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Planning Reforms Going Down a Bad Road, Says Motion

11/10/2013

Sir Andrew Motion has accused the government’s planning reforms of having a direct correlation to the increase in vandalism of the countryside. Sir Andrew is a rural campaigner and a former poet laureate, turned activist when it comes to planning reforms that could potentially harm the environment and the landscapes of the United Kingdom. Sir Andrew has insisted that the current planning ref

“Use it or Lose it!” Style of Planning Permissions on the Way

11/07/2013

Arguments are currently surfacing in the government about whether or not developers should have the right to engage in land banking, or if planning councils should have the right to take away land that is purchased but not developed in a timely fashion. The most prominent proposal being considered at this time is one that would give planning councils the right to revoke planning permissions previo

Dover District Council Gives Planning Permission for new Energy Plant

10/31/2013

The Dover District Council has granted Estover Energy planning consent to build a £65 million green energy plant at Discovery Park in Sandwich at the former site of the Pfizer plant. Financial incentives are offered in the area by mean of its Enterprise Zone Status. The plant will be a biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant that will be powered by wood fuel.It is expected that around 14

Durkan Withdraws Planning Bill Due to Legal Concerns

10/28/2013

Mark H Durkan, environment minister, has withdrawn a planning bill due to major legal concerns involving a major convention. The European Convention on Human Rights has many sections that could be considered to run counter to the measures and amendments that Durkan originally proposed to the environment planning bill. These amendments were backed by the DUP and Sinn Fein. At the time of withdrawal

Planning Minister Encourages Farmers to Go Head to Head With Planning Councils

10/25/2013

Recent reports out of the government indicate that the planning minister is actively encouraging farmers to battle for their rights against planning councils that restrict their abilities to build on their own farming land. Complaints across the country have recently arisen indicating that local planning councils often make it difficult, or even impossible, for farmers to erect new buildings on th

Wind Farms on the Rise in UK Thanks to Approved Planning Applications

10/18/2013

According to recent reports, the number of onshore wind farms in the United Kingdom is on the rise as planning permissions approval for the construction of wind turbines has increased in droves over the past year. Figures out of the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) indicate that the increase is steady and shows a commitment to change in the United Kingdom.Reports generate between Ja

Annual Increase in Year-Over-Year Numbers For Planning Approvals Signals Boom

10/15/2013

Recent reports from the housing industry indicate that there has been a significant increase in the year-over-year numbers for planning approvals. This increase may signal the beginning of a house building boom in Great Britain that the likes of which has not been seen in many years. This type of increase gives not only the housing industry, but also those individuals seeking affordable housing, r

With Changes to Planning Restrictions, Homeowners Get More Rights

09/30/2013

Recent reports indicate that homeowners can now experience the right to do more with their properties and with their homes. A recent relaxation of the planning restrictions for residential properties gives homeowners more rights, but little promotion of these changes has left most homeowners in the dark as to exactly what these changes mean for them and their homes. New reports from Stacks Propert

Increase in Planning Permissions in the United Kingdom Could Signal Housing Boom

09/27/2013

According to recent housing market reports, England could be set to experience a housing boom over the next six months to a year. The year-over-year planning permissions for homebuilders increased nationwide by a significant margin in the second quarter, creating high hopes that the numbers will continue to increase at rapid speeds. According to the most recent pipeline report from the House Build

South West Sees Large Leap in Planning Approvals

09/24/2013

Planning approvals have gone up significantly over the entire United Kingdom. And the South West is no exception for the past year. According to recent reports planning approvals, for new homes in the area at least, increased by more than 22 per cent over the past year in the South West. According to experts, this shows an increasing confidence in the market place by homebuilders who are willing t

Onshore Oil and Gas Sees New Planning Permission Requirements

09/21/2013

Anti-fracking activists swarmed Balcombe throughout the summer months, but despite the protests, the government continued to provide support for onshore gas projects, including those that are considered unconventional. However, the Fall has brought a review of the planning practice guidance and according to recent reports the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is working to det

Planning Application Submitted for East Marsh Car Park After Construction

09/18/2013

At the corner of East Marsh where Spittlefields Road meets Ruckholt Road, a car park that can house 60 cars has been found to be built without the planning application that is required to build one. The Hackney Council under whose jurisdiction this construction applies explained that the reason was that the car park was considered to be temporary and that it in the process of applying for planning

Godalming College Expansion Denied

09/15/2013

A planning application made by Godalming College located on Tuesley Lane to enable an expansion in faculty and students by selling 3.6 acres of land to Bovis Homes for the residential development of the college has been rejected. The application was submitted jointly by Bovis Homes and the college and attracted a great deal of debate and objections from 86 officials. The scheme would enable the c

Planning Permissions Granted For Wetheral Homes

09/12/2013

Plans to allow the construction of six new homes within Wetheral have finally received approval. Residents of seventy strong, have been avidly protesting the original plans to develop the homes in Carlisle, along land that is located behind the Lime House. Two previous times when the plans were submitted, the group of residents contested against them. In both situations, the residents won. Even w

Developer Protesting Art Cash Condition In Planning Application

09/09/2013

A brand new drive-through restaurant and retail unit is going to be built along the edge of the town of Truro. The project, which will take place along the former Oak Tree Inn site is going to be constructed opposite of the park and ride along Threemilestone. The project was originally stalled due to the recession. However, since the recession has slowly passed over, plans are being made to get t

Family To Face Eviction After Building A Home With No Planning Permissions

08/25/2013

A family residing in Redruth that has chosen to live a sustainable lifestyle, is facing eviction. The eviction comes, after the family has been given word that if they do not move out of their home that they built themselves, they will be forced out of it. The couple, Daniel who is twenty seven and his wife Laura, who is thirty two, along with their two small children, decided to build a wooden c

Backlog of 400,000 Unbuilt UK Homes With Planning Permissions Raises Concerns

08/22/2013

One fact that is awfully surprising is that there are roughly 400,000 homes within the UK that have received planning permissions that are waiting to be constructed. These houses remain in the midst of being built, despite the extreme shortage of houses within the country. The backlog of homes waiting to be built has been reduced by a mere 6,000 during the 2012 year. Due to the backlog of homes t

Selby Leisure Centre Receives Planning Permissions For Redevelopment

08/18/2013

The Abbey Leisure centre, that is located in Selby, has been given planning permissions for redevelopment. The centre is going to be redeveloped by the district council, along with partnerships that encourage leisure services, WLCT. The national sports body located in England, has also agreed to assist with redeveloping the centre also. The redeveloped centre, is going to be constructed right on

Planning Permissions Are Granted For UKS Largest Solar Park

08/15/2013

BRNG Renewables has managed to obtain planning permissions, for a construction project that will take twenty five years to complete. The proposed permissions are to create an 18MW solar array field at an area that is referred to as Old Romney. Old Romney is located in the town of Kent. The committee located in Kent, has decided to vote towards having the solar facility erected in their area. The

The United Kingdom’s Biggest Self-Built Plan Receives Planning Permissions

08/12/2013

Individuals residing in Europe that are interested in building the dwelling of their dreams will be able to see proposals for the schematics of their dream living quarters. A self-build scheme located near Bicester, is in the works. A website, helping individuals build their dream homes, just went live, last week. Graven Hill, which is located a few miles south of Bicester, is being advertised as

Republican Memorial That Is Raising Concerns Has No Planning Permissions

08/09/2013

A new memorial monument that is being constructed in Castlederg has not received the proper planning permissions to be able to move forward. The memorial, which is intentionally being built as a means to commemorate IRA members that were living in the area, and killed during the Troubles, is being built for a purpose, but unionist are not pleased, that the building process, did not go through the

Couple Ordered To Demolish Illegal Extension

08/02/2013

A couple who built a two storey extension at the rear of their house without planning permission have been ordered to knock it down. Ann Clark was prosecuted by Barnet Council after it emerged she had failed to demolish her extension as required by an enforcement notice. The hearing at Willesden Magistrates Court heard that Mrs Clark and her husband built the two-storey rear extension includin

