Are lights turning amber for new housing plans?

For the last couple of years the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has delivered somewhat of a boon for housing developers and those who have land to make available for housing.

As intended, the simplified planning guidance and the ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’ have played their part in this.
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New homes in Longridge

New site could be answer to Longridge’s housing challenge

Two Longridge businesses are putting together plans to develop a site on the southern outskirts of the town which planning experts believe could provide a solution to the housing challenge facing the community.

Local building company W Monks and S & N Forshaw, say the 20-hectare Grimbaldeston Farm site, off Preston Road, could play a key role in meeting the future residential development needs of the town.
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compulsory purchase land value

Maximising land values at compulsory purchase

Landowners facing compulsory purchase can get fairer compensation by obtaining a certificate of appropriate alternative development (CAAD). Paul Walton explains what CAAD is and how it could help.

We recently gained a certificate of appropriate alternative development (CAAD) for a couple whose land was being compulsorily purchased for the Broughton bypass, a £25m relief road being constructed in Lancashire.

As we understand it, this was one of the first such cases to go through the planning system in this region since the early 1980s, so CAAD isn’t all that common.

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planning advice

Why planning advice is vital for growing businesses

Almost every aspect of expanding a business’s operational footprint involves a requirement for planning advice. Paul Walton, a director at North West planning consultants PWA Planning, explains why it’s important to build planning advice into your growth strategy.

Most business owners wouldn’t think twice about taking architectural, legal or financial advice about developing their premises, or relocating.

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Building on green belt land: Is it viable for your development?

The often emotive issue of green belt development has again roused sensitives following a landmark court ruling. But will the latest judgement make it easier to build on green belt land? Paul Walton, director at PWA Planning, examines the broader picture.

A major judgment by the Court of Appeal has far-reaching implications for housing developers looking at potential opportunities to build on green belt land.

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rename the bungalow

Is it time to rename the bungalow?

The word ‘bungalow’ evokes images of elderly communities, far removed from lively homes on modern developments. But single storey homes are vital to the housing mix and perhaps we should look at more up-to-date ways of describing them. Daniel Hughes, senior planner at PWA Planning examines the issues.

England needs more bungalows – that’s official. According to housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis more single storey homes are urgently required. The logic is that by enabling late middle-aged and elderly ‘empty nesters’ to downsize to bungalows, greater numbers of larger houses will be freed up for families.

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starter homes

Do I need to include starter homes in my development?

The Starter Homes initiative has again been defeated in the House of Lords, but the government is unlikely to concede defeat. Paul Walton explains the implications for developers.

The government’s flagship Starter Homes scheme faces an uphill struggle after being voted down yet again in the House of Lords.

Labour, Liberal Democrat and crossbench peers want to water-down the controversial scheme that would see 20 per cent of homes in new developments being made available at a 20 per cent discount to first-time buyers aged under 40.

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building housing on a flood plain

Can I build housing on a flood plain?

A number of high profile flooding incidents have put housing development under the microscope. Daniel Hughes explains why building on a flood plain is still a viable option for developers, providing suitable flood prevention measures can be demonstrated.

One of the enduring images of the floods in December 2015 was of a sign in Lancashire announcing that the completely submerged field in the background had planning permission for 39 dwellings.

It was an image that was shared by thousands of social media users – including Environment Agency chiefs. However, it was later revealed that the Environment Agency (EA) had raised no objections when consulted by council planning officers on proposals to build homes on the site near Whalley.

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free school planning permission

Free school planning permission – How easy is it?

Radical reforms mean people wanting to open free schools can bypass traditional planning consent. However, the changes have often met with stiff opposition. Recent High Court decisions may give more encouragement to those seeking to establish free schools. PWA Planning director, Paul Walton, explains more.

Broad ranging planning rules enable free schools to open in virtually any building for 12 months – and potentially permanently – without needing conventional planning permission.

The government’s measures are designed to allow free schools to convert empty or underused buildings and move quickly onto their site.

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planning permission for stables

How do I get planning permission for equestrian facilities?

Joshua Hellawell explains the rules and offers his top tips for securing planning permission for equestrian facilities.

As with most developments, planning permission will be required if you are thinking of building a permanent equestrian facility, such as stables or an arena.

Some agricultural structures are covered by what is called ‘permitted development rights’ which means planning permission is not required – equestrian facilities are unfortunately not given this status.

