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Response to Nexus regarding their proposals for a development south of Hazel Close. (July 2015)

Plan prematurity advice promised

Planning Minister Nick Boles has told Parliament that new guidance on planning policy will clarify local plan prematurity issues. The advice will provide a steer on the circumstances which will justify refusal of planning permission for new residential development at a time when an up-to-date plan has not been adopted.....

Common land concern

The Open Spaces Society has voiced concern over the Government’s latest proposals to update common land registers. The Environment Minister Dan Rogerson has said that the Government will implement part 1 of the Commons Act 2006 fully in Cumbria and North Yorkshire. In the rest of England it will be implemented only partially, enabling landowners to remove commons from the registers without the balancing provision enabling the public to add land which was wrongly excluded.


Two sets of Midlands councillors have refused separate major housing schemes because of concern the developments would prejudice emerging neighbourhood plans.....

Lancashire housing scheme refused because of poor design

Plans by Persimmon Homes for a development of just over 200 homes at Knotts Drive south of Colne, Lancashire, have been dismissed on appeal on design grounds.

The proposals had been originally refused by Pendle Borough Council because of the scheme’s poor layout and other design shortcomings. The planning authority acknowledged (and the Secretary of State’s decision letter noted) that the council could only identify a 2.1 year supply of available housing land.

Government won’t back major housing projects without community support

Housing Minister Kris Hopkins has told Parliament that the Government won’t support major housing development where communities are opposed to it.

His comments came at the end of a Commons debate about proposals for a ‘new market town’ of up to 10,000 homes in open countryside in West Sussex.

The new settlement, proposed by Mayfield Market Towns Ltd, is earmarked for land between Henfield and Sayers Common and would straddle the boundary between Horsham and Mid Sussex district councils.

The scheme is opposed by both planning authorities and was the subject of a Westminster Hall debate in the Commons instigated by local MP Nicholas Soames.

The minister said: “While we continue to support the principle of large-scale developments as a way of meeting the overwhelming housing need that we face, Government funding and expert advice is clearly predicated on local community support.

Neighbours CAN veto unsightly extensions and conservatories after all, Eric Pickles says

Lower growth in households

The latest national statistics on the projected number of households in England and its local authority districts to 2021 show a lower growth in households compared with the 2008-based projections which have now been superseded."

Latest household projections show lower growth in next decade

The latest national statistics on the projected number of households in England and its local authority districts to 2021 show a lower growth in households compared with the 2008-based projections which have now been superseded."

Research shows local plans are not cutting housing targets

New research by planning consultancy Nathaniel Lichfield Partners (NLP) has indicated that localism is not leading to cuts in housing targets in local plans."

Minister dismisses talk of planning free-for-all

Planning Minister Nick Boles has insisted that the end of the transition period for councils to ensure local plans are compliant with the National Planning Policy Framework should not be a cause for concern or prompt a planning free-for-all."

Government to fight extensions opt-out move

The Government has pledged to remove an amendment inserted in the Growth and Infrastructure Bill which would allow local authorities to opt out of plans to allow house extensions up to eight metres deep without planning permission."

New Homes Bonus report 'negative and unfair’

The Government has rejected concerns over the New Homes Bonus voiced in a report from the National Audit Office.

The report said the Government’s assessment of the impact of the initiative was based on “limited evidence" and contained an error which increased estimated construction rates.

The NAO report also raised a number of issues about the design and implementation of the incentive regime. It questioned whether the funding would lead to additional housing completions and the potential impact on local authorities in areas of lower demand.

However, Housing Minister Mark Prisk said: "This report is unduly negative and unfair. Housing supply is up and planning approvals are up – we are getting Britain building.

“The reality is that the New Homes Bonus has already rewarded councils for the delivery of 450,000 homes and we are confident that it has the potential to increase supply by at least 100,000 homes over ten years.

“The New Homes Bonus provides a real incentive for communities to grow, to provide more affordable housing and to get empty homes back into use. It is simple and fair to all parts of the country – councils which build more homes, receive more funding.""

Call for lobbying controls

The Government should consider introducing transparency rules governing lobbying firms who work for developers, according to a new report.

The report, written by author Anna Minton and published by public relations monitoring body Spinwatch, says sponsored features in the press are "part of the arsenal of tactics used by PR and lobbying companies trying to change perceptions of contentious development".

The report concluded that the Government should "consider the introduction of transparency rules for lobbyists operating at a local level".

It added: "The aim of such registers would be to ensure that the activities of developers and lobbyists are transparent, revealing who is lobbying whom and about what."

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