Ener-G Receives Planning Permissions For Their Ninth Conversion Facility

07/31/2013

Energos, which specializes in making clean energy from wastes, is taking the necessary steps to begin building their ninth conversion facility. They are hoping to build the facility in AmeyCespa’s. The plant is going to be given the name Milton Keynes Waste Recovery Park. The park received the necessary planning permissions that it needed earlier this month. Construction for the waste site

Health Bosses Believe New Hospital Facility In Wynyard Will Still Be Able To Open By 2017

07/31/2013

Health bosses are adamant that they are still going to be able to open their new hospital within Wynard by 2017. The £300m facility is raising a lot of concerns for people, and the government. There are talks that completion of the project is not on track. The individuals responsible for building the facility, believe that the talks that they had with the government about giving part-funding

Cheltenham Plans Receive Council Approval To Being Construction

07/28/2013

Local authorities, located in Cheltenham have released their decision on the plans that were given for Cheltenham. The authorities have decided to approve the £45 million development plans, that propose to transform the racecourse located in the British town. The borough council in Cheltenham has voted unanimously on the planning permissions that were submitted for the redevelopment of the

Berkeley Homes Plans To Build The Largest Residential Tower In The UK

07/25/2013

Berkley homes is interested in securing planning permissions for a residential tower, which, if built, will end up being the largest tower, ever granted planning permissions, to be constructed. The tower, if plans are approved, will be located in London’s docklands. The proposed plans that were submitted for approval, will feature 1150 residential units. The tower would raise to approximate

Planning Councils Brace For A Battle Over Shale Gas Plans

07/22/2013

Britain’s gas revolution is heading for a serious clash as local authorities and the central government have been feuding over planning permissions for extraction projects. If the extraction of shale gas is decided to be viable, from a commercial standpoint, the government fears that the drilling work may be held up by planning permissions processing, as the local authorities are attempting

Council Shows No Support For Dangerous Planning Permissions

07/19/2013

Dangerous planning applications for a dozen new properties to be built along a single track lane located in Penryn has been slammed by the planning council within the town. Mark Snowdon, who is the chair of the planning council, described the plans, which is requesting for new homes to be built along the Packsaddle land, as a type of accident that is waiting to happen. He described the plans as be

Residents Are Concerned About Planning Permissions For Animal Rendering Plant

07/16/2013

The owners of an animal rendering plant may be able to receive some sense of freedom from the scrutiny they have been receiving from Bradford Council. The rendering plant has announced its plans to choose to build a wind turbine that will measure thirty four metres high. Residents have been complaining about the smells that emanate from the Omega Proteins that are based at the Erlings Works, loca

Hollywood Film Hoping To Obtain Planning Permissions For Alien Crash Site

07/13/2013

Aliens are hoping that they will be given the opportunity to land on a piece of farmland that is located in Bramley. However, this landing will not take place, unless they obtain proper planning permissions from the council in charge of the borough first. The planners in charge of Waverley Borough, will need to decide whether the village is going to be allowed to obtain this encounter with the th

Planning Permission Delays Have Been Slammed By Whittonstall

07/10/2013

UK Coal has asked the Northumberland council for some more time to be able to submit data regarding their Whittonstall proposal. Campaigners that are against plans for a coal mine to open up where a rural village is nearby, are outraged and perplexed at the delays that are taking place on the controversy regarding the mine. UK Coal is planning to dig nearly two million tonnes of coal along with 5

Pinewood Studios Battles To Receive Planning Permissions

07/07/2013

Although Pinewood studies is supposed to be getting prepared to house Star Wars: Episode VII, the world-renowned studios plans may be jeopardised, as their plans to expand the studios have been squashed. Since 1935, Pinewood Studios has been the home of a wide variety of Hollywood blockbusters that range from classic Bond films such as Carry On, as well as Harry Potter films as well. However, whi

Urmston Primary School Given Planning Permissions To Extend 1940s Building

06/30/2013

A primary school located in Urmston, has been granted planning permissions to build two new classrooms. The school still has buildings that were originally built onto the school in the 1940s, these rooms have been deemed no longer fit for the school to operate in. So the planning approval, to build the new classrooms, could not have come at a better time. The English Martyrs RC school, located on

Builder Stops Work On Historic British School Because He Does Not Agree With Planning Permissions

06/27/2013

A builder that had agreed to a contract to assist with building a historic school site has decided to pull out of the contract. The builder claims that the developer of the site is planning on sidestepping the planning permission laws that he was granted. According to the builder, the developer planned for fourteen flats to be built, but they are plotting on adding two additional flats to the plan

Aberdeenshire Council Criticises Donald Trump for Planning Permission Violations

06/21/2013

US business tycoon, Donald Trump, is coming under fire yet again from the Aberdeenshire Council for his repeated mockery of planning rules at his Scotland golf course. The Council has rarely spoken up so loudly against planning permission violations and the course it has taken in this case is considered to be highly unprecedented. According to recent reports, Trump was asked by the Aberdeenshire C

New Steamboat Museum Gains Seal of Approval

06/18/2013

Planning permission has recently been awarded to the Lakeland Arts Trust by the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) to rebuild the Windermere Steamboat Museum which is located near Bowness at Rayrigg Bay. The project is expected to cost £13.3 pounds to which £200,000 has been contributed as a grant by the South Lakeland District Council so that further funding can be found fr

New Bridport Recycling Facility Planning Application Submitted

06/15/2013

The Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP) recently submitted a planning application for a new £8 million purpose-built waste management centre in at Broomhills in Bridport that will serve as a household recycling centre (HRC) and waste transfer station. It is expected that a decision will be made on Friday 26th July regarding this application by the planning committee of the Dorset County Council.

New Community Hospital In Dover Finally Granted Planning Permissions

06/12/2013

After nearly a decade of outcries from citizens regarding the decimation of healthcare services in one of the coastal towns located in Kent, planning permissions have finally been granted to allow a new community hospital to be built in the area. This latest step in the long-running campaign to fight for better healthcare services in the Dover area services as a constant reminder of the incredible

Planning Permissions For Houses Up 10%

06/06/2013

Although the numbers for planning permissions for new housing developments decreased in 2013, from the previous quarter, the trends continue to show continued increases of 10.5% from year to year. The figures that have been released, also show an increase of 21.7% occurring over the previous year. There have been 40,633 permissions granted for dwelling during the first quarter of the year. The am

Planning Permissions Denied For 5MW Solar Park: Construction Has Been Halted

05/31/2013

South Northamptonshire Council planning officials have refused to approve the changes that have been made to a 5 MW solar park that was constructed earlier in the year. This refusal has stripped the plans consent that they were given to initially begin the construction following its completion. The German Contractor that was employed to perform the construction related tasks that totaled £6

New Permitted Development Rights Allow Property Conversions Sans Permission

05/19/2013

New permitted development rights have been approved in London SE1 that will change the way conversion developments are approved. In fact, the new rights will allow developers to convert office buildings into homes without any type of planning permission at all. Presently, the large majority of SE1 is exempted from this new measure and developers are required to get planning permission, however, th

Planning Permission Granted For Cardiff Bay Ice Arena

05/16/2013

A three thousand seat ice arena located in the International Sporting village of Cardiff Bay has received the planning permissions that it requires to get construction underway. The construction for the ice arena is expected to get started in August. The costs for the arena will be a staggering £16m, housing two separate ice rinks inside of it.  The arena will be the new home for the i

Planning Permissions Granted To Reduce Wind Turbines For Efficient Turbines In The UK

05/13/2013

RWE Npower Renewables, an energy company responsible for alternative wind power sources, has been given planning permission allowing them to repower the first wind farm located in the United Kingdom. With the granted planning permissions, the energy company will reduce the amount of turbines used to one third, while doubling the amount of energy given off in the process.  The Taff Ely Wind F

Mobile Telecommunication Companies Do Not Need Planning Permission To Erect 18 Foot Telephone Masts

05/07/2013

Mobile phones have taken the world by storm. They have become an electronic chain that allow people to keep up with their peers, regardless of location. These days, it is considered absurd if you do not own a mobile phone. In fact, people look at you as if you’re from another planet, if you do not have a phone attached to your ear while you are out, or aren’t consistently returning tex

