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Planning Portal News: 18 August 2016

Read the full story on our website by clicking on the headline.

RTPI report says constant policy reforms are undermining the planning system
Deep budget cuts and continual changes in planning policy have stripped public sector planners of the powers and resources to perform leadership and coordinating roles, according to report…

Javid blocks new neighbourhood for Aylesbury
1,500 home Aylesbury development appeal dismissed because of the schemes adverse impacts to the character and appearance of the landscape and the loss of distinct village identity…

Javid allows appeal over Northampton urban extension
1,000 home Northampton South Sustainable Urban Extension is granted outline planning permission on appeal despite concerns over noise and the impact on heritage assets…

SoS backs Cheshire planning authority over refusal for Nantwich housing
Communities Secretary agrees with Cheshire East Council and dismisses the appeal for a 189 home greenfield development in Nantwich…

Development consent for world’s largest offshore wind farm
300 turbine Hornsea Project Two scheme is granted development consent by the Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark…

Planning round-up 18 August 2016
– Treasury claims EU funding will be honoured
– 2,750 home Horsham scheme makes waves
– Business Secretary Clark stresses role of ‘place’ in industrial strategy
– Changes to Welsh appeals regime out for consultation
– Right to Buy replacement rate falls
– Devon turbine toppled
– Liverpool city centre developments
– And more stories…

Roger Milne


The EU referendum and planning applications

Its been nearly 2 months now since the shock result of the EU referendum.  There was a lot of talk at the time about a slow down in the housing market and concerns about the impact on the economy.  Of course its still too early to say what the long-term impact will be, but I thought you might be interested to know that there doesn’t seem to have been much of an impact on planning application numbers so far, at least those submitted online.

In the first half of this year we were consistently running at  around 2,000 applications submitted via the Portal each working day, and since the 23 June we’ve been running at …. around 2,000 applications a day!  July was just slightly under 2,000 in fact, as you can see from the graph below, but the pattern is what we’d expect for this time of the year.

The mix of application types also seems fairly standard.

So, in this case it seems that no news is indeed good news….

workday averages

Planning Portal News: 11 August 2016

Read the full story on our website by clicking on the headline.

Households in line for direct shale gas development proceeds
PM amends Shale Wealth Fund proposals to include an option for the transfer of funds directly to households…

IPPR urges priority for northern transport infrastructure over HS2 and Crossrail 2
Think tank urges the Transport Secretary to adopt pro-business “North First” agenda to boost UK-wide growth…

School allowed in green belt near Maidenhead
Communities Secretary approves proposals for a green belt development, concluding that the scheme meets the “very special circumstances” needed to justify the construction…

Major Banbury housing development backed
Cherwell District Council planning committee recommend approval for a proposed 1,000 home development in Banbury…

Green light for housing and school near RAF Lakenheath

Plans for a 375 home development including land for a new primary school near RAF Lakenheath have been approved despite flight path noise concerns…

Planning round-up 11 August 2016
– Javid rejects solar farm contrary to inspector’s advice
– Report urges strategic housing for green belt
– 40-home scheme allowed despite conflict with Sussex neighbourhood plan
– Bristol developments
– Manchester free school
– Local plan backlog
– Lyons urges councils to do more on housing
– And more stories…

Roger Milne

Planning Portal News: 4 August 2016

Read the full story on our website by clicking on the headline.

Take-off for expanded London City Airport
Approval granted for £344m London City Airport expansion scheme including the creation of seven new aircraft stands and a new taxiway…

Lincolnshire Lakes development makes waves
The second phase of the £1.3bn Lincolnshire Lakes regeneration scheme has been approved by North Lincolnshire Council’s planning committee…

Cheshire council backs green belt school campus proposals
Planning committee deems that the Macclesfield’s Kings School development meets the “very special circumstances” required for development on the green belt…

£250m Woking estate revamp backed
The first phase of the Sheerwater estate regeneration scheme has been given approval by Woking Borough Council’s planning committee…

UK’s biggest sustainable urban drainage system proposed for capital location
£17m sustainable urban drainage project, designed to capture rainwater and channel it into the river Thames, has been proposed for the Nine Elms South Bank regeneration area…

Planning round-up 4 August 2016
– Welsh power line project
– North west National Parks extend
– New Welsh regime for major development kicks-in
– Northern Enterprise Zone progress
– Welwyn Garden City new homes
– New housing supply inquiry
– Call for new powers for councils to boost housing
– And more stories…

Roger Milne

Planning Portal News: 28 July 2016

Read the full story on our website by clicking on the headline.

Planning Inspectorate insists appeal delays have been sorted
The agency’s latest annual report acknowledges that in several areas of the planning appeals service the organisation fell short of meeting its targets…

Minister urged to clarify government intentions over local plans
MPs call on the planning minister to set out how the new administration proposes to reform the legislative and local plan making process…

North East rail strategy backed by combined authority
£1bn Metro and local rail services investment strategy designed to put whole towns and communities back on the national railway map has been agreed by the North East Combined Authority…

Retirement housing shortage quantified
New report shows an increasing gap in the supply of retirement housing with an estimated shortage of 376,000 housing units by 2050…

Watchdog urges more action over Durham cowshed cause célèbre
Further report issued by the Local Government Ombudsman on Durham cowshed planning complaint and the subsequent recommendations…

Planning round-up 28 July 2016
– Makeover for UK’s first pedestrianised precinct
– Development Consent Order granted for potash project’s harbour facilities
– Retail activity dips
– Devolution housing deals assessment
– MPs probe forestry policy
– Dorset prison redevelopment blocked
– And more stories…

Roger Milne

Volume Calculator re-designed and enhanced

In between re-launching the Portal and developing new products and services we have also been working hard on replacing our Flash-based useful tools and guides with cross browser supported and mobile-friendly versions. We’re pleased to announce that the re-designed Volume Calculator is now live.

