Planning Alert 26 July 2013
Government promise new guidance for solar farms… Proposals for Growth and Infrastructure Act reform… Help to Buy scheme a success… £150 million boost for enterprise zones… New financial support for 'Our Place' programme… Benefits for communities around nuclear power station sites…
Government promise new guidance for solar farms
Energy Minister Greg Barker has promised new guidelines for large solar power farms after criticisms of "industrialisation" of the countryside from Devon and Cornwall MPs. Concern about the impact of photovoltaic panels on the beauty of the landscape has prompted a taskforce investigation and planning guidance is expected to be brought forward shortly.
See also Mark Howard's article on the Michelmores website.
Proposals for Growth and Infrastructure Act reform
A joint consultation exercise is being held by the Government on the proposals to increase the types of land protected from applications for registration as a town or village green under the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013. If implemented, the scheme would apply to land subject to a Local Development Order (LDO); a Neighbourhood Development Order (NDO) or a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO).
Help to Buy scheme a success
Housing Minister Mark Prisk has praised the success of the Help to Buy equity loan. He said 'with almost 7,000 reservations in 3 months, it’s crystal clear that the Help to Buy equity loan has captured the public’s imagination and is getting Britain building again, which will help achieve a long-term, stable housing market.'
£150 million boost for enterprise zones
The Government has pledged a further £150 million to benefit eleven enterprise zones. The money, part of the Regional Growth Fund, will help deliver growth and boost the economy. Local Growth Minister Mark Prisk said 'this is more good news for enterprise zones. They are already having a positive impact in the economy, having created 3,000 jobs and attracted £230 million in private sector investment since their standing start one year ago.'
New financial support for 'Our Place' programme
At least 100 communities will benefit from £4.3 million of new financial support for the 'Our Place' programme. The scheme aims to give communities control and allow them to tackle community issues themselves. Communities Minister Don Foster said 'this further investment will help build a popular movement towards of a new way of working. Handing control of local public services over to local communities, who know their areas best, can deliver more and better for less, help create more resilient and involved communities and build neighbourhoods that are better places to live.'
Benefits for communities around nuclear power station sites
The communities around eight nuclear power station sites in England and Wales could receive a financial benefit for the lifespan of the plants. The sum could be up to £1000/MW over 40 years, with the area surrounding Hinkley C receiving a potential £128 million. The Government said the package was in the interests of local people and acknowledged the impact of the sites of these communities.
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