Minutes of a meeting of the POS Cabinet held on Friday 26 April 2013 at 41 Botolph Lane, London, EC3R 8DL
Present: Malcolm Sharp (MS) - President; Mike Kiely (MK) - Senior Vice President; David Evans (DE) - Junior Vice-President; John Silvester (JS) - Publicity Officer and Spokesperson; Phil Kirby (PK) - Vice President Emeritus; Vincent Haines (VH) - Convenor, Urban Design Topic Forum; Dave Simpson (DS) - Chair, Spatial Planning & Policy Committee; Catriona Riddell (CR) - Convenor, Strategic Planning Topic Forum; Nicky Linihan (NL) - Convenor, Hsg, Regen & Econ Dev Topic Forum; Don Gobbett (DG) - Convenor, Transportation Planning Topic Forum; Richard Morris (RM) - Cabinet Member without Portfolio; Richard Schofield (RS) - Convenor, EM Region; Roger Hargreaves (RH) - Director, POSe; Rob Murfin (RM) - Director, POSe; Andrew Wright (AW) - General Manager, POSe; Linda Durtnal (LD) - POS Secretariat. By invitation: Clarissa Corbisiero (CC) - Local Government Association; Miles Butler (MB) - ADEPT.
Apologies; Mike Holmes, Jeff Stack, Geoff Cross, Stephen Tapper, Paul Watson, Philippa Lowe, Stephen Hill, Lonek Wojtulewicz, Graham Jones, Philip Ridley, Sule Nisancioglu, Steve Ingram, Mark Dickens, Simon Meecham, David Feeney, Anna Rose, Karl Roberts, Peter Geraghty
Local Government Association
Clarissa Corbisiero joined the meeting for this item seeking views on the Permitted Development proposals ahead of an LGA meeting the following week. The following points were raised during the ensuing discussion
a) In many cases local authorities would have to re-introduce neighbour notifications which were currently being dealt with by means of notices only;
b) Applications would still need to be registered and posted online with a site visit but this would now have to be undertaken without any fee income;
c) Who would judge the materiality of any objections received?;
d) Most definitions of a "neighbour" are locally agreed and this could add inconsistency to the process across the country;
e) How could the process be managed to ensure that no unacceptable pressures were put on neighbours by applicants?;
f) In such cases neighbours might register objections anonymously but many local authorities automatically discard and give no weight to anonymous objections;
g) If objections are received then would the new proposals mean that the case then became a formal application subject to an application fee?;
h) In most type of cases proposed it was likely that building control permission would still be required and therefore local authorities would still be undertaking the majority of the work previously required.
CC also requested information about the progress of the current guidance reviews but this was more difficult for the meeting to provide because some of the Society's nominees to the review groups on specific areas of the guidance were currently feeding back updates to the DM Committee and not to Cabinet as a whole. JS undertook to circulate a list of all those participating in the review groups to Cabinet for information and to ask them to provide updates on progress.
MK raised concerned about the BIS move to amend the Regulators Compliance. CC reported that the LGA had gone back to BIS to say that there was currently no basis for the view that planning was "burdensome" and asking for some evidence to be provided to support this statement.