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Planning and environment

Environmental impact – ‘significant’ local effect

Small-scale or local impacts can be ‘significant’ for deciding whether a development needs an environmental impact assessment (EIA).

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Affordable housing – vacant building credit

Vacant building credit was introduced at the end of 2014. It applies when working out the amount of affordable housing contribution required for a new development; in effect, there is a credit for existing floor space, so the additional housing contribution only relates to the net increase.

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Agricultural – conversions

In April 2014 the rules on agricultural-to-residential conversions were relaxed by the introduction of a new class of permitted development (Class MB).

 

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Section 106 – monitoring fees

It is not uncommon for an LA to require a developer to pay ‘monitoring fees’ to cover the costs of ensuring that the developer complies with the terms of an s106 agreement. However, the High Court has held that such fees will often be unlawful.

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Planning – noise nuisance

DCLG has amended its planning practice guide on noise. The aim is to protect existing pubs, music venues and similar businesses from being required to install expensive soundproofing when new residential developments are built nearby (and also to protect them from statutory noise nuisance proceedings).

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Agricultural – conversions

In April 2014 the rules on agricultural-to-residential conversions were relaxed with the introduction of a new class of permitted development (Class MB) allowing change of use and some building operations. Needless to say, this change has not been welcomed by all rural planning authorities.

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Planning – Wales

The Planning (Wales) Bill is likely to come into force in 2015, and introduces a new framework for strategic planning, and the preparation of planning policies, in Wales. In effect, this is a further step towards there being a distinct planning system for Wales.

 

Planning conditions – deemed discharge

As part of its moves to speed up the planning process, the government is intending to introduce a system for deeming that a planning condition has been discharged (if the LPA has not responded within a reasonable time).

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Planning – agricultural condition

It is not uncommon to find a planning condition which restricts occupation of a dwelling to agricultural workers (‘ag-tag’ condition). 
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Permitted development – extension

In 2013 the government introduced important changes so that many offices could become residential under the permitted development regime (ie without the need to apply for planning permission). As we noted in our September 2014 issue (p27) there are now further proposals to extend the scope of office-to-residential conversions, and also other change of use categories.
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Most-read articles

Court of Protection – trust deputies
Friday, 13 April 2018
How does the CoP approach an application to appoint a trust corporation as a deputy? HHJ Hilder has, in a recent CoP ruling involving 36 applicants and 11 trust corporations, analysed the law on the... Read more...
Professional – update
Friday, 13 April 2018
 A reminder that internal e-mails can result in SRA action; for a case involving sexist, racist and homophobic e-mails sent to a work colleague see [2018] LSG 12 February 2. Read more...
CFA – assignment
Friday, 13 April 2018
The introduction of LASPO in April 2013 caused problems for clients who already had CFAs, but then wanted to move to another firm. Read more...
Agent of change – new builds?
Friday, 13 April 2018
The ‘agent of change’ principle has been hotly debated in planning circles for some time. Indeed, the concept is likely to feature in the revised National Planning Policy Framework and the draft... Read more...
Withdrawing admissions – increase in value?
Friday, 13 April 2018
Suppose a defendant is faced with a low-value claim and decides to admit liability; later, it turns out that there is a significant increase in the value of the claim. At that stage, can the... Read more...
Service charges – estoppel?
Friday, 13 April 2018
Suppose service charges have been raised for many years in a way that does not properly accord with the wording of the lease; if T subsequently questions those service charges, can L argue that... Read more...
Service charges – code of practice
Friday, 13 April 2018
The RICS has published the proposed changes to its Code of Practice on service charges. The important change is that RICS members must act in accordance with eight core principles; the Code is no... Read more...
Japanese knotweed – nuisance
Friday, 13 April 2018
One of the (potentially) most important decisions last year was a humble county court case in which it was held Network Rail was liable after Japanese knotweed grew close to neighbouring terraced... Read more...
Adoption – new regulations
Friday, 13 April 2018
 A number of new provisions in relation to adoption are in force (as of 5 January 2018) under the Adoption and Care Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018. Read more...
Sickness – on holiday
Friday, 13 April 2018
 A worker who falls ill during annual leave is entitled to take that holiday leave at a later date. This is so whether the sickness commenced before, or during, the holiday. Read more...

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