John Helyar

Caddington Retirement Village

“DLP Planning Ltd has secured a resolution to grant Planning Permission, contrary to Officers recommendation and subject to legal agreement, for the construction of a Retirement Village of up to 200 apartment units with ancillary facilities in a ‘Village Core’ (swimming pool, spa, wellness suite, restaurant/bar and lounges, learning/education facilities and administration) on land within the Central Bedfordshire Green Belt, near Caddington, Bedfordshire.

The site comprises an area of around 4.8 hectares and contains Millfield House and the Cotswold Business Park as well as an undeveloped parcel of land. The site lies within the South Bedfordshire Green Belt and adjoins the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), both key considerations that dictated the approach to development and scheme design and which needed to be addressed during the planning process.

Members of the Planning Committee resolved to overturn the decision and resolved to approve the planning application which Members considered demonstrated a number of Very Special Circumstances, sufficient to warrant its approval. These included meeting an identified, significant local need for elderly accommodation within the District; delivery of affordable housing and a range of local community facilities; developing a part previously developed site; and a £100 million gross investment value scheme creating up to 80 jobs.

The village is to be built out and operated by Inspired Villages (L and G), who have contracted to acquire the land from the private owner”.

John HelyarCaddington Retirement Village
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DLP Planning Ltd (DLP) have secured outline planning permission for the erection of 9 new apartments in St George, Bristol. Working with Wotton Donoghue Architects, on behalf of Sampson Developments Limited, the proposal will see the erection of a high quality three storey residential block on underutilised land adjacent to Argyle Morley United Reformed Church.

One of the key considerations that needed to be addressed during the planning process was the location of the vehicular access, due to the site’s proximity to existing road junctions and two pedestrian refuge islands. It was also important that the building was set back in order to preserve the outlook from the neighbouring Church’s north-east facing windows.

The application was decided by the Council under delegated powers. DLP have been retained by the applicant to submit a full planning application for a larger 10 dwelling scheme.


Image credited to Wotton Donoghue Architects


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42-56, Tottenham Road

DLP Planning Limited have successfully secured planning permission from Hackney Council for the proposed change of use from a warehouse (use class B8) to commercial use (use class B1c) at 42-56, Tottenham Road, Hackney.  The existing property was vacant and had previously been used as a trade warehouse. It was considered a change of use to Class B1c use would make the most productive use of the building, which falls within a Priority Employment Area.

The site raised a number of sensitive design considerations, such as how to make efficient use of the building whilst protecting the amenity of neighbouring residents and the De Beauvoir Town Conservation Area in which the site is located. The proposal will see minimal changes to the exterior of the building, therefore resulting in no adverse impact on the character or appearance of the Conservation Area. Class B1 uses are considered to be appropriate in residential areas so the proposed B1c use is considered to be compatible with the residential neighbours in near proximity and also reflects the majority of established employment use in the near vicinity.

No objections were raised by members of the public and the application was decided by the Council under delegated powers. The Owner’s Commercial Agent, Savoy Stewart are confident of an early letting.

John Helyar42-56, Tottenham Road
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Central Bedfordshire Local Plan – Examination Hearings

The Public Hearing Sessions for the Examination in Public (EiP) of the Regulation 22 Central Bedfordshire Council Local Plan are set to begin at 10am on Tuesday 21st May 2019, running until Thursday 25th July.

DLP Planning Ltd will be in attendance for many of the scheduled Hearing Sessions representing a number of clients further to representations made throughout the Local Plan process. The Hearing Sessions will be conducted around 15 key Matters and a range of questions pertaining to each Matter under the guidance of the Inspectors Matthew Birkinshaw and Helen Hockenhull.

DLP has consistently made representations that the housing numbers proposed by Central Beds Council are not meeting the full objectively assessed needs for the area and we will be representing clients with concerns over the spatial strategy and the selection of strategic sites.

The Duty to Co-operate has been a consistent issue within Central Bedfordshire, which saw the previous Development Strategy withdrawn in 2015 and similar concerns have been raised again through this EiP process. Other important areas of discussion are likely to include Green Belt releases, the provision of small and medium site allocations for housing, Important Countryside Gap policies and the identified locations for future growth.