UK Llama Farm Receives Planning Permission To Build A Solar Farm

05/04/2013

Renewable energy has been a hot topic in the news, worldwide for quite some time. As the amount of natural resources that the world yields is slowly decreasing, something has to be done to keep energy that the world needs, operational. As a result, new renewable forms of energy are being introduced to the general public. One of these renewable sources is solar energy, which will allow us to feed o

Government Give Local Councils Powers to Stop Traveler Camps

04/04/2013

Before the Easter holiday, the Communities and Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, granted powers to local councils so that they could give stop notices to travelers when they try to set up temporary camps. Currently, many gypsies and temporary travelers use loopholes in planning schemes to designates their camps and caravans as their primary residence so that they can avoid paying fines. Pickles

Old Grammar School in Coventry Granted Planning Permission

04/04/2013

The local council of Coventry has granted planning permission to refurbish and renovate the Old Grammar School in Hales Street, one of the oldest buildings in the town. It is listed as a Grade 1 building, a designation that means it is on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, a list that is maintained by the English Heritage in England. The building is pri

The Diversification of China’s Sovereign Wealth

03/23/2013

The government of China, under the auspices of two of its foreign arms is getting into the UK property investment in a big way. The two state bodies are the State Administration of the Foreign Exchange, SAFE and the China Investment Corporation, or CIC. Clearly the China sovereign wealth fund is overflowing to the extent that they are actively diversifying into investment vehicles in the UK proper

To Buy or Not to Buy in London? That is Not the Question For Overseas Investors

03/20/2013

Shakespeare was from the West Midlands. But he did go to London to make his fortune. But would he say that a city by any other name can smell as sweet as London? Many overseas property seekers seem to think so. They are heading to Birmingham, the second city in the West Midlands, for their development opportunities, rather than the hyper inflated capital. This is the outstanding headline from a re

Keeping it All in the Family

03/17/2013

It’s a definite flashbulb memory, David ‘golden balls’ Beckham in his designer boxer shorts. And then there is another picture for the first family of fashion in the Western World, album. David’s ‘missus’ Victoria in her lingerie. And right up to date we have the prince, young Romeo sporting a trench coat and representing the best of Burberry designs. Romeo Bec

National Trust Strikes Back in Plan Wars

03/14/2013

The National Trust, that guardian of ‘olde worlde’ England, does not like the coalition government’s plans for planning. They have fired a shot across the boughs by declaring that, changes to planning and building regulations, will lead to ‘war in the British countryside’’ between  rural communities and town planners. The charity, that is all about conserv

St.Ives Council Know Great Art When They See it

03/11/2013

If there is one town in the country that probably doesn’t need another art gallery it is St Ives in Cornwall. And yet the council there have given planning permission for a grand £12m projected add on at the Tate in the town. All of the councillors in the famous artists town voted in favour of the project. It does look like a notable project with several new show spaces and art exhibit

The Aussies are Coming to Judge BINTM

03/08/2013

Dannii Minogue is a celebrity. She is very good at being a celebrity, but how good is she at being mentor to wannabe models? Dannii is reported to be refreshing her catwalk skills before taking on another series of the ‘reality’ TV mentoring cum judging role for Britain & Ireland's Next Top Model. Could there be anything more surreal than a group of handpicked outstandingly beautif

Hinkley Point Planning Says Go, but the Energy Price Is Blowing in the Wind

03/05/2013

The Department of Energy and Climate Change have reported a good case of wind. They announced that the last months have seen an increase the quantity of electricity from offshore wind farms. The electricity from offshore winds is up by more than fifty percent and the onshore wind farms also gave us an increase of almost forty per cent with greatly increased capacity. This green energy source is to

Giant East Anglia Wind Farm is a ‘No Brainer’

03/02/2013

Soon, (if you think five years is soon), you may be able to stand on the beaches of great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, look out to sea and find nothing but a forest of wind turbines turning in the onshore breezes. Planning permission is pending for the country’s largest wind farm. Another welcome sight for the local residents will be fifteen hundred plus jobs in the construction and the nearly 20

Big Plans Afoot in Manchester and Bristol

02/28/2013

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer will be donning his yellow hard hat and high visibility vest for a photocall soon if planning permission is given to two new major construction projects, one in Manchester and the other in Bristol. Manchester Airports group, or MAG, are looking to build a ‘Mars bar’ mini city. Everybody coming to Manchester airport will be able to ‘work

Political Point Scoring or Genuine Savings? The Devil is in the Detail

02/27/2013

The coalition government is painting a picture of itself as George, the slayer of the dragon that is ‘red tape’. The planning system and existing building regulations, is portrayed as the head of the dragon. They are proposing various measures to cut it off.  Unfortunately, it is a stereotype based on some false assumptions, that building regulations especially, are simply ‘

UK firms are ‘Doing the Right Thing’

02/23/2013

A new business survey carried out by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Chartered Institute of Building and the Association for Consultancy and Engineering in the UK, puts UK firms in the number two spot (out of 62) for having ecologically driven investment projects planned for the next 3 years. Singapore globally, had the number 1 spot with 69% of companies planning ecologically d

New Nuclear Plant Out of the Starting Blocks

02/20/2013

The energy company EDF Energy, just last week published its detailed plans to construct another nuclear power generating facility in Suffolk. The huge tome outlines the step by step process it will go through in spending many billions of pounds in building the Sizewell C plant. This publication is the starting gun for a long period of consultation with communities in the county. Local residents a

High Priced London Properties Attract Asian Buyers

01/10/2013

The amount of property transactions in London has hit its highest levels since the financial crisis first began in 2008. The amounts of properties being sold in the area are thanks to Asian governments that are scouting the region in search of long term investment properties. At the rate that properties are selling in London, it is only a matter of time, until the financial crisis becomes a discus

UK Property Sales And Lending Will See Modest Increases In 2013

01/04/2013

The FLS, an acronym which means the Funding for lending scheme is going to be a key factor that will influence short term mortgage marketing developments in 2013. According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders it is important that buyers and sellers are aware of the influence that this scheme can have on sales. It is expected that there is going to be a small improvement in the amounts of loans tha

The Housing Gap and the North South Divide Just Go On and On

01/02/2013

The online estate portal Rightmove are reporting a record slump in monthly house price movements. It is normal in the seasonal cycle to see a slowdown in house price movement in the Christmas month, but this year is exceptional. There has been recorded a 3.3% drop in the average prices being asked for by sellers and agents. This is the biggest single 1 month fall in a decade. The Rightmove ‘

National Planning Policy Framework; Too Little Too Late?

12/31/2012

Local planning departments all over the country have consented to the building of many more houses in the last 3 months of the summer. Much of this is down to amended government policy. However, but the number of permits has still not been large enough to make any difference in the housing needs of the nation.   This is the gloomy conclusion of the Home Builders Federation’s, or H

The SME ‘Vibrant’ Nuclear Action Plan

12/20/2012

Smaller and middle sized building and engineering contractor firms are to get government aid to help capture a piece of the nuclear power plant construction pie under a new scheme from the coalition. The ‘nuclear supply chain action plan’ describes no less than 30 ideas aimed at ensuring that British firms are skilled and equipped enough to help build the latest nuclear power station f

London Construction Levels on a Low Plateau Says The Latest ‘Crane’ Survey

12/18/2012

The most recent review of construction activity in the Capital, the ‘crane survey’ by Drivers Jonas Deloitte, shows a rising number of encouraging commercial developments starting but still a very slow rate of completions. The second half of this year, saw twenty five new projects kicking off. This makes a total of fifty nine when added to the first half total from the same survey 6 mo

Building Regulations Under Review, But Why?

