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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

IHT – personal representatives’ liability
Thursday, 14 June 2018
PRs are personally liable for paying IHT on an estate, even where the beneficiaries undertake to pay it themselves but do not do so, the court has confirmed. Read more...
Courts – reductions
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The government has announced that it will reduce court staffing numbers from 16,500 to 10,000 by 2022. Read more...
Part 36 – strict compliance
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Part 36 is a ‘self-contained procedural code’ (CPR 36.1). Being ‘self-contained’, this means that no other rules can be imported. Read more...
Damages – lost years
Thursday, 14 June 2018
A ‘lost years’ claim is for the loss of earnings in the years when the claimant will be dead (but would have been alive but for the defendant’s actions). Read more...
Assured shortholds – requirements
Thursday, 14 June 2018
A summary of the requirements for new lets of residential properties: Read more...
Rent reviews – which index?
Thursday, 14 June 2018
Rent under a lease may well be indexed – in which case, it is likely to be by reference to the retail price index (RPI). Read more...
Japanese knotweed – the cases
Thursday, 14 June 2018
Japanese knotweed is virtually irremovable; only the strongest chemicals will work against it, and simply digging out the roots is not sufficient. Read more...
Financial orders – future earning capacity
Thursday, 14 June 2018
H’s future earning capacity was not a matrimonial asset for the purposes of a financial settlement, the Court of Appeal has ruled. Read more...
Notice – start date?
Thursday, 14 June 2018
Suppose an employee is sent a letter of dismissal by post. The letter is delivered, but the employee is on holiday and says she did not read it until a later date. Read more...
Sentencing – hospital orders; hybrid orders
Thursday, 14 June 2018
In this article, the author (who represented the appellant) considers the making of hospital orders in criminal proceedings, and the use of hybrid orders, following a Court of Appeal ruling. Read more...

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