As of 6th March 2014 all previous Planning Guidance and certain Circulars have been or are in the process of being cancelled and consolidated in an online resource - the National Planning Policy Guidance!
We waved bye-bye to PPGs and PPSs but a lot of technical guidance remained 'material'. Now we have an online document of around 800 pages with signing up facility for update alerts. So be on your toes - even good old Circular 11/95 has gone but Annex A - model conditions has been retained.
I won't say watch this space but I am still going through the NPPG online version.
It is now almost certain that changes to liberalise the planning system further to allow the conversion of shops (outside key shopping areas) and redundant, under-utilised agricultural buildings to dwellings as permitted development will take place. The Ministerial Statement issued on 6th March 2014 suggests that the new rights will be subject of a Prior Approval Process in order to allow Council's to assess flooding implications. The new rights will allow up to 450 square metres to be converted for up to 3 homes BUT this is unlikely to apply to National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and probably Conservation Areas as well as all designated Article 1(5) land.
More detail is to follow in due course!
Thinking of converted your redundant barn to a dwelling under permitted development rights? Well, the ability to do so may not apply to you - as I have had to tell many clients as indicated in the House of Commons debate on 24 February 2014 where Nick Boles made it clear that he would think hard about the appropriateness of this measure in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There is a clear hint that PD rights for barn conversions (and the conversion of other agricultural buildings) to residential use could well be excluded in such ares as well as in rural Conservation Areas and other sites covered by Article 1(5) of the GPDO. Be patient and wait ..
Providing Visuals as part of your application can often make 'the' difference between an approval or refusal. With Oliver on board, we are can prepare visuals for your project and provide realistic walk-thoughs. Follow the links on the website and Contact Us for further details.
A ground breaking decision last July to extend a small dwelling, designed by Murphy Associates, in the rural area of above the 100m2 gross floor area when members overturned a recommendation for refusal despite it being considered contrary to Policy H13.
A revised scheme for a larger extension was presented to members with a recommendation for approval - unanimously supported and permission granted. Two very happy clients who now get a more spacious home!
Ancillary use of an outbuilding - well pig sty stalls and all - for residential purposes - did not require planning permission but the alterations did as 'permitted development' rights under Class E were removed conditions attached to a previous permission.
With the right approach to maintaining the agri-industrial character of the building, the clients can now benefit from a bespoke design and contemporary ancillary residential space.
After an Independent Examination by Ann Skippers of Ann Skippers Planning, Slaugham's Neighbourhood Plan regrettable deems it 'not compatible with the requirements of European Union obligations insofar as a Strategic Environmental Assessment is required', that submitted was not satisfactory and therefore advises is should not proceed to a referendum.
Additionally, 3 identified housing sites and target not to be based on sufficiently robust evidence given the great weight of the NPPF in respect of AONBs and the site not necessarily being suitable or deliverable
Some lessons to be learnt.
Enlightened Ashford Borough Council Planning Committee Members overturned a recommendation for refusal for the conversion of a splendid C18th barn to a dwelling on residential amenity grounds. Now a Grade II listed barn can be repaired and brought back into use after years of opposition from Ashford Borough Council's planners and conservation officers.
Every possible hurdle was placed in the way of the applicants. And every hurdle was thoroughly addressed with the case being referred to as a well considered and informed submission. But the sticking point was the distance between the front of the old farmhouse and the barn and vice versa. A one-size-fits-all approach to applying 'guide' distances was taken a stretch too far.
Cllr Neil Bell, ward member for Biddenden spoke eloquently in favour of the proposal. The applicant also addressed members and the vote went in favour of granting subject to a legal agreement being entered into.
Eimear's role was to work with the Agent and produce supporting statements on planning, heritage significance and design & access.
Obviously the owners are delighted and commented ' …. we couldn't have done it without you & Chris. But it was a nail biter.'
Just in time for Christmas but still nearly 6 months longer than it should have taken! Two HMOs in Hove with internal works that do not constitute 'development'! Even after obtaining legal advice, BHCC insist that the percentage loss of un-contained units is not lawful development. Despite knowing we are correct in our advise, the plans had to be amended reducing the number of flats with a higher percentage of studio/bedsits retained. Fortunately we received the Certificate which ensure lawfulness of self-containment but a revisit at a later date! Partial success.
PINS bring christmas cheer to an Appellant awaiting the outcome of the decision for an additional floor improving her living accommodation. Being on the top floor of a flat in a small 1960s block with a small floor plate, the only option was to go up! After an encouraging pre-app, formal planning permission was refused.
Eimear assisted the client in moving an appeal forward and on 10/12/13, the decision notice arrives - appeal upheld.
The Inspector considered the existing arrangements between building heights created a visually 'jarring discord' which the appeal proposal would improve. In sharing the views expressed in the appeal statement, the Inspector considered that:
' … the small addition would improve the visual relationship between the block and the adjacent residential building and contribute to the character of the area, enhancing its significance, through a more appropriate stepping in height …' .
'I conclude that the development would not harm the appearance of the appeal property or the block of flats if forms part of … the improved relationship with the adjacent Victorian building would enhance the character or appearance of the West Hill Conservation Area' .
To note - the scheme was designed by Atkins Blair Ings Richardson Architects.
The Appeal decision can be viewed at: http://www.pcs.planningportal.gov.uk/pcsportal/fscdav/READONLY?OBJ=COO.2036.300.12.6072795&NAME=/DECISION.pdf
A simple utilitarian yet contemporary extension was approved today for a garden/conservatory room extension to this former piggery building in Framfield/Blackboys, East Sussex.
We engaged with Wealden District Council through the pre-application process and received positive noises. The proposal accords with the Core Strategy and NPPF as well as design advice in the Wealden Design Guide - to which Eimear was one of the main contributors.
Quote from Eimear:
'Even small projects require a good design concept and approach to produce a high quality design. Wealden District Council is one of the few enlightened Planning Authorities when it comes to complimentary design - be it traditional, contemporary or a fusion of the two.
I am sure I will be joined by the Applicant in extending our thanks to the Case Officer and Development Management.'
Following the dismissal of the previous scheme by the Planning Inspectorate last December, the entire scheme for the redevelopment of the former Hastings College Site at Archery Road, St Leonard's was revisited by the Applicants, their planning consultants Indigo and architect Marcus Beale.
A lot of work had gone on during 2013 with consultations and exhibitions to forge a way forward, address the comments raised by the Inspector Katie Peerless and the important directions she provided in her decision letter.
Eimear's role was to review the scheme in the light of that decision and ensure it met the requirements of national and local policies insofar as design and heritage were concerned and to ensure that the scheme was of the high standard required for the area given the important heritage and urban design considerations.
At planning committee on 6th November, members unanimously voted in support of the scheme commending the architects for their high quality designs integrating dwellings houses, flats, meaningful green spaces, landscape treatment, private amenity and attractive views and vistas.
Hopefully with the 'devil in the detail', once built, it will add a new chapter to the development of St Leonard's.
For more information, here's a link to Marcus Beale Architects site where the plans are displayed
Murphy Associates were successful in obtaining planning permission for an extension to a dwelling in Mid Sussex contrary to Officers recommendation. Officers considered the extension would contravene 'saved' Local Plan Policy H13 which sought to protect small dwellings (of 100m2 or below) in rural areas. This policy approach had not be carried through to the Proposed Submission District Plan because it was contrary to the NPPF. A call-in by the Chair of the Planning Committee resulted in a unanimous vote in support of the proposal on the grounds that the emerging Core Strategy had 'weight' as confirmed by Nick Boles, Planning Minister.