An extract from the Society's Autumn newsletter on Planning by David Smye our planning representative is shown below:
"Strangely quiet in the local planning world with very few significant planning applications being made to the local authority. Generally, the weekly rosters consist only of tree lopping and small domestic extensions. Businesses and developers, quite understandably, are concentrating on the circumstances that they now find themselves in, and most projects are on hold.
Housebuilding has restarted on several sites around the town, but new sites are yet to begin. On the national scene, the Housing Minister, Robert Jenrick, has announced plans to grant ‘permission in principle’ for new homes and hospitals on land designated for renewal to speed up the building process. It follows on from the PM’s pledge of £5bn to ‘build, build, build’ to help soften the economic impact of coronavirus. Under the new process, through democratic local agreement, land will be designated in one of three categories: for growth, for renewal or for protection.
Land designated for growth will empower development – so new homes, hospitals, schools, shops and offices will be allowed automatically.
Renewal areas will enable much quicker development with a 'permission in principle' approach to balance speed while ensuring appropriate checks are carried out.
Protected land will be just that - Green Belts, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and rich heritage – will be protected.
It is proposed to completely overhaul the system so that more good quality, attractive and affordable homes can be provided faster. The Minister has stated that the new plans will also focus on quality and design, drawing on inspiration from the idea of design codes and pattern books that built the picturesque city of Bath, model village of Bournville and wealthy district of Belgravia in London. Eco-friendly homes with new spaces and parks nearby would be built, with more tree-lined avenues.
There is also a move to change the Permitted Development categories to allow more freedom for householders and developers. Developers will be able to knock down unused commercial premises and build residential units. Domestic extensions could be two storeys without needing planning permission. The government has said the new rules would prompt people to build more bedrooms or flats for elderly relatives and create additional apartments.
The government stance is that “It will mean redundant space can be quickly re-purposed to revive High Streets and town centres. If householders want to build upwards they’ll have to carefully consider the impact on neighbours and the appearance of the extension.”
The Maldon Society will continue to scrutinise the proposals for local developments and alert you to those that will most impact upon our environment or the vitality of the town.
© Maldon Society 2020