More changes to the planning system

Released under the relatively innocuous title, ‘Next steps to improve the planning system and support sustainable development’, there are some potential time bombs for those of us in rural areas. Reuse of agricultural buildings, “without the need for planning permission”. I wonder what horror stories that will produce for us to end up enforcing against?

The measures include:

Making it easier to re-use existing agricultural, retail and commercial buildings, such as offices and warehouses, without the need to submit a planning application, supporting small business growth.

A consultation is being published on changes to the Use Classes Order, which determines the flexibility with which such buildings can be re-used.

The consultation also proposes allowing so called ‘meanwhile’ or temporary uses of certain buildings to open up premises to new businesses and to bring redundant buildings back into use, in line with recommendations in the Portas Review.

An increase in the planning fees is welcome, as the service has always been subsidised by the general,fund i.e. all of the district’s taxpayers. However, will any of the increase in fees actually reach the service itself, or will it all end up in the corporate coffers?

Pinchbeck Road/Woolram Wygate junction

The County Council Highways Dept has agreed with the two developers that they would issue the necessary Orders themselves, rather that the highways dept, directly to the various Utility Companies (water, gas, electricity, telephone) for the works required to relocate or protect their underground services, mainly on Woolram Wygate.

The two developers delayed the issue of those Orders until they had their planning permissions in place, which was understandable, as any delay in gaining planning permission would probably have meant that any Orders that were already in place would of run out of their time limit.  The successful outcome for the applications at the Development Control Committee meeting on 5 January 2011,  means that both developers have now commenced arrangements for the issue of the Orders.

A programme period for the work required once the services are moved etc, has been produced, but the start point for this will depend on when the Utilities works are completed.

Initially, it was hoped that all the Utilities works would be finished before the 2011 Flower Parade, so that the remaining works could start soon after the Flower Parade.  However, this may need to be revised, dependant upon the requirements and constraints of the Utility Companies and how the remaining work can be fed in to work schedule of the County council’s road works contractor.

Check out the Conservative group website for more news about Spalding Wygate ward http://southhollanddcconservativegroup.co.uk/3818/welcome