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Planning Portal News: 15 December 2016

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

Neighbourhood plans strengthened by government
Protection increased for neighbourhood plans so that they are no longer deemed out of date unless there is a significant lack of land supply in the wider local authority area…

Finance and new advice for estate regeneration
Planning’s role in transforming neighbourhoods is highlighted as the government announces an additional £32m of funding to help regenerate neglected housing estates…

New poll paints bleak picture of planning resources
Joint research finds that over 90 per cent of local authorities believe the government’s housing targets will be impossible to meet due to a lack of planning resources…

Developers who quashed Sussex neighbourhood plan lose appeal
Javid refuses appeal for redevelopment of the former Sandgate Nurseries, a decision that comes after the developers successfully challenged the lawfulness of the approved Henfield Neighbourhood Plan…

Javid allows out of town Sainsbury’s development at Southport
Javid agrees that a Sainsbury’s store should be approved for a Southport out-of-town retail park, stating that the scheme would not harm the vitality of the town centre…

Planning round-up 15 December 2016
– Developers criticise Greater Manchester strategy for lack of ambition
– Bristol’s Broadmead revamp
– Sheffield mulls urban outdoor facility
– Chocks away for Surrey airport homes proposal?
– East Sussex parish councillors resign over Javid appeal decision
– East Leeds 1,100-home project makes progress
– Shortfall in custom builders’ registers revealed
– Bentley’s Crewe master-plan unveiled
– And more stories…

Roger Milne

Planning Portal News: 8 December 2016

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

Report warns of ‘inappropriate’ development in National Parks
A report published this week by three key conservation bodies highlights the threat to National Parks from major developments and fracking…

Three new rail stations proposed for Leeds in ambitious transport strategy
Leeds City Council has unveiled proposals for three new rail stations and an airport rail link as part of a planned £270m investment in transport for the city…

Master plan submitted for 1,000-home mixed-use project in Rochdale
Russell Homes has proposed a ‘long-term’ development of a 130-hectare site in South Heywood, involving up to 1,000 new homes…

Communities Secretary approves 680-home new neighbourhood for Eastleigh
Javid allows appeal for a sustainable development near Eastleigh, concluding that the adverse impacts of the scheme do not significantly and demonstrably outweigh the identified benefits…

Scottish government proposes huge hike in planning charges
Proposals for the fees of major planning applications to be increased fourfold have been put forward by Scottish government…

Planning round-up 8 December 2016
– Boost for private rented provision
– Deal over Leeds skyscraper risks
– Shale gas planning aid
– Homes & Communities Agency regulatory reform backed
– Durham pause local plan pending Housing White Paper
– Surrey solar farm blocked
– Green light for Bristol redevelopment
– Birmingham free school approved
– And more stories…

Roger Milne

Application numbers continue to rise

With Christmas approaching at a rate of knots, the planning application numbers continue to rise.  November saw 45,834 applications submitted, that’s an 11% increase on November last year.  So far, we’ve seen no sign of the Christmas slow-down, although history tells us that some applications will even go in on Christmas Day!

On building control, we’re also seeing an uptake in the number of building control bodies signed up and the number of applications submitted. In the eight weeks since launch, we’ve seen 59 local authorities and 9 approved inspectors go live with the service.  In the same time period, we’ve seen around 4,500 building regulations approval applications started.  We’re just testing the first post-launch release to the service as well, so as soon as its passed testing, I’ll post an update on what’s included and when its coming here.  If your are a building control body and haven’t yet signed up, please do speak to your Account Manager.


This chart is based on the average number of applications submitted through the Planning Portal on a working day

Time, gentlemen please!

Sorry this post isn’t about beer or even last orders, but at least I got your attention!

It’s about our latest release at the weekend, which included a new message to warn users when they are getting close to being timed out of our planning application service.

For most users this hasn’t been a problem, but we understand that there is nothing more frustrating than taking a long call or popping out to a meeting without saving the application, only to find that you’ve been timed out and may have lost some work.

Of course, time outs are necessary for data and system security.  Our service will still time you out after 30 minutes of inactivity, but now you will get a message 10 minutes before, warning you what is about to happen.

time out

It’s still best to hit the ‘Next’ or ‘Previous’ button at the bottom of each page before you step away from the application you’re working on, as this will save all your work so far, but at least this change should provide a little extra comfort.

Planning Portal News: 10 November 2016

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

Ministers warned over latest reforms to pre-commencement conditions
The British Property Federation and the Planning Officers Society have advised that current legislative proposals set out in the Neighbourhood Planning Bill do not allow enough flexibility and risk adding further delays to the planning process…

Campaign to Protect Rural England claims sufficient brownfield sites are available for over 1.1m new homes
New research incorporating data from the brownfield register, calculates that suitable brownfield sites can provide between 1.1 and 1.4 million new homes across England…

Government rejects call by peers for built environment specialist
The National Policy for the Built Environment Committee’s recommendation for the creation of a Chief Built Environment Adviser has been refused by the government…

MoD identifies 91 surplus sites to sell for new housing
Defence secretary announces that more than 13,152-hectares of excess defence land are to be released to support the MOD’s target to provide enough land for 55,000 homes…

Cheshire homes schemes allowed on appeal despite neighbourhood plan conflicts
Communities Secretary allows two housing developments on appeal, concluding in both cases that the schemes demonstrated sustainable development…

Planning round-up 10 November 2016
– Major housing scheme timelines
– Enforcement boost in Northamptonshire
– RTPI bangs drum over green belt and greenfield homes
– Council borrowing freedom needed to increase affordable housing delivery
– Key Liverpool master plan unveiled
– Basement review
– Confederation of British Industry urges more coherent housing strategy
– Think-tanks call for Welsh Valleys enterprise zone
– And more stories…

Roger Milne

Calling all Architects!

