How PiP differs from Outline Planning Permission & How LPAs can ensure the form of Development is Acceptable

Bit dry and uninteresting for many, but fascinating stuff to me 😎

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

A reserved matter to an outline planning permission is not a planning application but an application to discharge a planning condition on specified reserved matters.  The LPA has the power under the GPDO to refuse to determine the application without sufficient details (T&CP (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order, article 7 and the DMO (Wales) Order 2012, article 3).

One common issue is the means of access.  Highways authorities often refuse to determine applications without sitelines and a plan of the access point – so this is often included in applications with all other matters reserved.

Scale is one of the reserved matters.  However under well established principles of planning law reserved matters cannot abrogate the terms of the outline permission.  So if a description of development is ‘5 bungalows’ you have permission for 5 bungalows not 6 and not for two story houses.

PiPs have no such power of the…

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Conservative Manifesto Shifts from ‘Protect the Green Belt’ to Protect only ‘designated ..Greenbelt’

I’ve picked out the section below for two reasons. Firstly, the bit about higher density development, is both terrifying and depressing in equal measure.
Terrifying, because just as so much of the NPPF planning guidance we now operate under does , it contradicts the opening statement made at the start of of the paragraph.
Notwithstanding the statement about high quality architects working in this country, the volume builders in this country appear to be incapable of building high quality development and certainly not at high densities.
There are plenty of award winning schemes that have gained plaudits for all sorts of clever innovations, or fancy design ideas.
However, none of them seem to be built for real people, living real and often untidy, disorganised and sometimes slightly chaotic lives.
Neither do they cater for the real world when it comes to access to transport options, refusing to show the reality of housing estates overrun with cars, many of which will be parked with two wheels on the pavement, because all of the roads are too narrow for residents, on both sides, to park outside their properties.
Inside dwellings built in the UK, the story is little better, some of the small room sizes in the western world and certainly the smallest in Europe – the Japanese would be proud of us I’m told. Little or no thought for where people might need to store things and a continued lack of respect for buyers, with show homes that include bedrooms without wardrobes in them.
So, high quality, high density development, where people want to live is the ambition. Sorry, I’ve heard it all before and I haven’t seen it yet.
If all else fails, the developers will always play the viability card to undermine any attempt to require something they don’t want to do.

“More homes will not mean poor quality homes. For too long, careless developers, high land costs and poor planning have conspired to produce housing developments that do not enhance the lives of those living there. We have not provided the infrastructure, parks, quality of space and design that turns housing into community and makes communities prosperous and sustainable. The result is felt by many ordinary, working families. Too often, those renting or buying a home on a modest income have to tolerate substandard developments -some only a few years old -and are denied a decent place in which to live, where they can put down roots and raise children. For a country boasting the finest architects and planners in the world, this is unacceptable. We will build better houses, to match the quality of those we have inherited from previous generations. That means supporting high-quality, high-density housing like mansion blocks, mews houses and terraced streets.”

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Implying of course it can be dedesignated.  The wekaest Conservative Manifesto commitment on this issues since 1979.

Other takeaways

  • Keeping the weak 200,000 homes a year target for housebuilding
  • A new focus on high densities
  • It is clear from the manifesto commitment that the land value capture scheme is not restricted to brownfield – it refers to ‘urban regneration and development’
  • Mention of rebalencing housing growth across the coutry – omitted from Housing White Paper – consider this like the immigration pledge – met someday never without an horizen.


We have not built enough homes in this country for generations, and buying or renting a home has become increasingly unaffordable. If we do not put this right, we will be unable to extend the promise of a decent home, let alone home ownership, to the millions who deserve it. We will fix the dysfunctional housing market so that housing…

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Local Authorities Doing Land Capture – Great but not Easy or Risk Free

Surely it’s never a great idea for such a radical scheme to be used in a piecemeal fashion? Government needs to demonstrates some real leadership and offers some national guidelines and a framework for this. Otherwise, councils are likely to see themselves being shunned by those wishing to develop, but only under the old rules of the game.
Indeed, would it not be better if all development was required to be delivered in this way nationally?

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

This election will be the first in which all major parties propose some form of land capture in the housing market.  It is also historic in the sense that the generational interests of boomers owning homes are deemed less important than millennials shut out of the housing market.  The Conservative Party in particular no longer the ‘alliance of landed and business interests’ that Peel founded, landed interests take a back seat.

The Conservative proposal is essentially the same approach adopted in most European Countries such as the Netherlands, France and Germany, as well as in China and Singapore.  Local authorities buy land at close to existing use value, parcel it up some for social housing some for sale to housebuilders.  Housebuilders become more like car builders than land speculators.