12/13/2012

The Building Regulations and voluntary housing standards are currently under review and the review panel will be publishing a report in the second quarter of next year. Construction materials and ideas are changing all the time, as is the need for greener cheaper housing. So a review of these complex regulations is a good thing in and of itself. If it can recommend cheaper, faster and better ways

It’s All Taking Too much Time

12/11/2012

The overall level of building activity in the UK decreased by more than 13% in September. This is a huge drop compared to last year. Last year the country was said to be in recession, but now we are not. Both of these facts come from the Office for National Statistics. Construction projects were down in both major sectors, when major infrastructure projects are excluded; the public and the private

Minister Steps in to Overturn Harlow Planning Decision

12/03/2012

The Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles has stepped into a disagreement between a local authority and a consortium of developers. He has decided to allow a big housing led development over the objections of local residents. His decision overrides Harlow council’s rejection of the project. In the ‘red corner’ local residents of Old Harlow in Essex did not want 1100 homes built on

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) Now Know 'Special measures' When They See Them

11/30/2012

Planning Minister, Nick Boles, knows an underperforming authority when he sees one. Or at least when he sees their output figures for last year. He told his fellow MPs that there are probably no more than 20 planning authorities that will get the thumbs down and placed in the new naughty corner of “special measures”. He believes the number of ‘dunces’ will be low, saying, &

The Green Shoots of Recovery

11/22/2012

Has the UK construction industry turned the corner from decline into recovery? There are some signs of a turnaround. The Purchasing Managers' Index of construction went up from 49.5 in September to 50.9 in October. This was almost entirely because of civil engineering activity while residential and commercial activity continued its decline. Building around the UK goes unfunded because of PFI (priv

Is The Construction Sector Bottoming Out?

11/20/2012

Things are not looking good for the building sector of the UK economy next year. The big question is just when will all those coalition initiatives to lift infrastructure spending out of the doldrums, kick in? Stocks in construction companies are still good buys for investors because of their dividends and yields are well covered. The Warren Buffets of the investment world are saying that the trad

Planners say OK! Totnes Locals Say Nay!

11/19/2012

The war on drab ‘samey’ high streets and town centres is going on all over the UK. One small battle was won by the locals in Totnes when they protested hard enough for the multinational coffee chain, ‘Costa Coffee’ not to take up their planning permission for a high street coffee shop. Costa applied for and got permission to install a seventy seat outlet in the idyllic mark

Widnes Biogas Plant Gets Planning Permission.

11/14/2012

PDM are one of the UK’s foremost companies in food waste recycling. Granox, a subsidiary of the company has recently got the go ahead for construction of a 4.2 megawatt ‘biogas’ recycling plant. This latest ‘green’ project will cost a staggering £20 million and go up on a site near Widnes in Cheshire. The site for the plant is over a hectare of land and the faci

Ideas to Free up The Construction Pipeline

11/12/2012

The coalition’s relaxation of planning regulations makes it quicker and cheaper for community supported developments to get the go ahead. However, the changes do little to break down one of the biggest barriers to construction. This barrier is put up by construction companies themselves. Political and industry insiders are very aware of this, and one particular ministerial aide with a finger

Infrastructure Planning in Victoria and Gatwick

10/29/2012

The prime minister is talking up the latest £350 million building project in the centre of the capital. Mr. Cameron is lauding the project as the vanguard of a coming wave of construction released by the government’s war on planning red tape. The Prime Minister went on to claim that the two eye-catching buildings in Victoria would generate 2,500 long term jobs and give the economy a mu

Is It Worth It?

10/26/2012

Is the coalition government’s easing of the planning regulations around home extensions in the UK really worth it? It is certainly causing a great deal of hot debate between ministers and town planners, represented by the LGA. And now the government is floating the idea of extending the time scale allowed for the deregulation. Will we ever know if the lack of required planning permission for

A Typical Tale of Two Towns

10/15/2012

Without a seance it is hard to know what Lord Palmerston, the very late Victorian prime minister, would think of the proposed new Tesco superstore on the outskirts of Romsey. Given the late Lord’s inability to communicate, opponents of the store have covered his statue in posters proclaiming ‘NO TO TESCO’. Thereby making him a silent conscript in the ‘say no to Broadlands&r

Building a Better Image for Britain

10/12/2012

The construction industry is going into the brand-building business with anybody who will listen. It is lobbying the great and the good of the land and pushing 8 ‘mom and apple pie’ messages toward the coalition government in the hope of winning favour. Message # 1 is that the construction industry is vital to the UK economy. And that ailing beast is in sore need of a ‘pick me up

HBF Calls for More Government Action on Planning

10/11/2012

Planning applications for new house buildings, that are granted, are a measure of economic activity. It is bad news that these are in a slump, within a slump. Fewer applications were granted for new builds between April and June this year. The fewest since ‘09, in fact and more than 50% down on those granted in the same quarter ‘07 before the credit crunch. The actual numbers are from

After All is said and done!

10/09/2012

The coalition government is implementing all kinds of ideas in increasingly desperate efforts to get the UK economy going again. Not least among these efforts are relaxations of the planning regulations that are gradually being leaked out in a very piecemeal way. Here are the headline changes so far. It has been compulsory for builders and planners to include a high proportion of ‘affordabl

Zero Carbon Hub and the Green Deal

09/27/2012

The Zero Carbon Hub and the Green Deal may sound like the film title of a Hollywood ‘buddy’ movie but in truth, they are the vanguard of two coalition government flagship policies that impact greatly on the building regulations in England and all planning and construction decisions. Coming out of the Climate Change Act of ‘08, the governments of the UK committed to legally bindin

Planning for Heathrow and Aviation Still on Hold

09/22/2012

The spin doctors at No. 10 are putting out yet more hints that the coalition prime minister is considering a conservative policy ‘U’ turn, of another runway down Heathrow Airport way. A press release from David Cameron’s office on Wednesday hints at the UK’s only hub airport being high on the agenda in discussions with senior ministers from all three other parts of the unio

Return of the London Housing Bubble Led by Apartments

09/19/2012

First signs for the London housing market are that this year is going to be a good one. This is led mainly by the spurt in construction of apartments according London building officials. An official with responsibility for building permits reports that 1,530 units have been given the go ahead up to the end of August. This is almost twice as many as in the same 8 month period last year. 450 of the

Building for Britain?

09/17/2012

The coalition Government is calling to arms all professional builders and ‘DIYers’. They want to stimulate the turgid UK economy with a relaxation of the planning rules. Planning departments across the land are lifting completely, some requirements to include proportions of social housing in developments. There is also an extension of a program to aid first-time home buyers and new gov

Government to Relax Planning Laws

09/09/2012

  A Statement From Our Director 09 September 2012 The recent statements by Prime Minister David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Eric Pickles all open with the phrase  "The Government is putting forward measures" which indicates that these new measures are not in place yet. It is proposed that homeowners would be permitted to build a 6m or 8m rear extension, no more than 50% of their Garden

Angolan Consulate - Covent Garden

09/05/2012

Angolan Consulate - Covent Garden  D&P Secure Planning Permission - WC2E 12/01539/FULL - Granted 21st Aug 2012 The General Consulate of the Republic of Angola in the UK and N. Ireland has been granted Retrospective Planning approval to regularise the redevelopment of 14 Henrietta Street in Covent Garden as its Consulate building.   The Angolan Consulate commissi

Increase in Planning Fees

08/07/2012

Increase in Planning FeesThe Government have announced a proposed 15% increase to all planning fees in the autumn (anticipated 1st October 2012), this is subject to ratification by ministers before the summer recess. A formal announcement is expected shortly.