John HelyarCentral Bedfordshire Local Plan – Examination Hearings
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Bedford Borough Local Plan 2030 – Examination Hearing Sessions

The Examination in Public (EiP) Hearing Sessions for the Bedford Borough Local Plan 2030 are due to begin on 29th May at 9:30 with Hearing Sessions running until 26th June. The Hearing Sessions will cover 13 matters ranging from legal compliance, housing requirements and the spatial strategy, through to individual allocations and policies of the plan guided by the Government appointed Inspectors Malcolm Rivett and Anne Jordan.

DLP will be present across these Hearing Sessions having responded to a number of consultations over the course of the Plan’s development, which started back in 2014/15. DLP continues to raise concerns over a range of different aspects of the plan including the level of housing which the Council aims to deliver, which DLP consider both falls short of a full assessment of housing need and relies on a number of sites with question marks over their delivery.

DLP will also be challenging the Council’s late decision to shorten the timespan of the new Plan to 2030 whilst also deferring all site specific allocations outside the urban area to future Neighbourhood Plans for allocation. This approach provides little certainty of sites coming forward and will delay the delivery of much needed market and affordable housing in the short-medium term, particularly in rural areas.

Once adopted, the plan will form be the key policy document against which Planning applications in the future will be determined, so DLP will be seeking to ensure that it has been prepared in the correct manner and in accordance with national policy and guidance.

John HelyarBedford Borough Local Plan 2030 – Examination Hearing Sessions
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Planning and Listed Building Consent for Double Glazed Windows on a Listed Building

DLP Planning Ltd has secured Planning and Listed Building Consent, on behalf of the Sir Malcolm Stewart General Charitable Trust, to replace the existing timber single glazed windows with slim profile timber double glazed windows on a number of Grade II listed buildings within the Stewartby Conservation Area.

The site comprises part of an open plan estate that was designed in the early 1950’s by the renowned architect Sir Albert Richardson and historically provided housing for the retired workers of the London Brick Company and their descendants. The site now also provides housing for a general population over the age of 55 years.

Following pre-application discussions with the Planning and Conservation Officer, DLP Planning Ltd submitted an application and successfully demonstrated that the detailing and design of the proposed windows would match that of the existing windows, and would preserve the significance of the Listed Buildings and the character and appearance of the Conservation Area. The Council agreed that there would be no harm to these heritage assets.

The comprehensive replacement of the existing windows with new double glazed units provides for a step change in energy efficiency by eliminating draughts and retaining heat as well as improving the ease of operation for the elderly residents and cutting future maintenance and repair costs.  The decision has been welcomed by the Trust and by the residents who will benefit from the improvements.

John HelyarPlanning and Listed Building Consent for Double Glazed Windows on a Listed Building
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Planning Permission Secured for Sheffield’s First Major Build to Rent Scheme

On behalf of Platform_, DLP Planning have secured permission for Sheffield’s first build-to-rent (BTR) development of 335 apartments within the Cultural Industries Quarter area of the city centre.

The development includes three blocks of between five and 14 storeys in height, providing studio, one, two and three-bed apartments as well as co-working employment space and a flexible use commercial unit. Communal facilities including a gym, common room, cinema room, dining facilities, amenity space, roof garden and bike maintenance store area will also be provided. The proposals also include the creation of a formal riverside walkway alongside the Porter Brook.

This long-term vacant brownfield site presented a number of challenges relating to its Conservation Area status, site contamination and flood risk. Working alongside Tate Hindle Architects over an 18 month period, DLP promoted a sensitive design approach, which also sought to respond to comments from Historic England, in order to secure officer support for the proposals.

As a result of the substantial costs associated with the development and the limited evidence of comparable market values, it was also necessary to undertake negotiations with the LPA in respect of the viability of providing affordable housing.

As a result of negotiations, officers considered that the proposals provided substantial public benefits that could be considered to outweigh the less than substantial harm caused by the scale of development. The proposals were subsequently unanimously approved by Planning Committee members.

John HelyarPlanning Permission Secured for Sheffield’s First Major Build to Rent Scheme
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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
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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
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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 Development Existing  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
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