John Helyar

Car-free Apartments Secured in Aylesbury

DLP Planning Ltd (DLP) have successfully secured full planning permission for a development of 15 new one bedroom apartments, with associated infrastructure and landscaping adjacent to Aylesbury Town Centre on behalf of our client. The approved development represents a five storey car free scheme with a strong case made for its accessible location in close proximity to bus and train routes. The site, which currently represents a private car park, will be completely re-developed to provide new high quality residential homes, with communal open space and soft landscaping and ample cycle storage.

DLP with the assistance of BE1 Architects overcame a number of key planning challenges including overlooking, massing and day lighting issues. Working in collaboration with Local Planning Authority Officers, the resulting development utilises green walls and modern articulated built form to improve internal and external vistas and enhance the existing street scene, without harming the privacy or amenity of neighbouring properties.

DLP lead the project team and worked in collaboration with a number of consultants to achieve this result, including Energy-Evaluation Services Ltd, who provided advice on the daylight/sunlight issues; critical to the success of the planning application.

Car-free Apartments Secured in Aylesbury

John HelyarCar-free Apartments Secured in Aylesbury
read more

Planning permission granted for new apartments next to Heathrow Airport

DLP Planning Ltd (DLP) have successfully secured full planning permission for a development of nine new 1 and 2 bedroom apartments at a building next to Heathrow Airport on behalf of our client.  The approved development is for a two storey upwards extension to the roof of an existing office building that has a separate permission to be converted to 24 apartments, and so in total the scheme will deliver 33 much needed high quality dwellings.  The extension takes advantage of the building’s ‘airspace’ and so is an example of the type of development the Government has recently announced their support for.

The site is located within the London Borough of Hillingdon and in November 2017 they enacted an Article 4 Direction to restrict the conversion of office buildings into residential.  DLP successfully argued that this restriction did not apply to this building and so that both the consented conversion scheme and associated new development could take place, and also that the design of the scheme was appropriate and would not be harmful to the character of the area or neighbouring properties.

DLP led the project team and worked in collaboration with a number of consultants to achieve this result, including Matrix Transport and Infrastructure Consultants Ltd and Energy-Evaluation Services Ltd, who provided advice on transport and daylight/sunlight issues respectively, two maters that were critical to the success of the planning application.”

Princess House

John HelyarPlanning permission granted for new apartments next to Heathrow Airport
read more

Planning Application Fee Increases Come Into Effect Today

The Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications, Deemed Applications, Requests and Site Visits) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 (“the 2017 Regulations”) were laid before Parliament on the 20th December and comes into effect on the 17th January 2018.  The 2017 Regulations amend the Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications, Deemed Applications, Requests and Site Visits) (England) Regulations 2012 (“the 2012 Regulations”).

The 2017 Regulations increases all existing planning application fees by approximately 20%. This increase also applies to deemed applications, requests or site visits.  The increase was offered by Government to all local planning authorities if they agreed that the additional money would be re-invested within their planning department. All local planning authorities accepted the offer, which whilst requiring that the money is invested within their planning departments, does not require that it relates directly to their Development Control / Management sections.

The Planning Portal’s full schedule of planning fees will be issued shortly.  Some key revised figures are set out below by way of an example:

Type of DevelopmentExisting  New
New dwelling£385 £462
Extension to dwelling£172 £196
Prior Approval£80 £96
Variation of planning condition£195 £234


Another significant change of the 2017 Regulations is an amendment that will require a fee to be paid where a planning application has to be made for planning permission for a form of development that would otherwise have been ‘Permitted Development’ but is not because of an Article 4 Direction or planning condition on a previous planning permission.  Previously, such applications were exempt from the requirement to pay.

The 2017 Regulations also introduce new fees and make a number of other changes, including:

  • A fee of £402 for each 0.1 hectare of the site area for Permission in Principle developments;
  • Introduction of a fee for a prior approval in relation to the new permitted development rights that were introduced in the 2017 amendments to the General Permitted Development Order; and
  • Enables Mayoral development corporations and urban development corporations to charge for the provision of pre-application advice in their areas.

With regards to the transitional arrangements, these provide that the changes made by the Regulations, including the increased fees and the introduction of new fee will only apply where an application has been made on or after the coming into force date of these Regulations.  There is no definition of what constitutes a ‘made’ application in terms of it being valid or not. We are aware of at least one authority whose view is that if an application is submitted before the 17th but is invalid, if it is then made valid (for example, through the submission of additional information) on or after the 17th, it will be subject to the increased fees.  This should be considered in the context of making applications in the transitional period.

If you require any further advice regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact one of the offices listed below.

John HelyarPlanning Application Fee Increases Come Into Effect Today
read more

Permission granted for land outside of Central Beds settlement envelope

DLP Planning Ltd (DLP) have successfully secured full planning permission for the demolition of a stable block and erection of two new detached dwellings outside of the settlement envelope of Lower Stondon in Central Bedfordshire.

The site comprises an existing stable block and area of the garden, bound by existing development on two sides, to the east of the large village of Lower Stondon. A strong case was put forward demonstrating the land’s status as a logical infill site and further arguing that its development would not result in further intrusion or erosion of the open countryside.