Alarm as Local Authorities use Criminal Law to Penalise Landlords

08/02/2012

Alarm as Local Authorities use Criminal Law to Penalise Landlords Harrow and Brent pursue costs from Landlord who packed 28 flats into four houses 01 August 2012   Two London councils have used criminal proceedings to prosecute a landlord who breached planning laws by illegally converting four houses into 28 flats. Planning enforcement officers from the London boroughs of Harrow and Brent

Hammerson Planning New Shopping centres After Selling London Properties

08/02/2012

The FTSE 1000 property company, Hammerson, are pressing ahead with their plans to build new shopping centres in France, and the UK. This move was spurred on by their recent sales of their London properties for over 500 million GBP. Hammerson have confirmed that they have made a deal with the UK chain store John Lewis and plan to open up the first shopping Centre will commence in Leeds. The propert

PLANNING FEES TO GO UP 15 PER CENT

08/02/2012

PLANNING FEES TO GO UP 15 PER CENT The Coalition Government has introduced draft regulations which could see the cost of making a planning application increase by as much as 15 per cent. It goes without saying that this news will not be universally welcomed by those in the property industry, particularly when most local planning authorities are looking at shortly introducing a new Community Infr

“Crackers” Claimed in Planning Application Fee Increases

07/30/2012

The government in the United Kingdom has recently announced that it will be increasing the fees that local authorities charge for planning applications by 15 percent. A Grimsby chartered surveyor has called the timing of the announcement “crackers” and has said that this increase can only be justified if services related to these applications are improved. Currently, a fee of £3

Planning Application for 500 homes to be put on hold

07/22/2012

A developer of homes who had submitted a planning application for up 500 homes planned to bebuilt to the west of Southwater found out on Tuesday, July 17, that their application for these homeswas put on hold and will not be heard by the Horsham District Council until October 31. Accordingto a member of the anti-development campaign group, Keep Southwter Green, Ian Waites, the developer, Berkeley

The Yorkshire House Controlled by the iPad and iPhone

07/13/2012

Jane Gibson is coy when she admits that she feels like she is part of the future and lives some in the future as well. This is because of the technology and automation she has decided to integrate into her life. Well, more than integrate. In fact, she and her family have literally developed their lives to depend solely on the automation and technology availability that they have at their dis

TrustMark is Keeping Rogue Traders Out of Your Homes With Its New App

07/12/2012

The Property Care Association, otherwise called PCA is now behind the new TrustMark technology pilot that will be assisting consumers in knowing who to trust to do work in and around their home and who are the cowboy builders and rogue traders. The technology pilot is supported by the government and piloted by Vince Cable, Member of Parliament since 1997 and Britain’s Business Secretary. T

The Shard Inauguration

07/10/2012

Three years after initial construction began on The Shard; it has now officially opened!   A formal inauguration was held on July 5, 2012 hosted by Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, Qatar’s Prime Minister. This ceremony had everything to be imagined from a full laser light show, including thirty lights illuminating the buildings of the London skyline to festivities and even a welco

Home Ownership Dream Virtually Gone

07/04/2012

If the majority of the young people beginning their adult lives today live them out as renters instead of becoming home owners, than in the long run the country will pay for it via claim housing benefits. The country will end up swallowing up more than its share of benefit claims from this same generation, which has now been nicknamed ‘Generation Rent’ through no fault of their own.The

Planning Reform Laws are Unfavorable

07/02/2012

Local community neighbourhood laws, developer laws and builders have all successfully gotten the Ministers to reform the planning laws regarding land all over the entire English countryside. The Hands Off Our Land Campaign (ran by The Daily Telegraph), environmentalists and their respected groups in the UK, as well as many other campaigning groups are campaigning to the Ministers to reconsider the

Success at Merton Council Committee Meeting

02/21/2012

Success at Merton Council 'Planning Applications Committee' Last Night Drawing and planning recently had an application accepted at the Planning Applications Comittee for the change of use of vacant office space to a new Studio School for 14-19 year olds from the local Mitcham, Morden and Merton areas.     The proposal is for a D1, government sponsored school that would take

February 2012 - Press Release

02/06/2012

  Drawing and Planning  Everything you need for a planning application under one roof Claire Adler   A successful planning application usually involves engaging the services of an architect, structural engineer and planner, who typically charge hefty hourly rates. Drawing and Planning are the only UK planning consultancy to unite all three services under one roof while main

January 2012 New Year Special Offer, Save over £1000!

01/03/2012

Convert a House (C3) to 2 Flats for only £1800 + VAT + Council fee of £335 per flat. (Usual price £2800+) This offer represents amazing value for money and the ideal way to maximise the income from your property. Now is the time to apply for planning permission.   This amazing offer ends 31st January 2012 so act now to get the planning permission you require.    

Good time to Submit before the Summer 2012!

12/05/2011

Commercial Time is Money submit your application ASAP. Why stand around waiting for your costs to stack up.    Residential Now is a good time to start on your application, if you are thinking about submitting in order to carry out your build in  the Summer 2012.   Here at Drawing and Planning we always suggest not starting a loft conversion in the winter as it is unpre

Cash Discount for finding Spelling Mistakes on this new website until 21/02/12

11/18/2011

Drawing and Planning launch new website and is offering £25 off our fee if you find mistakes on the website. In order to submit a spelling mistake please email a screen shot with mistake identified and send it to our Director gerald@drawingandplanning.com or call 0208 202 3665 to tell Gerald about the mistake you have found.   limited to four mistakes discount per application (£

GRANTED: Planning Permission Granted in Barnet

10/09/2011

Drawing and Planning have successfully secured planning permission for the improvements to a semi-detached family to include a single storey rear extension and a roof extension including a rear dormer window with Juliet Balcony to facilitate a loft conversion.   Click Here to See Our Full Range of Planning Services  in Barnet Council  

GRANTED: Hip to gable and rear dormer to facilitate a loft conversion.

10/08/2011

Drawing and Planning have successfully secured planning permission for a hip to gable roof extension and rear dormer to facilitate a loft conversion in Barnet council. The Semi-detached property now benefits from increased living space while still maintaining its character on this popular tree-lined street.

EDF Given Go-Ahead For New Nuclear Development

09/08/2011

West Somerset District Council has approved site preparation work for the companies existing Hinckley Nuclear Site. If a license for the new station is accepted, it would be the first newly constructed British nuclear power station in 20 years. In related news, EDF have also been given consent to begin construction of a spent fuel storage facility in Suffolk, with the provision of funds for a l

New Town And Village Green Protection Laws Proposed

09/08/2011

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs plan to reform the registration system for protected town and village greens. The proposal plans to ease the application process for eligible green sites, reducing the burden on local authorities and speeding up the entire process.

Planning 'Guarantee' To Speed The Decision Time For Larger Applications

09/08/2011

Planning Minister Greg Clark has proposed that planning permission applications shouldn't take any longer than 12 months to be determined, including appeals. Using quarterly reports, councils performances will be monitored to ensure that they meet the new guarantee. "The planning guarantee will help remove the uncertainty from the system for communities and ensure that every application, bi

Proposals Invited For Two Olympic Sites

09/08/2011

Interested parties have been requested to come forward with plans. The main site proposed by the Olympic Park Legacy Company proposes should be a public with a visitor centre, outdoor events, water features and play facilities. A second public space containing a visitor centre and a new playground is also recommended.

Proposed Independent Environmental Body For Northern Ireland

09/08/2011

The Northern Irish Department of the Environment is currently responsible for environmental regulation and protection. Plans for an independent body were initially put forward three years ago, and have recently been readdressed by environment minister Alex Attwood; calling on key interest groups to volunteer their opinions on the issue.

Regeneration Can Aid Communities Affected By Rioting

09/08/2011

Planners are set to come forward with plans to aid with regeneration required in response to four-nights of rioting throughout the UK. Stating that renewal efforts should be an opportunity for the communities that have suffered recently, Regeneration chief executive Jackie Sadek said "it’s not just about the built environment, it’s about the people in the communities, they are at the h

NEWS

Planning Reforms Going Down a Bad Road, Says Motion, 2013-11-10

Sir Andrew Motion has accused the government’s planning reforms of having a direct correlation to the increase in vandalism of the countryside. Sir Andrew is a rural campaigner and a former poet laureate, turned activist when it comes to planning reforms that could potentially harm the environment and the landscapes of the United Kingdom. Sir Andrew has insisted that the current planning reforms are allowing too much of the beautiful landscapes in the country to be ploughed over and replaced with buildings and developments. Sir Andrews main argument is that one day the landscapes will be no more than memories, pages in a book. The changes made by the coalition to the planning permissions have caused nearly all development to be seen not only as acceptable, but as a good thing for the country. The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is concerned about how the relaxation of planning laws is failing local communities and causing harm to local landscapes and is urging the public and politicians to make moves for change. Sir Andrew made his comments publicly in the most recent report from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). The report cited the government as being desperate and found that the loosened planning controls may have helped the government to fuel economic growth but it has been done at the expense of the countryside. One of the report’s main target arguments showed that the reforms the government has made to planning permissions are currently posing a threat to national parks and other landscapes throughout the countryside in England. The ministers were accused of making repeated promises to continue protection for these landscapes and parks but the desecration of these lands has continued. Sir Andrew indicated that English countryside is of invaluable importance to the history and future of England and that development in these areas is unacceptable and unnecessary. Sir Andrew did indicate that he does not believe that the government is purposely attempting to ruin the landscapes of the countryside. However, he indicated in the same comments that inadequate protections from development in these areas means that someday there may not be any countryside left to enjoy, and all the history and culture will be lost with them. The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and Sir Andrew are calling on politicians to change the reforms once again and give added protection to Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), National Parks, and other landscapes that are valued locally by the communities in which they are located. The push comes just after many ministers have indicated the necessity to build on these lands and to continue development as much as possible. One of the current projects highlighted by the report from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) shows a plan by the government to put a new major road through the Peak District. Another plan highlighted in the report shows the plan to build multiple mobile homes in the Yorkshire Dales.