Although this, at least in high value areas, can at a stroke resolve and replace the complications of CIL and planning gain…

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May to Use Land Value Capture to Build New Generation of Council Homes

At lat, the powers to do what councils do best, providing housing for those in need.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Sunday Times – Greater Ability to use CPO was included in the Taylor amendment to the Neighbourhood Planning Act – given royal assent just before purchase.  It would be little use however unless the Aquisition of Land Act and the land compensation code was amended to ensure the ‘alliterative scheme’ was at existing use value.  Tellingly there is nothing on value capture in the leaked Labour manifesto.  Over time such a scheme could create a rolling fund effectively paying for itself through reduced housing benefit.  The really radical approach would be to follow the IPPR approach of decentralising housing benefit and letting LAs capitalise future savings to build homes.  If adopted Healy would have nothing to say in terms of how labour would build more homes.

Theresa May will launch an audacious bid to woo Labour voters when she puts plans for a new generation of council homes for the…

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Only local government can break the developer’s strangle hold on the housing market

Copied from Sunday Telegraph Sunday 16 April 2017

Economic Agenda
The key to opening up the housing market

By Liam Halligan

For decades across much of the UK far too few homes have been built. The average house now costs almost eight times annual earnings – an all-time record. In London and the South East, of course, this ratio is even higher.

Much of “generation rent” is simply unable to buy a home. For millions of youngsters, even those with professional qualifications and good jobs, property ownership is an ever more distant dream. Ten years ago, 64pc of 25 to 34-year-olds, the crucial family-forming age group, owned their own home. In 2015, it was 39pc.

Three fifths of an entire generation of young adults is locked out of the property market. Over half of first-time buyers get assistance from “the bank of Mum and Dad”, rising to two thirds in the South East. The housing market, once a source of social mobility, has become a source of growing resentment.
Part of the solution, as we so often hear from our politicians, is to “get Britain building again”. Yet the March PMI construction index, which monitors the UK’s leading building firms, last week pointed to a housebuilding slowdown. During the final three months of last year, 2pc fewer new homes were completed in England than the same period in 2015.

Over 2016 as a whole, while the construction of 5pc more homes was started than the year before, the number of new-builds actually completed was 1pc lower. Just 168,000 new-builds came to market across the UK as a whole in 2016 – way below the 250,000 needed annually to meet demand. The UK has built, on average, 100,000 too few homes a year since the 2008 financial crisis. For decades before that, housebuilding was also too low. The last time we did build a quarter of a million homes was back in 1980 – and 113,000 of those were council houses. With council-housebuilding now barely a few thousand each year, the UK’s housing needs are largely reliant on the private sector.

Although few homes are built, the UK’s three largest developers still report surging profits. Barratt saw a 40pc rise to £295m during the second half of 2016 – despite completing fewer homes. Taylor Wimpey made £733m last year, up 22pc. Persimmon’s full-year profits were £775m, 23pc higher.

These three developers now build a quarter of all new homes, with the eight largest accounting for over half. Small developers, suppliers of two thirds of new homes in the 1980s now build less than a quarter. It’s hard not to conclude the big housebuilders, who control so much of the land granted planning permission, are deliberately building slowly, to keep prices and profits up. Waiting to build creates a shortage and means their extensive land holdings also rise in value.

The “big developers” have “a stranglehold on supply”, said Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, at last October’s Conservative Party conference. They are “sitting on land banks”, while “delaying build-out”. The House of Lords economic affairs committee has also weighed in, saying the UK housebuilding industry has “all the characteristics of an oligopoly”. These two statements alone, in my view, mean our competition authorities should take a closer look. The UK’s housebuilding giants deny any go-slow, of course.

When the long-anticipated housing White Paper was published in February, some of us were disappointed at the lack of bold measures. While admitting “the UK’s housing market is broken”, there was no mention of a previous pledge to build a million new houses by the end of this Parliament – so, by 2020. That’s probably because, in the words of Paul Cheshire, a professor at the London School of Economics and probably the UK’s top housing academic, there is “more chance of me living on the moon”.

‘It’s hard not to conclude the big builders are deliberately building slowly, to keep prices and profits up’

Since the White Paper was published, though, having followed various behind-the-scenes struggles across Westminster and Whitehall, I’m pleased to report a little-noticed development that may soon help unlock UK housebuilding.

This column has previously called for the creation of powerful Housing Development Corporations (HDCs) – state-initiated bodies that acquire land, grant themselves planning permission, selling on the land in parcels to private developers. The HDCs then use the “planning gain” from the sharp rise in land value to fund new schools, hospitals, roads and so on. If new housing means local public services are significantly enhanced, there would be far fewer objections from existing residents. Variations of this model have been successfully used in countries from Germany and Holland to Singapore and South Korea.
Under existing “New Towns” legislation, national government can set up HDCs – which, crucially, can buy land at “existing use” value. Arable land, for instance, is purchased as arable land, bringing a healthy upside once residential planning is granted – guaranteeing ring-fenced cash for extra local infrastructure. That’s far better than current “Section 106” negotiations, under which powerful housebuilders hold most of the cards and often spend less on local amenities than councils expect.

What’s new and interesting is that an amendment has been made to new housing legislation allowing local government, with central government permission, to set up HDCs. Councils can buy land for a large development, partnering with the private sector if needs be – but, crucially, the planning gain receipts stay at the local level.

