All posts in Planning Policy

Secure dog exercise area approved by Darlington Borough Council

Variety is the spice of life, or so the saying goes.  While housing and housing related projects may be the bread and butter of a planning consultant’s working life, it’s always nice to deal with other subjects.  Yes, we handle quite a few anaerobic digestion, equestrian and agricultural projects but when something entirely different comes along it makes for a pleasant change.  And so it came to pass ….

Earlier this year our Director, Rod Hepplewhite, was approached by a new client who was interested in establishing a secure dog exercise area on a field just outside one of Darlington’s villages.  Through her work with the Dog’s Trust she had become aware of a latent demand and need for a secure place where dog owners whose pets had special needs (such as being anxious when near other dogs or people or running off when let off the leash and not returning) could be exercised in a safe and secure environment.  The nearest such exercise area to Darlington is in Thirsk, which has proved to very popular such that booking a time-slot isn’t always easy.

It was clear that the demand/need for the facility was there but the question was how would the local planning authority view such an unusual proposal.  Rod advised the client that given the proposed location and the unusual nature of the proposal the submission of a pre-application inquiry to the Council would be a good idea.  This proved to be the case as we were able to engage in positive discussions with the case officer, including a very useful site visit, at an early stage.  We addressed issues raised, including providing a new entrance to the field from the country road, and answered all questions and were given a good steer on the preparation of the planning application.  The same planning officer dealt with the planning application such that it proceeded to approval in a smooth manner, helped along by us providing an in-depth explanation of the background to the proposed dog exercise area, what it would entail and how it would be operated.

A combination of tactics and being open and honest helped win the day.  The planning application submission included information above and beyond planning requirements but going that extra mile secured the planning permission for our client that she sought.  That is what Prism Planning is all about, going that extra mile for our clients.

 

 

Prism Planning had a good day at Hambleton Planning Committee yesterday, having gained planning permission for 3 new bungalows on a parcel of land at Tanton, just outside Stokesley. The site was outside the limits to development but officers accepted that the site had good access to the nearby market town of Stokelsey, was on a frequent bus route and was therefore in a sustainable location. The scheme proposed 3 new bungalows, in keeping with the surrounding development and members welcomed this type of housing which is much needed in the district.

Prism Planning had worked with the Council prior to the submission of the application to get the principle agreed with officers, smoothing the passage of the eventual application. Although this proposal was contrary to the Local Plan, being outside the defined limits to development, the Council have very pragmatically introduced flexible approaches to the delivery of housing in sustainable areas. In this respect, Hambleton are leading the way and responding positively to the current hosing crisis in this respect at least.

Our client will now look to dispose of the site so any interested parties looking to acquire a small site in the area should contact Prism Planning.
Approval was recently granted at planning committee in Hartlepool for a former workers dwelling to have its agricultural occupancy condition removed. This was the last stage of a careful application process which Prism Planning has great experience of.

The property had been marketed to prove there were no suitable occupiers in the area. We had carried out the minimum period required for marketing and written a strong application thoroughly demonstrating the condition was not required. We worked with a surveyor ensuring that the property was marketed correctly, including setting out a price agreed by the LPA. We also scrutinised offers coming forward from interested parties to ensure they were from lawful applicants who would meet the condition.

After submission we discussed the application with the Case Officer and ensured everything was on track. We used our expertise in agricultural conditions and searching appeal precedents to clarify to the LPA the definition of agriculture. Prism Planning attended Planning Committee and spoke in favour of the application advocating for removal of condition to be approved. Care was taken to point out material facts of the case and demonstrate the collaborative nature with the LPA.