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“Use it or Lose it!” Style of Planning Permissions on the Way, 2013-11-07

Arguments are currently surfacing in the government about whether or not developers should have the right to engage in land banking, or if planning councils should have the right to take away land that is purchased but not developed in a timely fashion. The most prominent proposal being considered at this time is one that would give planning councils the right to revoke planning permissions previously granted where developers have sought permission to work on specific plats of land but have not started development within a specific time frame. The same proposal includes provisions giving planning councils the right to levy to levy heavy charges against developers for delayed development. These types of restrictions and rights could streamline the process of purchase orders in England that are considered compulsory and give councils the right to threaten developers into compliance with the law. Effectively, councils would have the right to tell developers who seek planning permission that they must use their planning permissions within the time allotted during the application and approval process or they will lose their planning permissions. According to a recent report published in August 2013 by the Local Government Association there are currently more than 380,000 in the United Kingdom with planning permissions that have not yet been built and the developers have not yet begun work on these homes. Opponents of the new proposal suggest that many of these homes are not yet in development because planning councils have a habit of making it difficult for developers to make it all the way through the approval process. For many developers approval may come with contingencies that must be met before development can be started and those contingencies may take years to fulfil. Think tank, Localis, has suggested that the rights be made available to planning councils because it is one way that the government can be more supportive of the local authorities and help them to boost economic growth by pushing projects, not only through the approval process, but also through to completion. The report from Localis was commissioned by the South East England Councils, a local authority group, seeking ways to speed up the process of development in South East England. The current housing situation in South East England, as throughout the rest of the country, is dire. There is a significant need for effective planning in all areas of the country in addition to adequate housing supply and even the 380,000 homes approved for building will not meet the current demand in the country. These two factors are also determinants in whether or not economic growth is a possibility for areas like South East England, though it largely can have a serious impact on all areas, including large cities, like London. In the same report, Localis highlighted complaints against organisations like Natural England, the Environment Agency, and English Heritage, all of whom are said to be unreasonably slow in responding to planning applications.

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Dover District Council Gives Planning Permission for new Energy Plant, 2013-10-31

The Dover District Council has granted Estover Energy planning consent to build a £65 million green energy plant at Discovery Park in Sandwich at the former site of the Pfizer plant. Financial incentives are offered in the area by mean of its Enterprise Zone Status. The plant will be a biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant that will be powered by wood fuel.It is expected that around 140 jobs will be created as a result of the construction of the new plant, with around 100 of them to be the result of the building process. Estover Energy currently employees 14 people and an additional 20 jobs will be made available at the plant once it has opened with 20 more jobs will be created in transport and forestry.The 220-acre site on which the plant is to be built will receive renewable heat and electricity from the plant. The plat will also supply low carbon electricity to the nation as a whole and support the goal of the United Kingdom that 15 per cent of the nation’s demand for energy will come from renewable resources by the year 2020.Low grade wood that comes from the local area will be used by the plant to generate renewable power and heat to the park and thereby reduce its carbon footprint, its energy costs and its reliance on fossil fuels imported from other nations. A conventional turbine using CHP steam technology will generate 8 to 12 Megawatts of heat and 11 to 15 Megawatts of power which is enough to supply the requisite energy needs of 21,000 homes.The wood used in the plant comes from parts of the tree that have few other uses so that owners of the woodlands in the area will be able to manage these woods more efficiently and achieve greater economic potential. There are 790,000 acres of woodlands in the south east and London and only 46 per cent of it is managed so there are 430,000 acres for which there is no economic use for the trees and no management of a long-term nature.According to Andrew Troup, development director for Estover Energy, there will be many benefits from the new biomass plant that is to be built. There are many energy challenges in the next 20 years that need to be met and the plant will help to meet them by serving to boost the local economy and stimulate investment in the woodlands of the southeast that is long overdue.Laura Sandys, South Thanet MP, said that Estover’s CHP plant will not only provide value for Discovery Park in terms of opportunities for business growth and new employment but for reducing energy costs and carbon emissions from heat and electricity at the park.Greg Barker, energy minister, commented that the biomass CHP plant which Estover is building can be of value to both the local area and to the overall mix of renewable energy. By using the local woods to source the fuel, a new local supply chain is developed that has wider benefits that will help to stimulate the rural economy and provide a market for the woodlands in southeast England for the trees.

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Durkan Withdraws Planning Bill Due to Legal Concerns, 2013-10-28

Mark H Durkan, environment minister, has withdrawn a planning bill due to major legal concerns involving a major convention. The European Convention on Human Rights has many sections that could be considered to run counter to the measures and amendments that Durkan originally proposed to the environment planning bill. These amendments were backed by the DUP and Sinn Fein. At the time of withdrawal, Durkan announced that he had more than just legal concerns, but that he also had concerns about how the planning bill would impact planning and the economy. The planning bill amendments were first begun in June. The assembly, at that time, passed amendments to the planning bill allowing certain individuals in the ministry to propose and set up special planning zones based on the economic needs of shires and councils. Those with powers under the new amendments are the first and deputy ministers. Other amendments made at that time limited the rights of those objecting to planning application decisions to get a judicial review for their application and challenge the decisions that were made on their applications in court. Those amendments were opposed by Alex Atwood, who previously served as the environment minister prior to Durkan’s term. Atwood called the proposed amendments a power grab. Durkan, on the other hand, felt that at least the latter was a necessary move for the government to take and that citizens should be allowed to challenge decisions impacting them and their lives in court. He called this right a fundamental one that all citizens should have in order to protect themselves from too much government power.  Legal advice provided to Durkan concerning the bill proved to him that it was unlawful and that it could cause the government and the bill in its entirety to become a breach of human rights, which Durkan, and most other ministers and government officials are not willing to risk.Durkan was accused of breaching the ministerial code by not consulting the executive on the matter before he mad his announcement. The accusation came directly from the DUP. The government is required in all circumstances to ensure that laws passed for planning and environment do not infringe on the basic rights of citizens and that they do not run contrary to conventions and laws and treaties passed before them. The new environment planning bill would have appeared to only regulate the means by which planning permissions and the environment were dealt with, but according to reports about Durkan’s decision, Durkan realized that the bill would have taken away too much power from those who were seeking planning permissions. Restricting planning permissions, even for environmental purposes, even further in a troubled economic time when housing is hard to come by could severely impact the ability of the government to stimulate the economy, allow construction projects to move forward, and to provide more affordable housing options to the citizens of the United Kingdom and its many local planning councils.