Such cash can then be used to build local amenities or even give residents a council tax rebate, which should make housebuilding much more popular.

This could massively empower local government, while finally sparking the housebuilding the UK so desperately needs. “If councils are considering a sizeable development,” says an insider at the Department of Communities and Local Government, “they should give us a call”.

All Lincolnshire councils together still seriously short of real cash

Copied from MJ on line
Tierful times
By Andrew Muter | 22 March 2017
Andrew Muter combines the district and county spending power figures and uncovers a worrying trend

L ocal government can now plan ahead with confidence, according to communities secretary Savid Javid.

The publication of the local government financial settlement sets out the level of resourcing and the core spending power available to councils over the next four years. Core spending power may feel like the camouflaging of significant funding cuts. It does, nevertheless, provide some interesting comparative information about what local government financing has become in 2017.

Two-tier local government often struggles to compare itself to unitary government. But by combining district and county spending power figures, it is possible to arrive at ‘whole county’ local government spending figures which can be compared to the whole of England.

One startling outcome of such comparisons is that all but one of the two-tier areas across England have a core spending power per dwelling below the average for English local government. Two-tier areas average a spending power per dwelling of £1,659 – 11.4% below the England average of £1,826. 26 of the 27 two-tier areas are below the average for local government, suggesting the challenges faced by two-tier local government are exacerbated by a historic systemic fault in the allocation of funding. The only two-tier area with a core spending power above the average is Surrey, with a figure of £1,948 per dwelling.

By analysing districts and counties together in their county groupings, it is possible to identify the gap between current core spending power and the England average.

Across all two-tier areas this amounts to an annual funding gap of £1.9bn. A traditional response has been to point to the greater cost of service provision in metropolitan areas because of higher infrastructure costs and higher levels of deprivation. Evidence of the additional cost of rural services has made less impact on funding distribution. But no matter how well such arguments are framed, it is easy to spot the link between the seismic impact of the Brexit vote and the underfunding of the towns and countryside that make up non-metropolitan England.

Hampshire has the greatest gap between its current core spending power and the average – it would need another £180m per year to equal the average. The East Midlands region looks like the biggest loser with all five of its two-tier county areas in the top ten of core spending funding gaps, almost half a billion pounds a year short of the average (box 1).

Box 1
Two-tier area Core spending gap
Local Gov Hantmpshire -£180,356,103
Local Gov Staffordshire -£137,816,881
Local Gov Kent -£126,870,552
Local Gov Lancashire -£117,556,666
Local Gov Derbyshire -£112,137,294
Local Gov Leicestershire -£107,496,873
Local Gov Essex -£102,380,651
Local Gov Lincolnshire -£91,988,977
Local Gov Nottinghamshire -£90,595,409
Local Gov Northamptonshire -£ 85,097,990
Projections for the next four years offer little comfort. The core spending gap widens by 2019/20 for 18 of the 27 two-tier areas. Districts see their spending power reducing by an average 10% over this period, a result of the transfer of New Homes Bonus funds to county authorities. And while counties benefit from this switch and an increase in Better Care Fund, two-thirds of county areas still fall further behind as average core spending power increases nationally. Staffordshire and Leicestershire have the biggest challenges in terms of core spending power at around 80% of the England average.

Unsurprisingly, eight London boroughs feature in the core spending power top ten. Although Wandsworth LBC is at the bottom of the table, London figures do not include the additional spending at Greater London Authority level. Other cities including Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester also have above average core spending figures (box 2).

Box 2
Authority Top 10 core spending power per dwelling (19/20)
City of London £4,610
Isles of Scilly £4,180
Hackney £2,297
Newham £2,292
Camden £2,260
Knowsley £2,230
Tower Hamlets £2,219
Brent £2,169
Haringey £2,094
Islington £2,092
Those who have argued against the shift in New Homes Bonus towards counties will feel vindicated. It’s clear that two-tier local government is significantly underfunded in comparison with unitary local government and shifting resources between the tiers fails to address this.

One question remains unanswered. If two-tier local government is so poorly funded, why haven’t we seen more evidence of catastrophic service failure in these areas? The answer may lie in the agility of districts in transforming themselves and in the ability of counties to focus on the big strategic challenges in adult social care and children’s services. It may just be that today’s orthodoxy is wrong. Scale and unitarisation may look like the way ahead but maybe two tier local government is the right answer for efficient, agile local government.

Andrew Muter is chief executive of Newark & Sherwood DC

‘Point’ of order Mr Chairman!

Who says council’s meetings are always boring.  A little snippet I came across local gov news website.

John Thomas joke was 
a breach of standards

A councillor who made a “male appendage” joke at a rival has been found to have breached standards.
Lib Dem Nigel Porter made the jibe during a Leicester city council meeting last year during which he was heckled by John Thomas, of Labour.
Mr Porter retorted: “I won’t take any lectures from a man named after a male appendage.”
A future standards committee will decide what sanctions to enforce.