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stadium planning and development

Stadium planning: How to win public support

New stadium planning and development can be a contentious issue for fans and communities alike, not to mention local planning authorities. Planning expert Paul Walton assesses what sporting clubs can do to gain public support for stadium development.

History, tradition, identity and atmosphere are all words used by the fans to express their potential concern when their sporting club moots the possibility of a move to a new stadium, or reveals plans to knock down existing stands and start again.

It’s an issue that’s usually overcome if the club is able to effectively communicate the financial, operational and sporting performance benefits of moving stadium. After all, fans always want the best for their club.

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housebuilding industry 2017

The forces shaping UK housebuilding in 2017

Paul Walton, a director at North West planning consultants PWA Planning, summarises the major policy announcements and other external factors that will shape housebuilding in 2017 and what opportunities this will bring for the development sector.

Another year, another housing crisis. Could 2017 be the year our leaders finally come up with a credible long-term plan for increasing the supply of new homes?

The irony is, we’ve had some of the best housebuilding data for years in the last few months, but we’re still not building enough homes to keep pace with population growth.

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housebuilding pledges

Why party political housebuilding pledges are meaningless

Paul Walton, a director at North West planning consultants PWA Planning, explains why parties’ manifesto pledges on new homes need to be taken with a pinch of salt.

It’s election time again and, with the launch of the party manifestos this week, we’ve heard political leaders make bold commitments to increase the supply of new affordable housing.

Labour has pledged to build at least 100,000 new council-owned homes each year, a programme that would cost billions, but hasn’t given any detail of how this will be achieved in practice. It also want to introduce a new government department to tackle the housing crisis.

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call for sites

What is a ‘call for sites’ and how should I respond?

Paul Walton, a director at North West planning consultants PWA Planning, answers some frequently asked questions on what is means when a local authority undertakes a call for sites exercise.

Local authorities are required by central government to identify future supply of land that’s “suitable, available and achievable” for use for housing or other economic development purposes.

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Full, outline or reserved matters? The different types of planning application explained

Paul Walton, director of PWA Planning, explains the different types of planning application and how these fit into the overall planning process for new development.

There are so many different types of planning applications and consents that it can all sound rather confusing for anyone who isn’t a property professional.

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energy storage land

Energy storage land suitability – It’s all about the grid connection

Louise Leyland, associate at PWA Planning, explains some of the common energy storage land and planning obstacles and why having a grid connection offer is the first step to success.

The government’s recent ‘net zero carbon emissions by 2050’ pledge has brought the issue of land availability for renewable energy projects into sharp focus.

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keeping a planning permission live

How to keep a planning permission alive

Dan Hughes, associate at PWA Planning, explains more about the time limit on planning permissions and assesses the options for preventing a planning consent from lapsing.

Planning permission is usually granted for a three-year timescale and it’s important to be aware of what you must do before the end of this period in order to keep the permission ‘alive’.

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brownfield land register

Can Brownfield Land Registers solve the housing crisis?

Paul Walton, director of PWA Planning, discusses the role of Brownfield Land Registers and whether brownfield sites can deliver the new homes the country needs.

Brownfield sites have enough space for more than a million new homes, according to research from the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). Its study suggests local planning authorities have identified more than 17,000 brownfield sites, covering over 28,000 hectares of land.

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lawful development certificate

Do I need a Lawful Development Certificate?

A lawful development certificate is an extremely useful planning tool – especially where permitted development rights are concerned, as Daniel Hughes explains.

One of the ways in which a Lawful Development Certificate is a useful tool is by establishing beyond doubt that a project was legal at the time of construction. This can be used as evidence when dealing with local planning authorities as well as potential buyers.

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Making the most of summer – What’s changed in planning and construction following coronavirus?

Following the government announcement about the further easing of lockdown from July 4, our senior planner Matt Wyatt rounds up the key changes to planning laws that businesses and the construction sector can take advantage of to get back to work this summer.

With government announcements coming thick and fast, the legislative framework around planning and construction understandably isn’t keeping pace with the changes being announced.

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extending flats upwards

Extending flats upwards – the new permitted development right explained

A number of new permitted development rights have recently been introduced by government. One of the earlier changes, the upward extension of existing blocks of flats, is intended to increase the number of new homes being delivered in England. PWA Planning director Paul Walton looks at the details.

This was one of the more intriguing measures announced in Boris Johnson’s Build, Build, Build speech at the end of June in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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