Archive for November, 2011

Appeal won for Ingleby Barwick retirement home.

We have won an appeal for a supported living retirement home at Ingleby Barwick, Stockton-on-tees and we couldn’t be happier to get this decision turned around. The development will include 1 and 2 bedroomed apartments for residents, as well as shared facilities and lounges.

A managed green space will be open for use by the residents on previously private land, giving quality of life and providing attractive, landscaped gardens. Local shops, services and amenities are all within walking distance giving this development a high level of sustainability.

Some key legal principles have emerged from this decision relating to situations when Councils ask for S106 contributions. It may be harder for Councils to ask for money in the future unless they point to just what it will be spent upon.

Wynyard development gets outline planning permission.

We have helped Wynyard Park to get one step closer to their vision of a sustainable, mixed use development by winning outline planning permission for 200 executive homes to the West of the existing Business Park.

Hartlepool Borough Council granted outline permission for the planned homes and accepted a contribution of almost £2 million towards affordable housing for the borough. The money will be used to meet a need for affordable housing in the Hartlepool area.

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Prism Planning have just won a significant planning appeal relating to a site in Ingleby Barwick known as Blair Avenue which should change the way that a lot of planning is carried out in the Stockton area. The site was a piece of land effectively left over from the historic development of the village of Ingleby Barwick and lay close to the village centre. The developer wanted to build a housing scheme for the over 55’s. The council were concerned that the site was an important area of open space and needed to be kept open. The Inspector disagreed with the Council position, noting that their evidence base was sketchy and out of date. None of the policies referred to by the Council should have been used in the way the Council sought. However the real significance of the case is that the Inspector went on to apply the Community Infrastructure Regulations (CIL) to the Councils position and to note that their planning guidance on open space was fundamentally flawed. In particular the Council couldn’t reasonably demand money from a developer without analysing the problems of the area and being very specific about how the money would be used to improve the area. The Inspector also went on to note that the Councils approach towards delivering off site affordable housing was similarly flawed, being overly complex and uncertain and preferred the simple and clear approach cited by Prism. Moreover the approach put forward by Prism was consistent with the way in which the government were funding and delivering affordable housing in the future. These two key legal points should result in a very different approach being taken by the Council in the future which will more directly and transparently benefit local communities. In the future, the Council will need to accurately diagnose local opens space issues and propose specific solutions, instead of money being stored away for use on other sites as officers see fit. Communities will be able to expect a better understanding of their specific problems and also to expect improvements to doorstep provision. The Inspector went on to agree with all the key points argued by Prism and found for the appellant, granting permission for a sheltered housing scheme on the site.

You may have seen in our recent newsletter that we received some press coverage for our public consultation event at Allens West. A public consultation is a chance for plans to go on show for a proposed project which has not yet gone to planning committee. Local residents can come along to the event, usually held all day with no booking required, and speak to our team of planners about what exactly is involved in the development.

Speaking to the public about proposed planning applications is something we value at Prism and take great pride in. We try to never submit a major application without ensuring that everyone is as informed as they can possibly be – because without all the information, you can’t make an informed decision!

Often a well attended consultation gives us a feel for what the general opinion is of the plans, and what aspects we may need to reassure people on. After speaking to our planning team and looking over detailed plans people feel ‘in the loop’ and assured that our plans have their best interests at heart.

Prism like talking to you, and if you need to talk to us about a planning issue you have please call 01325 345 960.