Working in collaboration with BE1 Architects, a high-quality scheme for two five-bedroom dwellings was produced, making an efficient and imaginative use of the site, whilst protecting the amenity of neighboring residences and the countryside edge.

The application was approved under delegated powers.

Lower Stondon

John HelyarPermission granted for land outside of Central Beds settlement envelope
read more

Planning Permission for Replacement Storage Building in the Hertfordshire Green Belt

DLP Planning Ltd (DLP) working with Saloria Architects has secured planning permission for a replacement storage building at an internationally important religious site in the Hertfordshire Green Belt.

The site is of both national and international religious significance and the most important location in the country for those who practice Jainism and it is recognized as such by all other faiths. The temple on site is a wholly exceptional building and the uses and functions which support it are a vital reflection of the cultural significance of the community.

The proposed storage building would provide storage space in connection with the operation of the Community Halls and the management and maintenance of the religious Centre, its temple, and grounds.

The application was submitted with a statement of Very Special Circumstances, which the Council accepted and attached significant weight to in the assessment of the planning application.

DLP successfully demonstrated that the proposal would not amount to inappropriate development in the Green Belt and the national and international importance of the site, is capable of constituting a very special circumstance to which significant weight should be attached.

John HelyarPlanning Permission for Replacement Storage Building in the Hertfordshire Green Belt
read more

New Staff Appointments

DLP Planning are delighted that, as a consequence of its expanding work load, the following new staff have joined the Practice……

Bedford Office

Billy Lloyd, Planner
Ed Norris, Senior Planner,
Lydia Prince, Planner

London Office

Thomas Beard, Planner

Sheffield Office

Matthew Pruce, Planner
Debbie Broad, Senior Planner joining the SPRU team.

John HelyarNew Staff Appointments
read more

DLP Planning secures planning permission for 60 dwellings in London

DLP Planning’s London office, working in conjunction with Be1 Architects, is delighted to have secured planning permission for an outline development of 30 dwelling houses and 30 apartments at a site in the London Borough of Bexley.  DLP Planning and Be1 Architects were instructed by the Council, who are the owner of the site and which is currently in use as a public open space, and prepared a comprehensive planning application.

The site’s open space designation was a significant planning constraint and accordingly we prepared a detailed Open Space Assessment that analysed the levels of open space across this area of the Borough, taking into account the most recent census data to ensure the assessment was robust, and calculated that there was a surplus of this particular type of open space.  This, along with a number of other factors, allowed us to make a robust argument that the loss of open space was acceptable in planning terms and met the requirements of the Council’s Development Plan policies.

The design team undertook extensive pre-application discussions with the Council’s planning department and undertook a public exhibition to advertise the scheme in advance of the application.  The application was submitted in mid-March and was granted planning permission at yesterday evening’s Planning Committee, well within the 13 week deadline for a major development proposal.

We are very pleased to have helped our client secure this important permission for them, and look forward to continuing to assist them with their future development projects in the Borough.

John HelyarDLP Planning secures planning permission for 60 dwellings in London
read more

DLP Planning secures Lawful Development Certificate in London

DLP Planning is pleased to have secured a Lawful Development Certificate for our client’s property in the London Borough of Lambeth.  The property had been converted from a single-family dwelling house into flats prior to our client’s acquisition.

For our client to further develop the site for additional dwellings this ‘unauthorised use’ had to be regularised before we could proceed.  Following discussions with the Council, the DLP team prepared an application for a Lawful Development Certificate including a detailed Supporting Statement, setting out evidence for the Council that the use of the building as self-contained flats had been in continuous existence for four or more years.

The Council accepted our arguments and granted the Certificate accordingly.

John HelyarDLP Planning secures Lawful Development Certificate in London
read more

DLP Planning pleased to be part of Clerkenwell Design Week

DLP Planning, London

DLP Planning’s London office is excited to be taking part in this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week.  Clerkenwell is home to more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else on the planet!  To celebrate this rich and diverse community, Clerkenwell Design Week has created a showcase of leading UK and international brands and companies presented in a series of showroom events, exhibitions and special installations that take place across the area.

Celebrating its 8th year in May 2017 (23rd -25th) the award-winning Clerkenwell Design Week has firmly established itself as the UK’s leading independent design festival and annually attracts the international design community to this small area of London for three days of exciting events. In 2016, the design community flocked to Clerkenwell with 34,973 attendees and over 300 exhibiting brands.

Why Clerkenwell?

Our London office has been based at its current premises in Clerkenwell since May 2015.  In the last two decades, Clerkenwell’s unique variety of buildings has been transformed into studios, showrooms and workshops, attracting architectural, design and creative practices. An environment for built design that and DLP Planning is excited to be part of.

Clerkenwell is truly London’s design district, which Clerkenwell Design Week celebrates.

Meet and greet

For this year’s event, we will be hosting seminars on the mornings of the 23rd and 25th May entitled ‘Design in the Planning Process’, and cordially invite people to book as space and join the debate.

Our offices are open throughout Clerkenwell Design Week. Please do drop in and meet the team. We would be happy to consider your town planning issues small scale or large and would be glad to discuss how we can positively shape the places in which we live and work.

All are welcome!

John HelyarDLP Planning pleased to be part of Clerkenwell Design Week
read more


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.


read more