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Planning Market Insight Report: 77,000+ submissions in March

Does the disparity between Planning Portal and MHCLG’s statistics highlight the increasing pressure local authorities are under?

On 25 March 2021, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) published their latest statistics regarding planning application submissions between October and December 2020. Their data showed that planning authorities in England received 111,700 applications for planning permission, up 11 per cent on the corresponding quarter of 2019. While the trends with this data mimic the data patterns the Planning Portal have been seeing over the last few months, the actual numbers differ greatly.   

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Planning news – 15 April 2021

Government announces a Towns Fund Deal for Truro
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out a £23.6 million deal for Truro, Cornwall, that is intended to boost the local economy, create jobs and improve skills in the area.
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Permission sought to redevelop former Kent power station
Energy company Uniper has submitted an outline planning application to Medway Council for a mixed-use development on the site of the former Kingsnorth power station.
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Government agency seeks affordable housing partners
Homes England is seeking ambitious strategic partners that can deliver affordable housing at scale.
Laura Edgar, The Planner

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Planning news – 8 April 2021

Chief planner outlines policy changes
England’s chief planner Joanna Averley has written to local authority planners about the changes to the planning system and temporary measures that will remain to ease the path out of lockdown and aid economic recovery.
Laura Edgar, The Planner

London council consults on second licence for HMOs
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council has published a consultation on draft plans that seek to improve housing standards and take action against landlords that don’t provide safe accommodation for tenants in houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Regeneration plans approved in Southend
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s development control committee has granted planning permissions for the Better Queensway regeneration project, which includes more than 1,700 new homes.
Laura Edgar, The Planner

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Planning news – 01 April 2021

Government announces extra funding for green homes
The much-trumpeted Green Homes Grant scheme to insulate houses – launched by the government just last September – has been axed with the money allocated to a separate insulation fund run by councils.
Prithvi Pandya, The Planner

11 per cent increase in applications submitted for planning in Q3
District councils in England received 111,700 applications for planning permission between October and December 2020 (Q3), according to a statistical release by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Berkshire film studio approved
Wokingham Borough Council’s planning committee has granted planning approval for a temporary film studio in Shinfield, which is the first phase of a larger studio proposed for the site.
Laura Edgar, The Planner

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New Northamptonshire unitary authorities

Local government in Northamptonshire is facing its biggest change in over 40 years.

The eight existing councils will be replaced with two brand new unitary councils on 1 April 2021.

The new West Northamptonshire unitary council will serve the areas of Daventry District, Northampton and South Northants, and the new North Northamptonshire unitary authority will serve Wellingborough, Kettering, Corby and East Northants.

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Content updates: new minimum space standards, April 2021

Legislative updates relevant to prior approval applications for new dwellinghouses (including through change of use) are coming into force from 6 April 2021 and apply to any such application submitted from that point onwards.

Permitted development legislation has been amended in relation to space standards, and specifies that any new dwellinghouse will only be eligible for permitted development rights if it has a gross internal floor area of at least 37 square metres, and complies with the nationally described space standard.

From 6 April 2021, our content within the application system and our fillable PDF forms will be updated to reflect the amended legislation.

The 2021 Directory of Planning Consultants – digital leaflets

The Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) 2021 Directory of Planning Consultants regional digital leaflets are now available for you to download and share.

In line with the RTPI’s aim to become the world’s first “net zero” membership body by reducing its own net carbon emissions to zero by 2025, as well as the new remote nature of working the pandemic has bought about, the Directory leaflets will this year only be available in a digital format created to download and share.

The RTPI Directory of Planning Consultants provides readers with a catalogue of trusted RTPI qualified planning consultants and receives over 52,000 visits annually. It is too late to be included in this year’s digital leaflets, but you can still be included on the main Directory website. Email to find out how to include your organisation in the Directory.

Planning news – 25 March 2021

Local authorities to have longer to spend right-to-buy receipts
Housing and communities secretary Robert Jenrick has set out a number of reforms to the right-to-buy policy, including extending the time local authorities in England have to spend right-to-buy receipts from three years to five years.
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Legal challenge for continuation of virtual planning meetings is lodged
The Association of Democratic Services Officers (ADSO), Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) and Hertfordshire County Council have lodged a legal challenge in the High Court that seeks a continuation of local authority remote meetings beyond 6 May 2021.
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Unlimited fines will apply to fire safety breaches, says government
The Home Office has announced that building owners that breach fire safety regulations could face unlimited fines under measures being introduced in the building safety bill.
Laura Edgar, The Planner

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Judging the 2021 Master Builder Awards

Chris Jones, Director at the Planning Portal, has joined a panel of judges to review nominations for the regional Master Builder Awards in the Housebuilder category hosted by the Federation of Master Builders.

The biennial Master Builder Awards celebrate high-quality craftsmanship, exceptional customer service and building excellence delivered by Master Builders across the UK. The ‘Celebrating the Housebuilder’ category allows the focus to shine on smaller creative projects, providing a platform to commend the significant contribution that small and medium-sized construction companies make to the UK construction industry.

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Planning news – 18 March 2021

RTPI to raise profile of urban planning globally
The RTPI has launched a strategy that seeks to raise the profile of urban planning as a ‘pivotal’ issue in the global policy to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Laura Edgar, The Planner

Government announces £2.7m tree fund
The government has announced a new £2.7 million initiative as part of its plans to increase tree planting and natural regeneration in local communities.
Prithvi Pandya, The Planner

MHCLG appoints firm to reimagine planning notifications
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and Innovation UK have appointed Commonplace to help reimagine planning notices.
Laura Edgar, The Planner

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