The DM Network meeting held on 24th February at Southend-on-Sea BC.
1. Introduction from Peter Geraghty Southend on Sea Council - outlined key issues facing Southend and presentation attached. Peter outlined the approach to sea front regeneration; town centre improvements; and proposals to develop Southend airport, which is rapidly expanding and subject of a Joint Area Action Plan with Rochford.
2. Planning Law update - Linda Russell. Basement development: recent court decision that definitely requires consent, so main question then rests on whether PD or not. Courts of also determined that basement works constitute a separate activity of substance (apart from the main dwelling house) and therefore requires permission.
Lawfulness and concealed development: where LPA can demonstrate that deception has taken place to conceal development, then a Planning Enforcement Order can be served.
New Class PA in GPDO concerning change of use from light industrial to residential - now prior notification process, from September.
3. Steve Evison, Deputy Director, Local and Nieghbourhood Plans, DCLG - LPA's must address strategic priorities for their area; SoS has power to direct joint planning; combined authorities can prepare a plan; review period for plans; and common data standards. Real commitment from govt to importance of plan making.
Ministers understand that volume housebuilders alone will not solve the housing crisis and more diversity of provision required.
Consultation due shortly on basis for setting OANs; will consult of proposals to speed up plan examination process; tighten up plan evidence base requirements. Desire to have a revised NPPF in place this year.
Looking to create a Statement of Common Ground to replace Duty to Co-operate, which will require groups of authorities to set out their requirements around growth - including scale and infrastructure requirements (and potential ask of government). Will be carrying out a consultation on SCG.
Real opportunity for POS to interact with and inform the White Paper proposals.
4. PINS update: Mark Southgate, Director of Major Casework: Agree with White Paper that too much evidence submitted and requires clarity; looking for improved cross boundary working.
Have started to introduce transformation process with greater involvement of case officer alongside Inpsector. PINS generally pleased with White Paper proposals and incorporating LPEG recommendations - hopeful that once plan led system is fully in place, number of appeals will reduce. Introduction of charging for appeals would eliminate 'no hoper' appeals.
5. POS Update: The POS are preparing a draft response to the White Paper, which will be circulated throughout the membership for comment/information. Two manifesto papers are also being published, relating to CPO's and the Use Classes Order and comments will be welcome.
Date of Next Meeting: Friday 30th June - City of London.