Michelmores Planning Alert - 05 July 2012

Welcome to the Michelmores Planning Alert, where we bring you a round-up of the latest news and legal developments affecting the industry. We hope that you find this useful and welcome your feedback. Please contact us with any comments or queries. Items in this issue include...

Planning Minister attending Michelmores Conference…Government on course to meet housing supply…Revamp for Right to Buy Scheme…Cash boost for Community Right to Build…Streamlining the rights of way process…More certainty for Feed in Tariffs…New Energy Bill published

Planning Minister attends Michelmores Planning Conference

Over 100 delegates attended Michelmores annual Planning and Environment Conference at Sandy Park on Thursday 14 June where the keynote speaker was Bob Neill MP, Planning Minister and the Parliamentary under Secretary of State at the Department of Communities and Local Government.

The Minister addressed the Government’s thinking behind the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and how this should impact on local communities.

The other speakers at the conference were Andrew Wood, the Project Director of Exeter and East Devon Growth Point, who discussed the major issues that have affected developments in the Exeter and East Devon area.

Barrister, John Pugh-Smith also provided an interpretation of the changes to the law made by the introduction of the NPPF, the potential impact of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and the use of mediation as a means to reaching quicker resolution to planning issues.

Government on course to meet housing supply

The Government has recently published its progress report into its programme for accelerating the release of surplus public sector land for housing development. The aim of the programme is to release enough land to supply 100,000 homes by 2015 by asking the major land holding Government departments to publish land release strategies.

The Homes and Communities Agency and the four major landholding departments-Defence, Transport, Health and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have led the way in releasing their strategies, providing greater transparency about the land they hold and the plans for the future.

The Housing Minister Grant Shapps has said that "enough Government owned land to build 102,430 homes" by 2015, has been identified.

Revamp for Right to Buy

A reinvigoration of the Right to Buy Scheme has been announced by Government Housing Minister Grant Shapps. The reinvigoration of the scheme will see thousands of new affordable homes being built with the cash proceeds from the scheme. Councils will have the chance to keep additional receipts form the sale of Right to Buy properties and spend the money in accordance with the local housing need.

The Right to Buy Scheme will give 2.5 million social tenants the right to buy their homes with discounts of up to £75,000.

Mr Shapps has said that "his ambition is that, for the first time, every extra Right to Buy Home sold will be replaced by a new affordable home to rent nationally".

Cash boost for community Right to Build

The Housing Minister Grant Shapps has authorised £17 million of available cash to help support communities in their Right to Build.

Under the new regime communities can approve new local developments without the need for going through the ordinary planning application process.

The Minister has said that the "funding and advice service being offered will provide a big boost to those communities eager to take up their right and bring about change to their area. I would urge all communities to make use of this support to ensure they have the best chance to thrive in the future."

Streamlining the Rights of Way Process

Proposals to streamline the procedure for recording public rights of way have been published by the Environment Minister.

The new proposed procedures are set to cut the timing of the recording of a public right of way by as much as several years, providing hope that many public rights of way will not be lost in 2026.

The Environment Minister Richard Benyon said: “Footpaths, bridleways and trails are the life-blood for many rural communities, providing access to our world-renowned landscapes. Our changes will help protect access for the thousands of people who walk, ride and cycle in the countryside every week.”

More certainty for Feed in Tariffs

The DECC is putting in place  regulations to put the Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) on a more predictable footing for householders, businesses and the solar industry.

The changes which take effect from 1 August seek to provide better value for money and allow businesses and householders to plan with confidence.  

New energy Bill Published

The draft Bill contains proposals to drive billions of pounds of investment into nuclear power and renewables.

The Energy and Climate Change Select Committee have announced an inquiry to scrutinise the draft Bill.

We hope that you have found this Planning Alert useful. We welcome your feedback: please let us know what you thought of this newsletter and if there are any areas that you would like us to include in future issues.

For further information on any of these areas, please contact us.
Mark Howard
Associate - Planning & Environment
Tel: 01392 687621
Email: mark.howard@michelmores.com

Author: Mark Howard

Category: Property

Last updated: 2012-07-16 14:49:45

Disclaimer: This information has been prepared by Michelmores LLP as a general guide only and does not constitute legal advice on any specific matter and should not be relied upon as such. We recommend that you seek professional advice before taking action. No liability can be accepted by us for any action taken or not taken as a result of this information.

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