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Planning Minister Encourages Farmers to Go Head to Head With Planning Councils, 2013-10-25

Recent reports out of the government indicate that the planning minister is actively encouraging farmers to battle for their rights against planning councils that restrict their abilities to build on their own farming land. Complaints across the country have recently arisen indicating that local planning councils often make it difficult, or even impossible, for farmers to erect new buildings on their farmland. These buildings may include farm houses, barns, granaries and other outbuildings, among others. Minister Nick Boles told the National Farmers’ Union that they should start fighting for their rights now in order to set the precedent and show the planning councils that farmers will not be restricted from developing and growing their enterprises. Boles believes that if multiple groups are willing to stand up to local planning councils then they will be able change the behaviour of councils towards farmers who initiate the planning process and file planning applications. Recent complaints from the National Farmers’ Union about unnecessary paperwork that skyrockets the cost of development and makes the process much slower caused the planning minister to make the suggestion.Mr Boles and his department in the ministry is unable to intervene in situations where local planning councils cause problems for farmers who are attempting to develop on their land. Mr Boles department is unable to intervene in any matters that arise with those councils that are elected locally. However, Mr Boles and his department are in favour of farmers and of the National Farmers’ Union challenging the local planning councils and their decisions that impact farmers. Mr Boles suggests challenging local planning councils because most are unable or unwilling to take on the expense of defending a planning decision. The process of battling an appeal, especially if the council loses, can be extremely expensive for local planning councils. Mr Boles encourages the farming organisation to take on cases where the unreasonable behaviours towards farmers has been especially egregious and to run these types of test cases could be very helpful in changing the behaviours exhibited by the councils. The rural affairs advisor of the National Farmers’ Union, David Collier, indicated that the unreasonable requests made to farmers over the past year and beyond have included requests for paperwork such as business plans, archaeological surveys, and even flood assessments. Typically, archaeological surveys are only required and requested in situations where there is evidence that the area of farmland has human remains buried on it. The suggestion for this type of extreme reactionary behaviour on the part of farmers is aligned with the new regulation relaxation proposed by the Department for Communities and Local Government. The department recently proposed to allow farmers to turn buildings on their farmland which are currently in existence but unused into other types of buildings, like homes without having to file an application for planning permission. The farmers would also have the right to build up to three new homes and demolish buildings without seeking additional approvals.

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Wind Farms on the Rise in UK Thanks to Approved Planning Applications, 2013-10-18

According to recent reports, the number of onshore wind farms in the United Kingdom is on the rise as planning permissions approval for the construction of wind turbines has increased in droves over the past year. Figures out of the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) indicate that the increase is steady and shows a commitment to change in the United Kingdom.Reports generate between January and August 2013 by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) indicate that there has been a significant increase in the approval of planning applications for wind turbine groupings, also called wind farms. During the eight-month period between January and August, planning permission approval to begin construction was given to 188 onshore wind farms. This is a 49 per cent increase on the year-over-year numbers from the same period in 2012. In 2011, only 83 wind turbine projects were approved during the same eight-month reporting period. However, despite the increase and the positive light this sheds on the United Kingdom as a whole as there are more moves and cries for global change in the production of energy, there is a long and arduous road ahead. Communities secretary Eric Pickles has voice concern over landscape protection rules not being followed by those constructing the wind turbine farms. Greg Baker, energy minister, is currently working to alert area councils that neither wind farms nor solar farms will be allowed in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).  This could mean the end of many wind farm projects in the works throughout the United Kingdom. The Department of Communities and Local Government has indicated that planning councils should bear in mind the potential impact on Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty when approving applications for planning permissions that deal with wind farms and solar farms.Scottish Conservatives recently reported that at least seven applications a day on average are sent to Scottish councils for review and approval for wind farm projects. According to reports from the group, over the past 18 months, 2,508 planning applications were sent to Scottish councils for approval of wind farm projects. The councils receiving the highest number of requests fro planning permissions for wind farms were Aberdeenshire with 428 requests over the past 18 months, followed by the Highland Council with 376 requests for planning permissions for wind farms in the same reporting period. Wind farms are made up of multiple wind turbines, large windmill-like objects that stand on the countryside and turn wind into electricity that is used for powering towns, power plants, and other production facilities. A single one-megawatt wind turbine can produce enough energy to power the average annual needs of more than 350 households. Depending on the planning application and the location of the wind farm, the wind turbines erected may be anywhere from 600 kilowatts to three megawatts of capacity, meaning that they have the potential to power an entire shire or council area for years.

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Annual Increase in Year-Over-Year Numbers For Planning Approvals Signals Boom, 2013-10-15

Recent reports from the housing industry indicate that there has been a significant increase in the year-over-year numbers for planning approvals. This increase may signal the beginning of a house building boom in Great Britain that the likes of which has not been seen in many years. This type of increase gives not only the housing industry, but also those individuals seeking affordable housing, reason to hope for the immediate and long-term future. A housing boom likely would mean that there would be fewer people living in unacceptable, substandard, and unaffordable housing in the coming years, even as demand continues to increase.According to recent reports England saw an increase in approvals on planning applications for new homes of more than 49 per cent in the second quarter. This is an increase over the same reporting period from the previous year. The latest Housing Pipeline from the House Builders Federation (HBF) reported the data and indicated that there was also a decline that shook the housing industry between the first quarter and second quarter of the year over the same reporting period from the previous year. However, despite this dip, the reports indicated that the first half of the year still saw a significant increase on the year-over-year reports. More than 77,685 planning applications for new homes were granted in the first half of 2013, showing a 26 per cent increase on the same reporting period from 2012. There have been reports of activity growing in the residential property sector as more people are seeking affordable housing that is not substandard housing. As more individuals embark on the journey to find a home, or other affordable options, the demand for housing, and the number of housing applications will also increase over time. Representatives from HBF have indicated that the trend for planning permissions application approvals is a very positive one in that more applications are being approved now than they have been in the past. HBF has noted that the new planning system likely has had a tremendous impact on the positive upward trend for home building and home ownership throughout the United Kingdom. Although Help to Buy is increasing the number of people able to access the funds necessary to make home purchases and developers are working to increase their output, HBF has indicated that there is still a need for additional increases and for the housing sector to maintain the increases already seen. Reports from other industry insiders are examining closely the strict planning permissions conditions that are often attached to construction applications, making it difficult for approved projects to begin. This means that although many applications have been approved, only a fraction of those approved projects have actually begun work. With multiple items listed under pre-commencement conditions in many cases, there are times that construction companies are unable to commence work for years after their planning application has been accepted and approved. In a country desperate for more housing options, insiders are still hoping for change.

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With Changes to Planning Restrictions, Homeowners Get More Rights, 2013-09-30

Recent reports indicate that homeowners can now experience the right to do more with their properties and with their homes. A recent relaxation of the planning restrictions for residential properties gives homeowners more rights, but little promotion of these changes has left most homeowners in the dark as to exactly what these changes mean for them and their homes. New reports from Stacks Property Search indicate that homeowners considering changes or additions to their property or to their homes should carefully read up on the new planning restrictions. In some cases there may be restrictions that do not apply in specific situations, and some situations further may not require consultation with neighbours. The changes are the result of the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) which gives homeowners the right to make some types of changes to their homes and property without having to file an application for planning permission before carrying out the work. Recent changes to the GPDO made it necessary to make lateral changes to planning restrictions so that the Order’s effort to encourage homeowners to stimulate the economy with purchases for their homes could be made a reality.The most significant changes are those concerning extensions to homes in residential non-protected areas. According to the latest reports, the limit for single storey extensions in these areas has increased to eight metres from the original four metres for any detached home. Additionally for all other homes in these areas, the extension limit has increased from three metres to six metres. Despite this change, homeowners must beware that the rule that extensions may not exceed more than 50 per cent of their property’s curtilage still exists and that they must still follow the rules for height. In addition, the changes to these rules went into effect at the end of May 2013, but expire at the end of May 2016, which may cause some homeowners grief, especially if their projects are not completed prior to the last day of May in 2016. However, there are some factors still holding consumers back from purchasing homes where work needs to be done. According to Stacks Property Search, it can be difficult for buyers, whether new or seasoned, to purchase a home that needs work because they may not be able to get financing. At the same time, these changes do open the market to buyers with liquid assets that are looking for a project, or who intend to invest in real estate and want a cheap way to get a foot in the door. Purchasing low priced homes that need work and having the right to improve on them without planning permission may make these homes now more desirable to real estate investors who previously sought highly marketable, move-in ready properties. Stacks has advice for homeowners looking to make improvements, and indicates that those making changes should consider the resale value of changes made to the home, especially if they don’t intend to live there forever.

