Kerry Titmus

A modern day example of “Doublethink” regarding Central Bedfordshire Local Plan Examination Inspectors Letter

To quote George Orwell…“You are a slow learner, Winston.”

“How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.”

“Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”

This is the experience you get reading the inspectors’ letter on the recent CBC LP exam and CBC’s response (which they got in first by publishing on the examination web site and sending out in email before releasing the inspectors letter). Our reading of the inspectors letter is that the plan is not sound and a substantial level of work is required including a new, not an amended, Sustainability Appraisal. This will, in the inspectors’ view, require a reopening of the examination and this is likely to include a re-examination of housing requirement and supply (in the submitted plan the OAN is much lower than the standard method LHN). Our reading of the letter is that the inspectors are suggesting it would be quicker and more appropriate to withdraw the plan and start again.

In terms of Small and Medium allocations inspectors have questioned deliverability and whether exceptional circumstances have been demonstrated to justify the alteration of Green Belt boundaries. At least -259 dwellings, and up to -835 dwellings have been identified for deletion from the proposed allocations.

The Inspectors also criticised of all four strategic housing allocations. The potential impact on the delivery of housing towards the Local Plans requirement is substantial with a maximum potential loss of -9,750 units forecast for delivery in the plan period to 2035.

The CBC web site however summarises the position quite differently as;

“This marks an important step forward in the thorough and comprehensive process of creating and agreeing the Local Plan….

 Whilst many critical areas of policy have been accepted without commentary, there are a number of areas which require some further work.”

We wonder if CBC working on the approach that;

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past”

Given CBC’c criticism of the approach taken by the inspectors it will be interesting to see the next round of correspondence. In the meantime the planning system ability to achieve the governments aspirations of securing planned led growth for 300,000 dwellings a year remains a fiction.

Kerry TitmusA modern day example of “Doublethink” regarding Central Bedfordshire Local Plan Examination Inspectors Letter
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Planning Permission for UPVC Double Glazed Windows in the Stewartby Conservation Area

DLP Planning Ltd has secured Planning Permission, on behalf of the Sir Malcolm Stewart Bart. General Charitable Trust, to replace the existing timber single glazed windows with slim profile UPVC double glazed windows on a number of properties across the Estate 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.

The Conservation Officer expressed concerns in relation to the use of UPVC and the impact it would have on the character and appearance of the Conservation Area. However, with support from the Parish Council and the local Ward Councillor, DLP were able to successfully demonstrate to the Planning Committee that the proposed slim-line heritage style window would replicate the detailing, design and proportions of the original windows and would be almost identical in appearance.

The proposal also provided a number of benefits to the residents of the Estate and which includes eliminating draughts and providing a warmer and more comfortable living environment. In addition, the proposed windows are easier for the residents to operate as they don’t swell and stick like timber windows do.

The decision has been welcomed by the Trust and whose viability was threatened by the cost of continual repairs, maintenance and up-keep of the timber windows. The residents, many of whom have very limited incomes, will benefit greatly from the improved insulation and reduction in their heating costs.

Kerry TitmusPlanning Permission for UPVC Double Glazed Windows in the Stewartby Conservation Area
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Full Planning Permission for Green Belt Conversion and Extension, Alveston, South Gloucestershire

DLP Planning Ltd (DLP) have secured full planning permission for the conversion and extension of a single storage building within the Green Belt. The storage building was originally constructed as part of a recent planning permission to rebuild two separate outbuildings into a single building for the storage of gardening equipment. Following this approval, DLP successfully argued that, due to the subsequent development of other areas of the site for other dwellings, the storage building was now surplus to requirements and could therefore be converted to a dwelling. Furthermore, through positive discussions with the Case Officer, DLP were able to secure a sufficiently sized extension to the side of the property allowing for the creation of an additional bedroom and balcony atop, accessed via the living space.

They key concerns revolved around development within the green belt, discussions with the local authority over what is considered to be within the residential curtilage, avoiding a nearby root protection area and delivering a sizeable extension which accorded with local policy.

The application was decided by the Council under delegated powers having passed through the Council’s circulated schedule process.

 

Images credited to We Are Not Architects

Kerry TitmusFull Planning Permission for Green Belt Conversion and Extension, Alveston, South Gloucestershire
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Planning Permission For Two Self-Build Dwellings In The Green Belt Won On Appeal

DLP Planning Ltd have successfully secured outline planning permission on appeal for two self-build dwellings in the Green Belt in Frogmore, St Albans.

