November 2017

Planning permission secured for 138 new dwellings in Norton, Sheffield

DLP Planning Ltd (DLP) are delighted to have secured planning permission for 138 new dwellings in Norton, Sheffield on behalf of Miller Homes and Sheffield Hallam University.

Planning Committee Members voted to support the Planning Officer’s recommendation to grant full planning permission for the scheme, which will also secure off-site contributions to cricket facilities in the City as well as 46 affordable homes within the development.

John HelyarPlanning permission secured for 138 new dwellings in Norton, Sheffield
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Planning permission secured for dwelling in Barnsley

DLP Planning Ltd (DLP) have successfully secured full planning permission at appeal, for a single modern dwelling on land to the side of an existing dwelling in Barnsley.

DLP were engaged after an earlier refusal and held on site discussions with a local architect to develop a modern dwelling that responded to challenging land levels and the characteristics of the area to minimise the impact of development on existing residential properties. The design adopted a split-level approach, utilising land levels so the property looked over a flat, green roof. An existing access meant there was no need to create a further vehicular access.

The Council retained the earlier reasons for refusal relating to backland nature of the site and the perceived harmful impact on existing amenity and the modern design, which they considered to be out of keeping with the traditional character of the area.

After being instructed to appeal the decision, DLP Planning argued strongly that the design was innovative and resulted in minimal impact on amenity and that relevant policies did not prevent backland development – only inappropriate backland development which adversely impacted on amenity. The Planning Inspector agreed with this interpreation.

The Inspector also quoted paragraph 60 of the Framework stating,

“Paragraph 60 of the National Planning Policy Framework (‘the Framework’) states that decisions should not stifle innovation, originality or initiative through unsubstantiated requirements to conform to certain development forms or styles. In the absence of particular local distinctiveness and in the varied context of surrounding development I consider that the proposal would not be harmful to the character and appearance of the area.”

As such the Inspector allowed the appeal.

John HelyarPlanning permission secured for dwelling in Barnsley
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DCLG Consultation on “Planning for the Right Homes in the Right Places.

DLP Planning Ltd (DLP) have submitted their response to the DCLG Consultation on “Planning for the Right Homes in the Right Places. DLP’s key recommendations include:

  • Support the principle of a Standardised Objectively Assessed Housing Needs (SOAN) methodology but as presently drafted, it gamed to lower OANs in areas of high demand. In areas seeking employment growth, Local Authorities will not always seek to match job creation objectives with the appropriate level of housing growth.
  • The introduction of the 2 year “evidence free zone” prior to Examination of a Plan will result in greater rigidity in the Plan system and is likely to result in the Government’s target of 250,000 dwellings per annum being substantially undershot.
  • The alternative to safeguard plans against rising housing requirements from Objectively Assessed Needs for housing (OAN) would be to require plans to include a requirement to identify reserve sites for an extra 20% or a further 5 years of housing land (whichever is lower) and policies to be released in light of higher indicators of demand.
  • The proposed SOAN should be taken further and, for those authorities wishing to take an economic development led approach, guidance on the relevant economic activity rates should also be published. This information could be taken from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) or an adopted or agreed Strategic Economic Plan or City Region Deal. This again would reduce one of the major areas of complexity in economic / job led projections by relying on published data available in the public domain.
  • The provision of a clear methodology / appraisal format would assist in standardising the approach taken to viability appraisal. The basis for some of the inputs included within this approach could then be specified i.e. BCIS as a basis for build cost, 10% for external works (excluding abnormals). The requirement for comparable evidence of sales costs and reference to RICS guidance on non-standard build costs (i.e. abnormals) will also assist.
John HelyarDCLG Consultation on “Planning for the Right Homes in the Right Places.
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Outline planning permission secured for dwellings on Land North of Middlegate Road, Frampton, Boston

The Strategic Planning Research Unit (SPRU) of DLP Planning Ltd have assisted Freeths LLP in securing outline planning permission for the erection of up to 215 dwellings on Land North of Middlegate Road, Frampton, Boston following a Public Inquiry in September 2017 in Boston on behalf of our clients, Larkfleet Homes.

Roland Bolton of SPRU was an expert witness on Objectively Assessed Housing Need (OAN), and assisted in successfully reducing the five year supply figure. The Inspector stated  “I consider that the 5 year housing land supply would be substantially less than the 3.4 years that the Council suggests and may be closer to that suggested by the Appellant.” (Paragraph 49).

In respect of OAN, in responding to the Council’s argument that the assessment of OAN was unnecessary, disproportionate and could prejudice the examination of the emerging local plan, the Inspector stated that: “a section 78 appeal is not the appropriate vehicle through which to assess the FOAN. This should take place in more depth through the Examination process for the emerging local plan where the examiner would have the benefit of detailed evidence and representations from interested parties. That being said any decision that I should make on this matter, based on the evidence before me, would not prejudice or predetermine the findings of the Examination Inspector.” (Paragraph 44). The Inspector considered “it important to assess the extent of the shortfall, how long the deficit is likely to persist and the steps the authority are taking to reduce it in order to apportion weight to the schemes contribution to increasing the supply of housing” (Paragraph 45).

Paragraph 48 of the decision confirms the application of a 10% lapse rate to be appropriate ;”the appellant has also argued that having regard to the high levels of non-implementation in the borough that a lapse rate of 10% should be applied to the housing supply. I note that the percentage of completions to permissions from 2007/08 to 2013/14 stands at 87% and between 2014/15 and 2017/17 at 47%. Taking account of the large number of small sites which make up the Council’s supply, sites at greater risk of non-implementation, I consider a lapse rate of 10% to be appropriate.”

 It was considered that as Paragraph 14 of the Framework was engaged, the adverse environmental impacts identified would not significantly or demonstrably outweigh the social and economic benefits, in particular the significant contribution to the shortfall of housing in the area. “Even if the housing shortfall was at the level the Council suggests, the adverse impacts of the proposal would not, in my judgement, outweigh the benefits. The proposal therefore constitutes sustainable development as defined in the Framework.”

 The decision notice was issued on 25th October 2017 and outline planning permission was approved.

John HelyarOutline planning permission secured for dwellings on Land North of Middlegate Road, Frampton, Boston
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