The results were that Hartlepool Planning Committee unanimously agreed with the officer recommendation and the application was approved. We worked closely with the Client ensuring the case put forward was an accurate representation of the local history. If you are looking at a removing a condition and seeking expert guidance please feel free to contact us, Prism Planning prides itself on its successes, consequently we only progress cases we believe have a strong chance of success so we will be open and honest about your chances.
Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council recently published their new Draft Local Plan, which sets out the proposed long-term strategy for the Borough. Public consultation began on 27th June and the Council is inviting comments on the document until Monday 8th August, when the consultation period ends. The Draft Local Plan sets out a vision for how Redcar and Cleveland will be developed up to the year 2032. It explores proposals around housing, employment, retail and town centres, natural and built environment, and transport. The Council hopes that the new Local Plan will provide a blueprint for successful and thoroughly planned growth that will boost the economy in Redcar and Cleveland, create new training opportunities, skills and jobs, and deliver the new homes and employment land needed to support economic growth. Following the conclusion of the public consultation exercise, the Council will review comments received and make modifications to the document that it considers are warranted and necessary before publishing the ‘Publication Draft’ of the Local Plan (anticipated date November 2016) for further consultation and comment before submitting the Local Plan to the Secretary of State for examination by a government appointed independent Planning Inspector. Presently, the final adoption of the examination Local Plan is programmed for sometime March-August 2017 with adoption following later in the year, presuming that the Inspector’s report concludes favourably. Prism Planning would be happy to assist you in making representations on your behalf to Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council. As always, we are only a phone call or an e-mail away.
Some readers may recall that we reported back in March of this year our success at appeal in having the decision by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council to refuse outline planning permission for a development of 4 houses within the grounds of a care home in Redmarshall over-turned and permission granted. We have now secured outline planning permission for the redevelopment of the care home itself to provide up to 6 houses. Although the application was submitted in outline with all matters reserved, the indicative layout showed the development being integrated with the previous permission for 4 houses. The Council had previously resisted any further residential development within Redmarshall on the basis that they believed Redmarshall to be an unsustainable village. We had successfully argued at appeal, the Inspector accepting our arguments entirely, that their reasoning was flawed and that for a host of reasons the village should be regarded as a sustainable settlement where new housing development could be accommodated. We were delighted that Stockton’s planners dealt with the second application much more favourably, granting permission under delegated powers in a timely fashion. Our client will now advertise the entire site as a development opportunity for up to 10 houses. If you have a housing development in mind and would like some professional planning consultancy assistance, whether or not sustainability might be an issue, we are only a phone call or an e-mail away.
The first consultation on the new Darlington Local Plan has begun with the publication of a ‘Strategic Issues and Scoping Paper’. Between 15th June and 15 August 2016, the Council is inviting comments on what the scope of the new Local Plan should be, and the planning issues it should address. The ‘Strategic Issues and Scoping Paper’sets out the Council’s starting point for developing new planning policies and developing the framework from which decisions will be made on the draft allocations for the Local Plan. This consultation also includes a ‘call for sites’, to identify sites within the Borough that may have potential for development to meet identified needs over the next 20 years, including land for housing, retail, commercial and community development and infrastructure. Comments and suggestions of site for development must be made no later 15th August 2016. An event for land owners, developers and agents proposing sites for housing is to be held on 20th July 2016, although to be invited to the meeting submissions must be made no later than 12th July 2016. Prism Planning would be happy to assist you in making representations on your behalf to Darlington Borough Council. As always, we are only a phone call or an e-mail away from you.
Hot food takeaway applications can be contentious and applications to extend open hours more so. Applications become more difficult when the planning history of the premises is one of the original application being refused by the Council but allowed on appeal and then subsequent applications to allow opening on Sundays and Bank Holidays (prohibited by the condition imposed by the planning appeal decision) being refused and the refusal upheld at appeal. That was the scenario we faced but with a carefully presented case we were able to convince the planning officer to recommend that the permitted opening hours be extended to allow opening on Sundays and Bank Holidays. First hurdle successfully negotiated but due to the number of objections received the application was reported to Stockton’s Planning Committee yesterday afternoon (15th June). Rod Hepplewhite of Prism Planning attended the meeting and spoke in support of the application, advising the Committee that national planning policy, as set out in the National Planning Policy Framework of 2012, had shifted significantly with the government advising that greater emphasis should be placed on economic considerations. He further advised that since the previous decisions pre-dated the NPPF, they could and should be set aside and there was good reason to approve the application. Members of the Planning Committee clearly listened carefully to the case put forward by Prism Planning and the Council’s planning officer as to why extended opening hours should be allowed in this instance and approved the application unanimously apart from one abstention. Another success achieved for a client by Prism Planning through a carefully prepared and present case. Indeed, we at Prism Planning see ourselves as the North East’s planning problem solvers. A successful outcome is not always possible but when presented with a proposal we will give an honest summation of the prospects of success we foresee. If you think we could assist you with a planning issue, we’re only a phone call or an e-mail away.
Northumberland Local Plan – Public Consultations (15th June to 27th July 2016): 1. Core Strategy Pre-Submission Draft – Proposed Major Modifications 2. Renewable Energy SPD – Scoping Document Major modifications to a number of the policies and the supporting text in the emerging Core Strategy have been proposed by the County Council before it is submitted for examination by an independent Planning Inspector. The proposed modifications seek to address a range of issues raised during the consultation on the Pre-Submission Draft that was held in October and November 2015. The proposed major modifications include: a relaxation of the Hexham Green Belt; a change to safeguarded and proposed new employment sites in the Morpeth area; changes to proposed employment allocations near to Newcastle Airport, in Cramlington, in Ashington, in Alnwick and changes to the allocation at the former Alcan plant and the Blyth Estuary Strategic Employment Area allocation; a review of the future development potential of Ponteland; and a revision to the policy for onshore wind energy to ensure it is consistent with the tests set out in the Written Ministerial Statement of June 2015 and the National Planning Policy Framework. These major modifications are subject to consultation from 15th June 2016 to 27th July 2016. Comments must to be received by the County Council’s Planning Policy Team by 4pm on 27th July 2016. Over the same period the County Council are seeking comments on the Renewable Energy SPD Scoping Document. This document has been prepared in advance of the Renewable Energy Supplementary Planning Document that the County Council is going to prepare to provide further detail on the planning policies for renewable energy in the emerging Northumberland Local Plan Core Strategy. The Scoping Document sets out the Council’s initial views on the scope and content of the proposed SPD and is seeking feedback prior to preparing a draft SPD for consultation. Prism Planning would be happy to assist you in making representations against either of the documents referred to above. As always, we are only a phone call or an e-mail away from you.