We’re pleased to be sponsoring this year’s ArchitEx event in Liverpool next week (15/16 November).  The event started last year and was a great success.

The programme has come together well – if you haven’t decided to attend yet, its worth taking a look it here.

If you’re planning to be there, do make sure that you stop by our stand (B33) to say hello to the team. Or if you’d like to arrange a meeting, email us at


Planning Portal News: 3 November 2016

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

MPs urge radical overhaul of flood management in England
In a report on future flood prevention the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee have recommended a new governance model to coordinate regional delivery of national flood management plans…

County councils warm to potential new local plan-making role
Amendments made to the Neighbourhood Planning Bill will allow county councils ‘by invitation’ to prepare development plan documents where a district council was failing to do so…

Think-tank report calls for more ‘Metro Mayor’ housing powers
IPPR North report highlights ‘Metro Mayors’ as best placed to tackle housing issues in their areas and argues for more control over planning and housing to be devolved to them…

Neighbourhood plan concerns help sink Hereford and Cheshire housing schemes
Communities Secretary refuses a development in Bartestree for 100 homes and separately a 200 home scheme in Sandbach, both were in conflict with neighbourhood plans…

Heathrow decision faces turbulent take-off
According to experts, the government’s decision on Heathrow is likely to face a number of legal challenges as well as parliamentary scrutiny that could delay work starting until the late 2020s…

Planning round-up 3 November 2016
– Greater Manchester blueprint makes progress
– National Infrastructure Commission gathers momentum
– Farm turbines allowed in Yorkshire and Cornwall, Herts solar farm blocked
– Homes and Communities Agency shake-up on the cards…
– Cardiff container ‘city’ mooted
– Green light for Cornish ‘six-star’ resort
– Hertfordshire council’s basement advice surfaces
– And more stories…

Roger Milne


Planning Portal News: 27 October 2016

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

Government promises new local plan reforms in Bill
Planning Minister tells MPs what he wants to achieve with amendments that are planned for the Neighbourhood Planning Bill as it is scrutinised in the Commons…

Ministers opt for third runway at Heathrow
Government expects Heathrow expansion to bring a major boost to the UK economy worth up to £61bn, however it faces the prospect of a series of legal challenges to its airport capacity decision…

Residents reject Derbyshire neighbourhood plan
Swanwick Neighbourhood Plan rejected by local residents, the first time a ‘no’ vote has been registered out of around 250 referendums on the new type of development plans…

Decision due for draft Greater Manchester spatial framework
Local authority leaders in Greater Manchester are scheduled to meet on 28 October to decide whether to approve the draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework…

Khan outlines proposals for higher density capital
London Mayor outlines the capital’s development strategy in ‘A City for All Londoners’, highlighting higher density development in areas where new transport links are set to open…

Planning round-up 27 October 2016
– National Grid proposes major undergrounding project for National Park
– Latest Heritage at Risk Register published
– Sheerness redevelopment project
– Major Bournemouth redevelopment mooted
– Woking proposes new strategic green belt site release
– Social housing sales figures
– Leeds edge of centre retail scheme
– And more stories…

Roger Milne

Well haven’t you all been busy!

Yesterday was a big day for us as we were expecting to hit the milestone of 3 million planning applications safely submitted online via the Planning Portal since it was first launched.

The landmark application went in at 2.37pm, and perhaps as a fitting nod to the amount of paper we’ve helped you to save over the years, it was a TPO application!

Seriously, this isn’t just a piece of self-congratulation, rather an opportunity to thank all those customers who use our service every day, as well as our local authority and other partners who are integral to its delivery.

Here’s to the next million, which at an average of more than 2,000 applications a day won’t be long at all!


Planning Portal News: 20 October 2016

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

Infrastructure commission to be a permanent body as Wales proposes its own version

The UK’s National Infrastructure Commission is to be established as an executive agency of the Treasury in January 2017, with its own budget, freedom and authority…

Clash over forced pause for Bradford local plan

Bradford Council’s development plan has been put on hold after planning minister Gavin Barwell issued a temporary Holding Direction, following concerns raised about loss of green belt land…

Go-ahead for major Manchester tram network extension

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has granted legal powers to further expand the Metrolink network with a new £350m tram line, running 5.5 kilometres through Trafford Park…

Javid refuses Warwickshire scheme over development plan clashes

A 90 home development on a four hectare site in Warwickshire has been refused outline planning permission by the Communities Secretary…

Report advocates planning changes to help construction sector

New report led by Mark Farmer, chief executive of Cast, recommends changes to the planning regime in order to support the construction industry…

Planning round-up 20 October 2016

– Clean air zones consultation
– More funding for garden villages
– London tidal flood risks
– Room size matters
– City regions on the increase
– Cheshire green belt home extension allowed
– Boost for Warwickshire housing
– Local plan moves in Yorkshire and Buckinghamshire
– And more stories…


Roger Milne

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