 (Claiming exemption and/or relief) with two new forms (10 & 11) that split the exemption/relief into specific types:
    - Form 10 - Charitable and/or Social Housing relief
    - Form 11 - Exceptional Circumstances relief
  • Add two further forms in regard to claiming relief/exemption post commencement (allowed by the new regulations):
    - Form 12 – Claiming further Charitable / Social Housing relief – essentially the same as new Form 10 (and existing Form 2 minus exceptional circumstances) other than removing requirements     over applying before commencement of development
    - Form 13 – Claiming further exemption for self build houses or  residential annexes/extensions – an amalgamation of forms 7 (part 1), 8 and 9 but removing the requirement to apply prior to commencement
  • Add a completely new form (14) in regard to the ability to seek 'Phase Credit' (again, enabled by the new regulations).

What you need to do

Some of the URLs for the CIL forms will change based on the numbering and naming changes that MHCLG have requested.

If in doubt, the current links can be obtained from our 1App links spreadsheet  (which will be updated alongside the forms on Friday 30 August 2019). Users can also be directed to www.planningportal.co.uk/CIL which will be updated with links to all the new and updated forms.

Welsh local authorities should also utilise the 1App links spreadsheet, to ensure that they amend their links to point at the legacy ‘2018’ versions of the forms.

We will warn users in regards to the England/Wales split in CIL forms. Additionally, we will place ‘holding’ documents on the outdated URLs to catch anyone who may not be aware of the changes and place text on the forms themselves to direct people to the correct versions for each region.

For English LPAs - From 1 September 2019, you should ensure that any CIL form you receive uses a ‘2019’ version (as stated on the bottom right of all the form pages).

For Welsh LPAs - From 1 September 2019, you should ensure that any CIL form you receive uses a ‘2018’ version (as stated on the bottom right of all the form pages).

 


The Planning Application Validation Service (PAVS) is designed to reduce the time and cost taken to submit, process and approve planning applications while enhancing the applicant’s experience.

PAVS helps local planning authorities (LPAs) to successfully handle their increased workload, clear application backlogs and meet service level commitments by validating all types of electronic and paper planning applications. The service checks against national and local planning policies and directly uploads into the LPA back office system. An application can be received, validated and be on a case officers worklist within 24 hours.

Some LPAs have chosen the service just for some application types, whilst others have chosen for PAVS to validate all types of planning application they receive.

The successful delivery of PAVS creates remarkable flexibility in planning departments; the service is tailored to suit the specific needs of the authority and the technical validation meets both national and local guidelines.

We engaged with TerraQuest, initially on a short term contract, at a time when we were short on resources and our validation performance was suffering. TerraQuest’s integration to our systems was seamless and they offered an affordable and high quality service which we ended up using for an extended period.

I’d recommend TerraQuest as a professional team who offer an excellent service.”

South West Devon Partnership (South Hams District Council & West Devon Borough Council)

Benefits of using TerraQuest planning application validation services

  • 48 hour Service Level Agreement with 98 per cent processed within 24 hours
  • Manage peak workload demand
  • Consistency in validation decisions
  • Invalid application resolution
  • Enable case officer to focus on application evaluation  
  • Improve customer service experience through prompt contact

For a free consultation, please contact the TerraQuest team via email information@terraquest.co.uk or call 0121 234 1300; and find out why the London Borough of Hillingdon, Arun District Council, Tandridge District Council and other Local Planning Authorities are benefitting from our service.



RICS release global best practice for consistent measurement of land.

The Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has published pioneering draft guidance for the measurement of land. Once adopted, the guidance will have far-reaching implications for development surveyors, planners, designers and government administrators around the world as the new standards become global best practice for the consistent calculation of land measurement and associated metrics.

Instigated by the RICS, which acts worldwide to regulate the property profession in the public interest, the new guidance has been lead-authored by pre-eminent British chartered surveyor and town planer Jonathan Manns.

Consultation on the draft Guidance Note on the 'Measurement of Land for Planning and Development Purposes' runs until September 17, prior to formal adoption at the end of the year.

The draft Guidance provides clear definitions for those measurements which are widely used in the property and planning sectors, advocating consistency worldwide. The following five core definitions have been proposed to assist with the global measurement of land:

  • Land Area: This should be used to refer to the legal title area of land, and is of particular relevance to agents and lawyers as it is the legally demised area of land.
  • Site Area: This should be used to refer to the area of land used for planning application purposes, and is of importance to those involved in the development process as it is to the area to which any permission for development relates.
  • Net Development Area: This should be used to refer to the area from which financial value is directly derived, by virtue of either being income-producing or for sale, and is of relevance to development surveyors and valuers.
  • Plot Ratio: This is the ratio of Gross External Area (GEA) of a building or buildings at each floor area, under the International Property Measurement Standards, to the site area, and is already used as a standard metric for planning and design in certain sectors and jurisdictions.
  • Site Coverage: This is the ratio of the building footprint's GEA to the site area at ground-floor level, and again is already a standard metric for planning and design in certain sectors and jurisdictions.

With over 130,000 qualified and trainee professionals, the RICS promotes and enforces the highest international standards across the built and natural environment. Tony Mulhall, Associate Director of the Land Professional Group at the RICS, which commissioned the work, said: "The RICS is committed to regulating the property industry in the public interest, with the accurate and consistent measurement of land and property being absolutely fundamental to this. This Guidance is an important step forward which will harmonise practice in the built environment profession for the better around the world."

Lead author, Jonathan Manns, is widely acknowledged as one of Britain's foremost urbanists. He is Board Director and Head of Planning and Development at London-based real estate developer Rockwell. He is a writer, speaker, lecturer, campaigner and founder of the APPG for London's Planning and Built Environment. Manns commented: "This guidance represents a step-change in the way that land is measured around the world. By introducing a clear and standardised approach, it will profoundly improve the accuracy and consistency of measurements for those buying, selling and valuing land, as well as those seeking to propose or determine applications to develop it."

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This article was originally published by CIAT