Since the new General Permitted Development Order was published in April 2015 there has been a number of areas that have been open to interpretation by councils, leading to appeals and new guidance published by the Planning Guidance Suite as clarification. Such occurrences increase costs and timeframes for clients.

One such issue is the matter of repairs and internal alterations made to a barn and if they would be considered to be new structural elements of the building. The barn in question had a recent new internal wall (part of room used for lambing) which would become external once existing parts of the barn were demolished. We expertly navigated this complex issue gaining permission for our Client for the conversion of a barn to a dwelling.

We argued that this wall should not fall outside of permitted development as the works had already been carried out under the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act as part of maintenance, improvement or other alteration. Our argument was successful resulting in an early approval ahead of the usual 56 day window.

Prism Planning has considerable experience with Prior Notifications with a strong success rate under the Class Q conversions. If you are planning a barn conversion and think that you might have an issue or need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact use for an initial informal discussion on the subject.

The Northumberland Local Plan Core Strategy is entering its final stage before submission to the Secretary of State and the ‘Examination’ of the document before an appointed Planning Inspector. The County Council has just published the Core Strategy Pre-Submission Draft for consultation, which starts today (Wednesday 14 October) and runs until midnight on Wednesday 25 November 2015. This will be your final opportunity to comment on the document and if you haven’t made comments by the 25th November you will not be able to appear before the Planning Inspector and speak at the Examination hearings. The Core Strategy is the County Council’s main strategic plan for Northumberland, covering the period to 2031. The document: • Sets out the spatial vision, objectives and outcomes for Northumberland; • Describes the overall strategic approach to growth across Northumberland; and • Proposes policy approaches for the economy, housing, the environment, climate change, infrastructure, minerals, waste and renewable energy. This final opportunity for comments to be made on the Core Strategy before it is submitted for independent examination is a formal, statutory stage in the preparation of the Core Strategy. It is different to previous consultations in that the key purpose of the consultation is to obtain views on the ‘soundness’ of the plan; whether the plan is ‘positively prepared’, ‘justified’, ‘effective’ and ‘consistent with national policy’. The submission of comments is a more technical exercise than the submission of representations to earlier drafts of the Core Strategy and is quite different to making objections to a planning application for example. Prism Planning would be happy to assist you in making comments/representations against the Pre-Submission draft of the Northumberland Local Plan Core Strategy.