The Council’s refused an application in October 2018, holding the view that the scheme did not consitute limited infilling as per the Framework, and would be harmful to the openness of the Green Belt.

The Inspector rejected the Council’s case and agreed with the arguments put forward by DLP that the appeal site forms part of the village and represents a well defined gap enclosed by built development. The Inspector therefore concluded that the appeal scheme did represent ‘limited infilling’ and as such would not be inappropriate development in the Green Belt.

The Inspector also found that the subdivision of the site into two plots would be consistent with the existing pattern of development, and the number of dwellings proposed would amount to ‘limited development’.

This is an important appeal decision and reinforces the approach to ‘limited infilling’ in the Green Belt as laid down by the Courts.

DLP Planning has a proven track record of achieving planning permission in the Green Belt for our clients.   If you would like to enquire about our services, please get in touch.

Kerry TitmusPlanning Permission For Two Self-Build Dwellings In The Green Belt Won On Appeal
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Comparison of Local Housing Needs 2014 v 2016

Impact of the 2016 Household Projections, compared to the 2014 Household Projections on the standard method for calculating local housing need across England, by all regions, and top 5 increases and decreases by county.

Kerry TitmusComparison of Local Housing Needs 2014 v 2016
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Outline Planning Permission for 18 Dwellings in a Village in Cambridgeshire

DLP Planning Ltd (DLP) working with be1 Architects has secured a resolution to grant outline planning permission for 18 dwellings, including affordable housing, on the edge of a village in South Cambridgeshire.

The application was submitted following extensive pre-application discussions with the Council, which included a Design Workshop with key Council Officers. The proposal represents a low density scheme and would provide a spacious layout with an area of public open space and play area.

Members spoke favourably of the scheme recognising that it has been sensitively designed and relates well to surrounding development and the edge of the village.

The site also lies adjacent to a Grade II Listed Building and Council Officers agreed that the scheme would preserve the setting of this listed building.

The Council accepted that they cannot demonstrate a five year land supply and therefore the application should be considered in the context of the presumption in favour of sustainable development.

DLP successfully demonstrated that the proposal would make a positive contribution to the housing need in the area and that there are significant benefits that would outweigh any limited harm. This includes the provision of new housing, including affordable housing; benefits to the local economy; the provision of public open space; and contributions towards the widening of a footway in the village.

Kerry TitmusOutline Planning Permission for 18 Dwellings in a Village in Cambridgeshire
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Annual Home Builders Federation Yorkshire Conference and Dinner

DLP (Planning) Ltd would like to thank those from Harworth Estates, HLM, Bond Dickinson, Nabarro, Architectural Innovations and Counter Context who joined us for the Annual HBF Yorkshire Conference and Dinner last night.

The event, was chaired by the HBF Regional Chairman, Jolyon Harrison, speeches from Peter Andrew, Huw Bowen, Oliver Knight and Jenny Herdman and John Slaughter provided the latest insights into the house building market following Brexit.  What was clear was that the housing crisis which has been building up over decades remains and that significant measures will be needed to boost the delivery and supply of housing in line with Government targets for new homes delivery. This also needs to be viewed in the wider context of providing access to homes for a growing and changing population as well as supporting economic aspirations.

Oliver Knight’s review of the latest Knight Frank information was telling however in respect of the continuing disparity between regional price growth in houses from London, the south east and the south when compared to other areas.  Emphasis was given to housing being at the forefront of the political agenda and the effects of improved policy environments was being felt by the industry. Schemes such as Help To Buy and Home Builders Fund would need to have certainty to them to deliver the benefits anticipated of them. There was unanimous support for small and medium size housebuilders and the housing white paper due to be published later this year will set out the Government focus in that regard.

Going forward there remains particular uncertainty about the implications that Brexit will have on the country and of course the house-building industry but the message is clear, more homes need to be built to meet the chronic under-supply that has taken place over the last few decades. The opportunity to push forward the housing growth agenda can have wide-scale economic and social benefits which need to be recognised and balanced in making planning decisions.

Kerry TitmusAnnual Home Builders Federation Yorkshire Conference and Dinner
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