March 2021

Mount Pleasant

DLP have just secured outline planning permission, on Appeal, for two dwellings situated in the Green Belt on land off Mount Pleasant, Aspley Guise. This is one of a series of developments for which DLP have gained planning permission in the Green Belt through successfully arguing the case of Limited Infill.

The site has a previous planning history for residential development, which includes refusals and a dismissed Appeal.  A reduced scheme was prepared and a new application, carefully justified, was submitted to Central Bedfordshire Council. The Council refused the scheme on the grounds of inappropriate development in the Green Belt and impact on the character of the Countryside.

However, having reviewed our Statement of Case and subsequent Rebuttal Statement, the Inspector agreed with our case – that the site and proposed scheme did constitute as ‘Limited Infilling’ in the Green Belt. This meant that ‘Very Special Circumstances’ did not need to be achieved and the impact on the openness of the Green Belt was not a material consideration. The visual amenity of the proposals has also been considered as relating to openness due to the development being classified as Limited Infill.

In relation to the assessment of the site being Limited Infill, the Inspector concluded the following:

“The site is a vacant plot that forms a substantial gap between existing dwellings along this part of Mount Pleasant. While I note the size of the gap in the otherwise built-up frontage and that the site is not entirely enclosed by residential development on all sides, given the number of dwellings proposed and the size of the site, I see no reason why the two dwellings could not constitute small-scale development and complement the surrounding pattern of development.”

John HelyarMount Pleasant
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Update on the London Plan

On the 29 January 2021, Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, confirmed that he would allow the Mayor of London to publish his London Plan with no further changes being made. This was more than four years after the first draft of the planning guidance for the capital was first published. It is currently anticipated that the Plan will be formally published by the end of March 2021.

The London Plan sets out an integrated economic, environmental, transport and social framework for the development of London over the next 20-25 years. The focus of the new London Plan is on “Good Growth” that is growth which is socially and economically inclusive and environmentally sustainable.

There are six main objectives of Good Growth:

Building strong and inclusive communities

  • Making the best use of land
  • Creating a healthy city
  • Delivering the homes Londoners need
  • Growing a good economy
  • Increasing efficiency and resilience

The Plan also responds to a number of key manifesto commitments made by the Mayor including:

  • Making London a zero-carbon city by 2050.
  • A long-term target to achieve 50% all of new dwellings as affordable homes
  • Supporting a modal shift so that 80% of journeys are by walking, cycling or public transport by 2041
  • Protecting London’s Green Belt

Other significant themes are the identification of Opportunity Areas where the most significant changes will occur and focusing development on transport hubs and on small sites in Outer London. Key priorities going forward will include ensuring sufficient levels of well-designed and affordable housing and refocussing our high streets and commercial areas.

If you have any queries regarding the London Plan or specific policies please contact Frances Young, Director of our London Office.

John HelyarUpdate on the London Plan
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Mixed Use Landmark Building

DLP and BE1 have worked in partnership to prepare and submit an application to Luton Borough Council for a mixed-use scheme comprising a community centre and residential units. The site is a former car park that was previously associated with the neighbouring office building which has since been converted to residential under permitted development.

The community centre is intended as a landmark building and reflects the civic nature of the intended use. It includes flexible and adaptable interior spaces to suit the needs of the local community whilst there are also a number of office spaces that could be utilised for hourly or daily use. The residential units are a mix of 1, 2 and 3-bed dwellings to meet the requirements of Luton Borough Council’s housing needs. Space is at a premium in the area and as such the proposal utilises the entire roof area as a terrace for both the users of the community centre and the residential properties. An under-croft parking area is proposed to ensure suitable parking provision can be provided. There is also easy access for less ambulant users via street level lifts.

John HelyarMixed Use Landmark Building
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North East Derbyshire Local Plan

Following submission of the Publication Draft Local Plan, the Inspector was appointed by the Secretary of State to carry out the independent Examination of the North East Derbyshire Local Plan 2014 – 2034. As part of the Examination, the Inspector held Hearing Sessions in November and December 2018 and March 2019. Following the Hearings, the Inspector has identified a number of Main Modifications considered necessary to make the Plan sound and/or legally compliant.  These were issued without prejudice to the Inspector’s final conclusions on the Plan.

