The Planning Directorate newsletter

Surveys, tests, schemes and guidance…

In March 2019, MHCLG Chief Planner Steve Quartermain published the Planning Directorate newsletter.

You can read the full newsletter here.

What did we learn from the newsletter?

LPAs get a firm reminder about keeping LDSs up to date…

  • Quatermain took some LPAs to task for not keeping LDSs up to date and failing to advise the Inspectorate of the dates of proposed Local Plan publication and submission dates
  • The LPAs were reminded that they could not refuse to validate planning applications made electronically without paper copies or vice versa
  • Quartermain briefed planners on the Spring Statement and updates to national planning policy and guidance

Survey of planning departments begins…

  • On the 28th February 2019, a survey began of planning departments on behalf of the LGA and MHCLG. The survey was to understand long term resourcing pressures and skills gaps for local authorities
  • The topic of the 20% increase in planning fees for local authorities and what improvements it has facilitated was discussed
  • Local authorities were asked to respond to the survey which was provided on the 5th March, the closing date was the 20th March 2019

The housing delivery test measurement published…

  • On the 19th February 2019, the housing delivery test measurement for 2018 was published and a technical note setting out how the housing delivery test was calculated
  • The housing delivery test provides transparency about where housing is or is not being delivered in relation to the number of homes communities require
  • If a new plan containing a new housing requirement has been adopted, Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) are encouraged to contact to have their result recalculated

Read the 2018 Housing delivery test measurement by the local planning authority and a technical note on the process used in its calculation.

Local development schemes and local plan submission dates reviewed…

  • Local development schemes and plan submission dates Section 15 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 requires every LPA to put in place a local development scheme (LDS) which should set out the documents which will comprise the local plan for the area
  • The scheme was developed so local communities and interested parties can keep track of plan progress. In addition, the NPPF sets out that plans should be reviewed every 5 years potentially leading to an update. This should be reflected in the LDS
  • In practice, some LPAs are not keeping LDSs up to date which could impact on the ability of the community and key stakeholders to take part in the plan process  

Planning application validations…

  • Quartermain stressed that LPAs could not refuse to validate an application if an applicant who had made an application electronically and did not provide paper copies
  • LPAs could not refuse to validate an application if an applicant did not provide an electronic copy of the application
  • LPAs could not insist that a planning application was only made via the planning portal or any route

Read about planning guidance letters to planning officers.

The revised National Planning Policy Framework was updated on the 19th February 2019 and sets out the government’s planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied.

This revised Framework replaces the previous National Planning Policy Framework published in March 2012 and revised in July 2018.

Find out more here. 


Who is Steve Quatermain? 

Urbanissta offers a commercial service, specialising in securing implementable planning permissions and delivering high quality landscaping schemes. For more information about our services, contact us today.


Share With Friends