Appeal Decision at Macs Farm

DLP Planning working with 39 Essex Chambers and Saloria Architects are delighted to have secured planning permission at appeal, on behalf of our client, for the change of use of the existing ancillary outbuilding on site to an independent dwelling for the sole use of our client at Macs Farm, Stoke Poges.

The site has an extensive planning history. In 2009, a CLOPED was issued for an outbuilding (which formed the appeal site) and was erected as an ancillary building to the rear of Macs Farm, a detached dwelling house accessed from Farthing Green Lane. However, the Council considered that a separate dwelling had been erected, which became the subject of enforcement action with a Notice being served in 2012 requiring its demolition and the removal of all resulting materials from the land.

An appeal against the enforcement notice was dismissed, but this decision was subject to a High Court Challenge. At the interim hearing, the Judge suggested Alternative Dispute Resolution as a means of resolving the differences between the parties. Through this process both parties agreed a Section 106 agreement in 2014, which ‘stayed’ the effect of the Notice which remains valid. The agreement between the Council and the Applicant meant that the outbuilding could remain provided it was used for purposes ancillary to the main dwelling house in accordance with the requirements of the S.106 Agreement.

The Council refused the initial application, which proposed the change of use of the existing ancillary building on site to an independent dwelling, solely for the use of the Applicant on the grounds of inappropriate development in the Green Belt and the impact on openness.

However, in allowing the appeal, the Inspector agreed with the Appellant’s case that the appeal proposal would reuse a building of permanent and substantial construction that is readily capable of conversion, which would preserve the openness of the Green Belt and would not conflict with the purposes of including land within it.

The Inspector also found that the creation of a separate dwelling would result in limited activity and associated paraphernalia and would not result in any additional harm to the Green Belt or the character and appearance of the area.

John HelyarAppeal Decision at Macs Farm
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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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New Events Space approved in former industrial buildings

Planning permission has been secured for a new event space at Taylor Forgings buildings in central Sheffield. The proposal sought permission to change the use of existing offices and industrial warehousing (Use Class E/B2/B8) for use as an events space with ancillary office space buildings (Use Class E/F.2).

Pre-application discussions with the Local Planning Authority were essential. Given the proposed use, location and anticipated volume of people using the new space, the application was subject to various challenges pertaining to noise, highways and the appropriateness of a town centre use in this area, particularly in the context of the changes in the Use Class Order recently introduced.

A sequential assessment was required which concluded no more suitably located site was available. The application was also accompanied by a transport statement undertaken by our SDD team which underlined the highly sustainable nature of the site in respect to alternative modes of transport other than the car. The distinctive industrial character inherent on site was instantly recognised and central to the planning strategy.

We are delighted that the significant benefits of the development in adding to the arts and cultural spaces available in the city and securing an active use for currently vacant buildings can now be realised. The high-quality multiuse venue is a signpost for regeneration in the area and the design approach will preserve and repair the industrial heritage of the site and wider locality.

John HelyarNew Events Space approved in former industrial buildings
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Sheffield Local Plan Issues and Options Consultation

DLP has made representations on behalf of various clients to the first stage of the preparation of the Local Plan which is due to cover the period to 2038.

Submissions were made in accordance with the consultation deadline of the 13th October 2020 and DLP made clear that a growth agenda was required to support the economic objectives of the City and to reflect its role within the city region.

One of the projects DLP are engaged upon, the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation District (AMID) and the University of Sheffield Innovation District (USID) will deliver high skilled employment as sought by the Local and Strategic Economic Plans for the city region. DLP argued that the release of land around the former Sheffield Airport, from the Green Belt, and other sustainable locations, is needed to continue to encourage this investment.

DLP also argued that accommodation and housing to meet the distinct needs of families, an ageing population and students must also be planned for. There is a shortfall in the availability of appropriate housing, particularly family and elderly accommodation, whilst purpose-built student accommodation has underpinned much of the city centre regeneration development in recent years.

Ensuring that strategic housing policies meet the growth agenda, which DLP suggest is 2,300 dwellings per annum, based on the growth objectives, will require the release of land from the Green Belt. This however will assist in meeting the accommodation needs of different age profiles and types and will help to create a fairer and healthier city.

Emma GilliesSheffield Local Plan Issues and Options Consultation
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