DLP have made representations in respect of the draft Local Plan main modifications. The consultation ran until the end of January 2021 having been extended from a period of 7 ½ weeks due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Councillors have advised residents to have their say on the changes proposed by the Inspector to the draft Plan so far, including the removal of three large previously allocated Green Belt sites and the updated housing land supply in the District. Comments are expected to be made in respect of the Green Belt revisions proposed throughout the Borough. We have supported a wider range of land to be released from the Green Belt to deliver more housing and also to accurately reflect the capacity available from emerging sites.

John HelyarNorth East Derbyshire Local Plan
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Doncaster Local Plan

The Council has published their proposed main modifications to the Doncaster Local Plan. The Inspector will be issuing a note shortly regarding whether other main modifications or changes to the policies map are required to ensure that the Plan is sound. The Inspector will then ask the Council to carry out a public consultation on the proposed modifications.

The key points to be aware of at this stage from the Council’s proposed main modifications are:

  • All of the proposed main modifications and changes to the policies map have been subject to sustainability appraisal, and the report on this will be published soon
  • The general extent of the Green Belt will remain the same
  • A policy amendment is proposed to reference the revised minimum of 15,640 net new homes in the remainder of the plan period 2015 – 2035
  • No additional housing allocations are proposed
  • The currently proposed housing allocations remain

A number of amendments are proposed to policies regarding Doncaster Sheffield Airport.  In this respect, Doncaster Council is currently working with the Airport, Sheffield City Region, the Department for Transport, Network Rail, and Transport for the North. This is to further plans for a new railway station at the Airport which connects to both the East Coast Main Line and the Lincoln Line. Emerging evidence shows that this is a preferred alternative to the Lincoln Line station, but the scheme is yet to secure funding at the point of Plan adoption.

John HelyarDoncaster Local Plan
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Newham schemes

 DLP has been advising Newham’s Housing Delivery Team on the Council’s Affordable Homes Programme since May 2019. The programme aims to start building 1,000 new council homes for rent by 2022 in order to tackle the Council’s housing waiting list which currently stands at over 27,000 people. The programme will deliver the development of vacant and underused Council-owned sites for high quality, sustainable, low carbon, affordable homes.

The five-storey scheme at Sutton Road will provide 29 affordable homes at London Affordable Rent, with a mix of 1, 2 and 3-bed units and associated landscaping and cycle parking. 38% of the homes will be for families.

52 to 66 Eastbourne Road (known as Leather Gardens) will provide 21 affordable homes at London Affordable Rent, with a mix of 1, 2 3 and 4-bed units and 38% family homes.

Both projects make use of accessible brownfield land to maximise housing delivery.

DLP co-ordinated the planning applications and stakeholder consultation and is providing ongoing advice in relation to the Unilateral Undertakings, planning conditions and CIL.

John HelyarNewham schemes
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Planning for Sustainable Growth in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc

On the 18th February 2021, the Government published its long awaited policy paper for developing a long-term Spatial Framework for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.

In the Budget 2020, the Government committed to developing, with local partners, the Spatial Framework for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and to develop a plan that will:

  • Support long-run sustainable economic growth across the area
  • Help to make the area a brilliant place in which to live, work and travel
  • Support lasting improvements to the environment, green infrastructure, and biodiversity

The Government identified that the key to addressing the constraints that the Arc faces is a full realisation of the economic and environmental potential of the area. The purpose of the Spatial Framework is to unlock the potential of the Arc, focussing on levelling up growth and opportunities across the area, in particular the inequalities that exist within regions.

The Spatial Framework is proposed to be a mechanism for delivery and will include policies to support local planning authorities on strategic business zones, environmental opportunity areas, infrastructure requirements and approaches to enable sustainable, transport-led development.

Over the next two and a half years the Government will work with communities and local partners to develop the Spatial Framework with a view to implementing it as a spatially specific national planning policy.

For further information please click here to read our latest Client Briefing note.


John HelyarPlanning for Sustainable Growth in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc
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