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Increase in Planning Permissions in the United Kingdom Could Signal Housing Boom, 2013-09-27

According to recent housing market reports, England could be set to experience a housing boom over the next six months to a year. The year-over-year planning permissions for homebuilders increased nationwide by a significant margin in the second quarter, creating high hopes that the numbers will continue to increase at rapid speeds. According to the most recent pipeline report from the House Builders Federation, numbers reveal that nationwide, planning permissions applications for homebuilders were approved at a rate 49 per cent higher than they were during the same reporting period in 2012. The number is lower than those reported nationwide for the first quarter, however, according to the report, even with the slight decrease from the first quarter to the second quarter, more there were exactly 77,686 planning permissions applications approved for homebuilders throughout the nation. This equates to a year-on-year increase for the six months of the year of 26 per cent from 2012 to 2013. As the past several years have seen mostly moderate increases, the stiff increase in 2013 could signal the return of confidence to the market place, which may, in turn, lead to a housing boom.Despite these increases, the first six months of the year fell well short of the housing goal for the year, which is to provide 110,000 homes in each half of the year, for a total of 220,000 homes by the end of the year. Although the goal may likely not be met, the increase in the number of homes is a good sign.Comments from the House Builders Federation indicate that the trend is a positive one, and that it is a reflection of the positive changes that have been made over the past several years in the planning process. As a part of major changes to the home buying and building experience, the House Builders Federation credits the Help to Buy program with returning confidence to the market for buyers, especially first time buyers, who in the past, had difficulty obtaining loans or keeping up with payments.Concerns over the differentiation in planning permissions requirements in different regions and local governments throughout the nation are still at the top of the list for the House Builders Federation. Planning conditions in local areas are set by local authorities, and are done after planning permission has been granted. In many cases this may slow down, or halt work on construction sites for projects that developers thought could be completed rather quickly. Some reports indicate that the conditions of the planning permissions approval may include up to one hundred separate conditions that must be met in order for work to commence. Planning permissions are sometimes granted with work unable to begin for years after approval is provided. This means that while the planning permissions approval numbers are going up constantly, the number of actual homes available to be filled may not actually be going anywhere for a great deal of time.

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South West Sees Large Leap in Planning Approvals, 2013-09-24

Planning approvals have gone up significantly over the entire United Kingdom. And the South West is no exception for the past year. According to recent reports planning approvals, for new homes in the area at least, increased by more than 22 per cent over the past year in the South West. According to experts, this shows an increasing confidence in the market place by homebuilders who are willing to continue development and know that they can find tenants to fill those homes. The Home Builders Federation recently released a report indicating the significant increase in planning approvals. The second quarter report shows that that council-granted permissions rose to 4,519 that quarter alone. The first quarter report from the same group indicated a rise to 4,405, which was also higher than the previous year. According to the report, the second quarter numbers were most impressive because the 2012 numbers from second quarter for planning approvals were at only 3,682 for new homes in the South West. The 22.7 per cent increase ended the second quarter on a positive note and leads to a positive outlook for the remainder of the year. Market experts indicate that the numbers are indicate of a significant improvement in the market place because they not only show a significant increase from the prior year, but because the increase is even greater from years’ past. A poor economic foundation in 2009 caused planning councils to approve only 2,506 applications for new homes in the South West. The 2013 number from second quarter is nearly double that amount. Although the South West is increasing in planning approvals and is seeing confidence return to the market place in a big way, the housing need throughout the South West and throughout the entire United Kingdom is still at risk, and is not being met. According to reports, the number of home building applications approved by planning councils this year is still more than 48 per cent short of what be achieved in order to meet the housing needs of the country and its many communities. Executive Chairman of the Home Builders Federation, Stewart Baseley, indicated that the success of the Help to Buy program has helped to increase the marketability of homes and make it possible for planning applications, and therefore approvals, to increase. However, recent comments from Baseley indicate that strict rules in the planning process, even after permissions have been granted, make it difficult for homebuilders to begin work on sites, and this places a great delay in the availability of housing, even where thousands of applications have been approved. Baseley called for more realistic conditions that allow builders to move forward without significant delays and overhead costs that may cripple a project. Although the South West accounts for only one portion of the housing market, reports have indicated that rises were seen in the second quarter throughout most of the United Kingdom, and despite not meeting the goals for housing, the future is looking bright.

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Onshore Oil and Gas Sees New Planning Permission Requirements, 2013-09-21

Anti-fracking activists swarmed Balcombe throughout the summer months, but despite the protests, the government continued to provide support for onshore gas projects, including those that are considered unconventional. However, the Fall has brought a review of the planning practice guidance and according to recent reports the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is working to determine new requirements for planning applications and planning permissions for onshore gas projects.Currently, the public has the right to comment on these proposed changes until October 14, 2013. The consultation points out that onshore projects require substantially less space than those projects conducted underground. The new proposal insists that although there exists a significant difference between underground space requirements and below ground space requirements for onshore oil and gas projects, and that these onshore projects typically require less than 1 to 2 hectares in above ground real estate, there shall still be a strict requirement for use of this space and the amount that is allowed by planning permission.The current proposed changes would require applicants to notify any landowners, or tenants of landowners, located within the potential boundaries of the project. This refers to, of course, the area beneath the ground, although the above ground portion of the project may exist in only a small portion of the boundary for the entire project. This will place a significant burden on planning applicants to reach out to all of the potentially impacted individuals within the boundaries of their oil and gas reserve. However, the new requirements, unlike similar old requirements, aim to clarify and provide rationale to the system for planning procedures. Amendments being considered are to allow planning applicants only to notify those landowners within the boundaries of the above ground plans and to limit fees for planning applications for onshore oil and gas to the above ground working site only. However, this too, presents a burden on planning applicants since they likely will be required to draw their above ground boundaries above any location where geological work might be necessary, including work necessary as a result of any damage caused by fracking. Applications requiring only the boundary for the main above ground working area may place oil and gas drillers in violation of their original application should work have to be done outside of the boundary. Finally, the new planning permission requirements proposal seeks to reduce the number of applications to one from the multiple applications that must be filed for different planning commissions. These proposals signify that the current Government is interested in allowing expansion of the exploitation of oil and gas reserves throughout all of England. For tenants and landowners of this area, it is critical to pay attention to the consulting period and be involved as much as possible to avoid losing their rights. Legal challenges pursued after the fact may not find a sympathetic ear from judges and courts as gas and oil reserves are critical to the nation’s economy.

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Planning Application Submitted for East Marsh Car Park After Construction, 2013-09-18

At the corner of East Marsh where Spittlefields Road meets Ruckholt Road, a car park that can house 60 cars has been found to be built without the planning application that is required to build one. The Hackney Council under whose jurisdiction this construction applies explained that the reason was that the car park was considered to be temporary and that it in the process of applying for planning permission in order to make it permanent. There was previously a car park there and the Council is looking to reinstate it. In 2011 concrete was poured over East Marsh for a coach park for the Olympics. The land was promised to be reinstated to grass and football pitches by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) once the Olympics were over. This reinstatement did not include a car park as there is one next to the former changing rooms along the River Lee. According to a member of the pressure group, Olympic Games Monitor, Paul Charman, it does not make sense to discuss reinstating a car park that is not in the same location as it does not have the same footprint. This is an encroachment of common land over which the council would normally take action but they have an interest in the project and so want to make sure that the project gets approved. He added that it appears to be a deliberate tactic as waiting to make an application to the Planning Inspectorate eight months after construction would make it very difficult to remove the car park and it would be difficult for the council to take enforcement action against itself even if the planning permission is refused. However, the planning application needs to show that it is retroactive with regards to this project. A spokeswoman for Save Lea Marshes, a campaign group, Caroline Day, commented that she is not surprised by any of these actions. If it were an extraordinary event, she might be more shocked but that she is not shows how often such activities as this occur. In support of the car park, cabinet member for health, social care and culture, Cllr Jonathan McShane, said that the car park takes up less than two per cent of the East Marsh, has provisions for cyclists and will have 11 football pitches that the LLDC plans to reinstate. Other campaigners are furious, according to the Gazette, as this would be the third car park on the marshes next to Cow Bridge. It appears that the council has endeavored to finalize this construction as an email from the project manager has emerged showing that it was encouraging colleagues to comment on the application in a favorable manner. These campaigners also oppose plans by the council for a car park at Cow Bridge with 68 spaces as this would introduce cars on green open land which is in contradiction to the policy made by the council to discourage the use of cars. They believe that the car park at the User Centre at Hackney Marsh would provide enough parking spaces.

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