The volume calculator has been enhanced so that:

  • It can be supported across browsers and mobile devices.
  • It incorporates the sites responsive design for mobile and tablet-based viewing.
  • It is easier to navigate between different calculators by using the links at the bottom of each page.
  • We can link directly into specific calculators as they now have separate URLs.
  • The images are clearer which part of the house the measurements and volume calculation is for and they have been outputted at a higher resolution.

We hope that you find the updated version of this tool useful and if you have any suggestions for additional volume calculations or any other tools you think it would be useful to have on the Planning Portal, please leave a comment below.

Please keep an eye on the blog and our Twitter feed as we will be launching new versions of our other Flash-based tools and guides in the near future.


Planning Portal News: 21 July 2016

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New Communities Secretary and planning minister announced
Sajid Javid replaces Clark as Communities Secretary and Gavin Barwell takes over from Lewis as planning and housing minister in the new Cabinet and ministerial team…

Latest updated housing projection estimates published
Updated 2014-based sub-national household projections published by the Office for National Statistics and the Department for Communities and Local Government…

Watchdog bangs drum for green belt policy consistency
Local Government Ombudsman calls for green belt policies to be applied correctly and consistently by planning authorities…

National Audit Office queries public sector land disposal progress
New report finds that the Department for Communities and Local Government has, at most, achieved eight per cent of its overall commitment to dispose of enough public sector land for 160,000 homes by 2020…

Colnbrook green belt freight interchange project refused
Former Communities Secretary Greg Clark dismisses appeal for a proposed road and rail freight interchange on metropolitan green belt land north of the A4 Colnbrook bypass…

Planning round-up 21 July 2016
– Liverpool snubs UNESCO request over World Heritage site
– Park homes boost?
– Peers criticise government housing policy
– Maidenhead moves to boost housing
– Wilmslow green belt office approval
– Rotherham master plan
– Caerphilly replacement local development plan withdrawn
– And more stories…

Roger Milne

Planning Portal News – 14 July 2016

Read the full story on our website by clicking on the headline.

Garden village scheme mooted for Hertfordshire rail freight interchange site
County council would prefer to see the area retain green belt status, but is prepared to consider alternatives as it may be forced to sell the land…

Guildford station redevelopment thrown out for being too “monolithic”
Council rules that the scale of the proposals would be “detrimental to the setting”, as residents flag concerns over its affordable housing provision…

Committee on Climate Change highlights the risks of global warming
New report details the evidence of the most urgent risks facing the UK, and suggests priorities for the next five years…

Key changes to South Yorkshire HS2 route and station proposals
New options in latest report may be cheaper, cut journey times, and avoid the complexities of the previous route…

Clark dismisses Cheshire homes scheme against advice of inspector
Recommended conditions were variously “unreasonable”, “difficult to enforce” or “not strictly relevant to planning policy”…

Planning round-up 14 July 2016
– Neighbourhood planning moves
– Funding for sustainable travel schemes announced
– Kent lorry park plan
– MPs to probe house-building capacity
– Call for council-house renaissance
– And more stories…

Roger Milne

New Planning Portal: Uploading documents

supporting docs

Uploading supporting documents is obviously an area of great importance as far as the Portal is concerned.

We know that there are improvements you’d like to see in this area, particularly the ability to add files larger than 5MB.  We’re working on this, but need to make sure that we don’t change anything which will break the connection with local authority systems.  Many can take files over 5MB, but some can’t, and so we’re looking at a way of LPAs setting their own file size limits and that being clear to applicants/agents as the application is being completed.

More will follow on that, but while we work on that in the background, we thought you might like to know that the new system integrates with 3rd party hosts such as Dropbox and Google Drive.  Coupled with the fact that the entire site, including the application service is designed to respond to screen sizes and display content accordingly, this means that you really can now submit applications any time, any place, any where …

Planning Portal News: 7 July 2016

Read the full story on our website by clicking on the headline.

Clark rejects out-of-centre Exeter district retail scheme
Plans for the 17,000 square metre Moor Exchange development have been refused by the Secretary of State, largely because of its impact on Exeter’s city centre…

Manchester skyscraper scheme approved
City council planners have given the green light for the Owen Street development in Manchester city centre which includes a 200 metre tower that is set to become the tallest building outside of London…

Rise in new home approvals in neighbourhood plan areas
New report highlights that Clark has approved 2,530 new homes in neighbourhood plan areas using his recovery powers, 2,214 more than his predecessor…

Residential development allowed in Hertfordshire green belt
Clark approves proposals for 129 houses at Bricket Wood, originally refused by St Albans City and District Council…

Revamp for Welsh planning law mooted
Law Commission launches consultation on Welsh planning in a bid to create clearer, simpler and more modern law…

Planning round-up 7 July 2016
– Milton Keynes 2050 vision
– Lincolnshire Lakes development mooted as a ‘Garden City’
– Latest stats on home approvals
– Local plan round-up
– Airport capacity decision delayed
– Energy developments
– Green belt mock Tudor castle planning saga ends
– And more stories…


Roger Milne


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