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Householder applications continue to drive a rise in plans submitted

November’s Planning Market Insight Report provides further insight into this most unusual of years, where planning application patterns are deviating from the usual trends.

Yet again, last month’s planning application numbers were particularly high, almost equal to the number received in July 2020 (the highest on record). Against October last year, applications were up 23 per cent, and moving into November applications usually begin to tail off as we get closer to the end of the year. Whether this will be the case this year with further restrictions in place remains to be seen.

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Prior Approval update – November 2020

We have made some amendments to our prior approval form titles to better reflect the legislative process and wording. These changes are summarised in two sections below.

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Planning Portal’s Virtual Conference

Collaboration, digitisation, and community engagement. These were the themes that arose time and again throughout all four days of the Planning Portal’s Virtual Conference held on 16 – 19 November 2020.

Following the trend of 2020, this year’s conference was held virtually, with speakers, panellists and Q & A sessions held online, offering insight and the latest updates across the planning and building process. Including the latest Government white paper, developments in policy including biodiversity net gain and building standards, and advancements in technology both for development management and throughout the planning process, the week was jam packed with information and insight.

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Planning news – 26 November 2020

Can biodiversity net gain meet the needs of people and the environment?
Should the biodiversity net gain system be focusing more explicitly on supporting human wellbeing? Is biodiversity recovery best served by working on individual sites or at a larger, more strategic scale? To what extent can the biodiversity net gain system contribute to nature recovery on a national scale anyway?

Digital is good for planning but not for its own sake, conference hears
A more comprehensively digitised planning service could be more transparent, accessible and democratic – but only if it’s employed in ways that can genuinely improve the service.

Chancellor pledges £100 billion infrastructure spending to kick-start UK economy
Infrastructure is at the heart of government plans to kick-start the UK economy in 2021, with chancellor Rishi Sunak promising £100 billion of capital expenditure on infrastructure in 2021.

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Planning news – 19 November 2020

Chief planner: Proposed infrastructure levy will bring in ‘at least as much money’ as current system
England’s chief planner Joanna Averley has insisted that the infrastructure levy proposed in the planning white paper will bring in at least the same amount of money for local authorities to allocate towards affordable housing.

PM Johnson wants to create more national parks
Boris Johnson has outlined plans to create national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) to protect England’s ‘iconic landscapes’.

Development consent granted for A303 Stonehenge bypass
The construction of a two-lane dual carriageway for the A303 between Amesbury and Berwick Down in Wiltshire past Stonehenge World Heritage Site has been granted a development consent order (DCO) by transport secretary Grant Shapps, against the recommendation of the Planning Inspectorate.

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Planning news – 12 November 2020

MHCLG’s chief planner urges local authorities to get a plan in place
England’s chief planner Joanna Averley has urged local authorities not to let the planning white paper prevent them getting their local plans in place.

Report and toolkits seek to measure the value of planning in more holistic ways
The RTPI has published an ‘innovative’ way to measure and demonstrate the value of planning and how it helps to create sustainable and successful places.

September shows rise in value of building contracts awards
The value of construction contract awards in September 2020 was £5.4 billion based on a three-month rolling average – 21.2 per cent higher than in August.

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New investor for Planning Portal will accelerate improvements

We’re delighted to announce that we, along with our parent company TerraQuest Solutions Ltd, have been purchased by Apse Capital, a new independent European private equity group. The transaction is expected to close in the first week of December, subject to Mears group shareholder approval and MHCLG consent. Read the full press release here

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RIBA asks housing clients for views on working with an architect

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has launched a new survey to ask housing clients for their views on working with an architect.

The RIBA’s 2020 Working with Architects survey is in collaboration with our partners including the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Planning Portal.

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Planning news – 5 November 2020

Public to be surveyed on England’s planning system
The Housing, Communities and Local Government (HCLG) Committee has asked the public to take part in a survey on the planning system in England and the government’s proposed reforms to it.
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Task force launches guidance for self-build homes
The Right to Build Task Force has published the first phase of its guidance to support the delivery of custom and self-build homes in England.
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Forestry strategy for Great Britain is published
The Welsh Government, supported by the Scottish and UK governments, has issued a new science and innovation strategy for the long-term future of forestry in Great Britain.
Laura Edgar, The Planner

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Planning news – 29 October 2020

Demand for retirement communities is growing, finds survey
A survey of UK retirement community operators indicates that there has been a ‘very significant’ increase in the number of older people enquiring about and moving to retirement communities.
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Plans to decarbonise transport should link to spatial planning
Although welcome, plans to decarbonise transport need to link to spatial planning and transport policies should provide a ‘clear route map’ to net-zero 2050.
Laura Edgar, The Planner

AHF announces grants for heritage projects
Projects in England that seek to revitalise local high streets will receive grant money from the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF).
Laura Edgar, The Planner

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