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Union4's Planning Bites

With all the noise about the General Election, it would have been easy to miss recent planning what else has happened over the last few weeks...a few light bites below...

1) Planning Heritage Enforcement changes in England

Over the last couple of months the Government has introduced changes to the Regulations governing planning heritage enforcement.

Taking effect from 25th April 2024 - Temporary Stop Notices (pausing work on Listed Buildings):

  • Temporary stop notices lasting up to 56 days can be served by local planning authority (LPA) in relation to unauthorised works to a listed building to allow investigation of any suspected breach
  • Contravention of a temporary stop notice will constitute an offence, liable to be penalised by a fine for proven offences

Taking effect from 25th July 2024 - Building Preservation Notices (Temporary Listing - Section3 Planning (Listed Building & Conservation Areas) Act 1990:

  • Removal of the Right of property owners in England to claim compensation for costs incurred as a result of a project being delayed due to a Building Preservation Notice (BPN) being issued on their property
  • Local Planning Authorities required to consult with public body Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England before serving a BPN

This will not apply to BPNs that come into effect before 25 July 2024.

These changes highlight the importance of seeking professional advice where you are contemplating Listed Building alterations. Similarly professional advice should be taken should you receive a Temporary Stop Notice or a Building Preservation Notice in relation to works already undertaken.

2) The Planning Inspectorate launched its new Pre-application Prospectus for NSIPs

This establishes a new tiered pre-application service for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) following the outcome of government consultation on speeding up the service.

The key areas of operational reform are the introduction of:

  • 3 pre-application tier options - Basic, Standard and Enhanced service
  • Pre-application fees per tier, discharging government’s policy ambition for the Inspectorate to achieve full cost recovery
  • ‘Fast Track’ procedure to allow some applications, (where able to satisfy a new Quality Standard), to potentially receive a decision within 12 months from the point that the application is accepted for examination.

The consultation outcomes confirmed that the delivery of national infrastructure has room for improvement and this provides a new framework for the process, reflecting the different scale and complexity of infrastructure proposals. Time will tell whether this will be effective in speeding up the process for all national infrastructure. Tiered pre-application fees should provide a fairer system and method of resourcing the service effectively.

3) The Expansion of Agricultural PD Rights

This includes, from 21st May 2024, the expansion of Class Q and Class R permitted development rights, delivering on the government pledge at the Farm to Fork Summit in May last year, to cut red tape and streamline the planning system for farmers.

These expanded PD rights will make it easier to convert some agricultural buildings into residential or flexible commercial spaces in the countryside. Please see our full article on this for further information

Union4 Planning would be pleased to hear from you in connection with any queries you have on any of the matters covered in our ‘planning bites’ article. Lots of changes this space to keep abreast of future announcements.