Agenda item

To inform the Local Plan Committee of the implications of the Government’s new Planning Reform paper.



The Committee had before it a report of the Corporate Director (Planning and Regeneration Services) (A.2) which provided information on the implications of the Government’s new Planning Reform paper.


It was reported that the Government had published its ‘Planning Reform: Supporting the High Street and Increasing the Delivery of New Homes’ consultation between 29 October 2018 and 14 January 2019. The consultation had been open to all public and private bodies and members of the public.


It was further reported that the consultation had included separate proposals in respect of:


  • Part 1: new and amended permitted development rights and changes to use classes, including to support the regeneration of the high street and to extend existing buildings upwards to create new homes.
  • Part 2: the disposal of surplus local authority land - rationalising and updating the rules which govern disposal of public land at less than best value.
  • Part 3: a draft listed building consent order to support the work of the Canal & River Trust.
  • Part 4: draft guidance on the compulsory purchase powers of new town development corporations.


Part 1: Permitted development rights and use classes


The Government was seeking views on new permitted development rights to allow greater flexibility for change of use; use the airspace above existing buildings for additional new homes and extensions; remove the right to install new public call boxes and the associated advertising consent; and increase the height threshold for the installation of off-street electric vehicle charging points. They had also proposed to make permanent other existing time-limited rights, and to make an update to the Use Classes Order to reflect changing high streets and make them more resilient.


Part 2: Disposal of local authority land


There were well established consent procedures in place where local authorities sought to dispose of surplus land at less than best consideration. The Government was proposing to extend local authorities’ freedoms to do so without seeking consent from the Secretary of State, thereby providing greater flexibility to dispose of surplus land in support of local development objectives.


Part 3: Canal & River Trust: Draft listed building consent order


The Government was proposing to make the first listed building consent order which would allow minor, routine works to the Canal & River Trust’s listed waterway structures without the need for individual listed building consent applications. This would remove unnecessary applications from the system whilst ensuring that appropriate protection for listed buildings and their settings is maintained.


Part 4: New town development corporations: Draft compulsory purchase guidance


The Government sought views on draft guidance on the compulsory purchase powers of new town development corporations. It had set out, amongst other things, the factors which Ministers would take into account when deciding whether or not to confirm new town compulsory purchase orders. This was intended to provide additional clarity to those with an interest in proposed new settlements, including promoters, investors, infrastructure providers, landowners and local communities.


The Committee was informed that the deadline to respond to the Government’s consultation had fallen between two Committee cycles. In preparing a response Officers had consulted internally and with the North Essex Authorities. Due to the time allowed for those consultees to respond, action had to be taken prior to seeking a decision from this Committee. Given the tight time turnaround, Officers had consulted with Councillor Stock OBE in his capacity as both Leader of the Council and the Chairman of this Committee to agree the draft response for submission, with the matter being reported to the Committee thereafter.


Councillor Ferguson thanked the Chairman and also the Planning Manager (Gary Guiver) for their quick response with this matter.


Having considered and discussed all of the information provided, it was moved by Councillor Stock OBE, seconded by Councillor Ferguson and:


RESOLVED that the Committee:-


notes the contents of the report and supports the consultation response, which was previously the subject of consultation with and in agreement by, the Chairman of this Committee;  and submitted to the Government as this Council’s formal consultation response.


Supporting documents: