Keene – Planning and Infrastructure Briefing 21 September 2012

Welsh Government planning review

An expert group report, set up at the behest of the Welsh Environment Minister, has made a number of recommendations which could shake up planning in Wales. The reccomendations highlight:

The need for leadership and, where necessary, intervention by Government (this includes Welsh ministers taking decisions on nationally significant devolved infrastructure schemes)

Preparation of a national framework within which local planning authorities deliver local development plans

The introduction of a statutory framework for strategic planning at a level above individual local planning authority. This could accommodate a city region approach to spatial planning

The establishment of a planning advisory and improvement body.

Planning in Wales will be debated in the Assembly in Cardiff later this month. A report on public attitudes to planning in Wales and another on development control in Wales have also been published this week.

This will all feed into a White Paper due to be launched by the Welsh Government in 2013.

Lib Dem motion on localisation of planning rules shows local/national split in party

A motion has been tabled, in part by the influential Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors (ALDC) which seeks to criticise the September 6 planning reforms.

This comes on the back of Sutton (LD controlled) and Richmond (Con controlled) Councils opposing the relaxed rules for up to 8m extensions.

Community ‘Right to bid’ becomes law

Enshrined in the Localism Act, the ‘right to bid’ for local assets, such as pubs, shops and post offices, has become law.

The new right gives voluntary and community organisations and parish councils the opportunity to nominate an asset to be included on a list of ‘assets of community value’, pausing the sale of a successfully listed asset for six-months, giving communities the time to prepare a bid and get a business plan together. Previously the community had no opportunity or time to gather resources to bid to buy or take them over.

Permission time-limits extended

Government chief planner Steve Quartermain has written to English planning authorities confirming and clarifying the new arrangements for time limit extensions for planning permissions. The Chief Planner has confirmed to planning authorities that the Secretary of State has extended by one year the temporary provisions to implement a planning permission. The letter from the Chief Planner is here. The SI will come into force on October 1.

Planning Inspector reaffirms statutory obligations

The Planning Inspectorate has awarded costs to a developer who was asked to make financial contributions to meet obligation payments for local services and amenities. Although the Council advanced the argument that this was in line with its Unitary Development Plan (UDP) the inspector affirmed the primacy of statute and said that the Council was obliged to pass statutory tests that related the contributions to the development itself and be fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind.

South Gloucestershire Core Strategy moves forward

The planning inspector’s preliminary report into South Gloucestershire Council’s Core Strategy has called for a limited number of additional modifications to make it ‘sound’ and ready for adoption.

The inspector’s preliminary findings back most of the policies within the strategy, including the council’s proposals to allocate Filton Airfield for development as part of the so-called Cribbs/Patchway New Neighbourhood.

Jake Rigg

Jake Rigg

Jake is the Managing Director at Keene Communications, specialising in government relations activities on financial services, tax and competition in the UK and the EU. He also specialises in planning and stakeholder engagement.

He was formerly Head of Policy at the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). With degrees in history and economics from the Universities of Oxford and London, Jake is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a trustee of the European Association of Philanthropy and Giving and advises several governments on public policy. He also advises clients on CSR and philanthropy activities.
Jake Rigg

About the Author

Jake is the Managing Director at Keene Communications, specialising in government relations activities on financial services, tax and competition in the UK and the EU. He also specialises in planning and stakeholder engagement. He was formerly Head of Policy at the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). With degrees in history and economics from the Universities of Oxford and London, Jake is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a trustee of the European Association of Philanthropy and Giving and advises several governments on public policy. He also advises clients on CSR and philanthropy activities.