April 2017


On the 4th May, the West of England, along with a number of other regions across England, will elect a new Metro Mayor, who will have control of a £1billion budget over the coming three decades (£30m / year over 30 years).  The driver behind the devolution of powers and responsibilities to the regions is a belief that it is regarded as an effective way to tackle the problems caused by centralised governance within the UK.  Amongst other things, the Devolution Deal agreed with the Government, will give the Metro Mayor:

  • Responsibility for a consolidated, devolved local transport budget.
  • Ability to franchise bus services to help deliver integrated ‘smart ticketing’.
  • Responsibility for a new Key Route Network of local authority roads.
  • Powers of strategic planning for the region and enhanced ability to implement the Joint Spatial Plan and Joint Transport Plan.
  • Responsibility for the 19+ Adult Education Budget
  • Joint responsibility with central government to co-design the new National Work and Health Programme.

Importantly the new Metro Mayor should not be confused with the elected Bristol City Mayor, who’s role will continue, with him expected to work as Bristol’s representatives on the Combined Authorities Cabinet, alongside the Council Leaders from South Gloucestershire and BANES.

With this additional money to invest and the ability to make positive decisions at a local level, this can only be good for the WoE, however, as is often the case with politics in and around Bristol, not everyone has chosen to be part of the party.  In June 2016 North Somerset Council decided not to participate further in the devolution deal – citing the perception of a return to Avon County Council and the introduction of a Metro Mayor as key reasons for withdrawing.  What the implications of this decision are difficult to predict, however considering North Somerset is home to the regionally important transport hubs at Bristol Airport and Bristol Port, not to mention the need to accommodate additional housing to serve Bristol’s need, there are sure to be some interesting and challenging discussions ahead.

Whoever is elected on the 4th May will almost certainly have to deal with big challenges from day one, but it is without doubt a potentially enormous opportunity for the City, but only time will tell whether our elected politicians are able to grasp it.


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Representations submitted to North East Derbyshire Local Plan consultation stage

DLP (Planning) Ltd have submitted representations to the recent consultation period on the draft North East Derbyshire Local Plan which closed on 7th April 2017.  The Local Plan consultation was accompanied by a range of background documents, including a Sustainability Appraisal and Green Belt Review, which form the evidence base and have informed the preparation of the Consultation Draft.  This details a figure of 6,600 houses to be delivered from 2011 to 2033.  A review of existing Green Belt boundaries is proposed in the emerging Plan to enable sustainable locations to be released for housing.

Representations were made on behalf of several landowners with sites being considered for Green Belt Release and new housing allocations.  These submissions were made alongside a report prepared by the Strategic Planning and Research Unit (SPRU) on Objectively Assessed Housing Need which concluded that the proposed housing requirement was below the minimum level needed to be able to support either the current level of jobs or employment growth.

John HelyarRepresentations submitted to North East Derbyshire Local Plan consultation stage
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Application submitted for 138 dwellings in Sheffield

DLP (Planning) Ltd has submitted a full planning application for 138 dwellings on derelict land within the ownership of Sheffield Hallam University in south Sheffield. The application is a joint submission between the University and Miller Homes and follows comprehensive pre-application discussions with the Local Planning Authority, the community and local councillors.

The application will now be considered by Sheffield City Council and a decision is expected in due course.

‘Image courtesy of Chris Carr Architects Ltd’

John HelyarApplication submitted for 138 dwellings in Sheffield
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DLP Planning Ltd has secured prior approval for a proposed change of use of the offices at 5 Soundwell Road, Staple Hill into 3 apartments.

An application for prior approval was submitted to South Gloucestershire Council under Class O of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2015 (as amended) to ensure that the proposed change of use from B1(a) to C3 was indeed permitted development.

DLP researched and provided evidence to demonstrate that 5 Soundwell Road, although vacant at the time of the application, was within B1(a) use up to and on the 29th May 2013, as required by the legislation. The submissions also demonstrated that in respect of transport, highways, land contamination, flood risk and impact of noise from commercial premises, a reasonable residential environment could be provided within the proposed accommodation.

The property is situated within the East Fringe of Bristol urban area and adjacent to Staple Hill High Street, as such future occupiers will have good access to a variety of shops, services and public transport infrastructure.

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Prior Approval secured for new apartments in Halifax and Hull

DLP (Planning) Ltd have secured the change of use of Halifax House, Halifax via permitted development rights, from former office use to residential apartments. A Prior Notification application was submitted to Calderdale District Council for development proposals which comprised the conversion of the former office block to 65 apartments. The application included details confirming that the proposals met the criteria required by Class O of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order and supporting information relating to the proposals.

In April 2017 the Council confirmed that prior approval was not required, enabling the conversion of Halifax House to go ahead. The development, which is located on the edge of Halifax Town Centre on Blackwall, will provide much needed residential accommodation in a sustainable and central location.

Approval has also been secured for development proposals at Anlaby Road, Hull, for a change of use from offices to residential flats via permitted development rights. The development proposals, comprising 42 apartments with off-street car parking, were found not to require Prior Approval following the submission of a Prior Notification application to Hull City Council.

The submissions, which included proposed architectural drawings and a Flood Risk Assessment, detailed how only the upper floors of the property would be converted, which in an area of higher flood risk will ensure that all of the residential properties at the site would be safe in the event of a flood. The development will return a vacant building to use in a sustainable and central location in Hull.

John HelyarPrior Approval secured for new apartments in Halifax and Hull
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