NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY

 

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WATER RIGHTS - Clarion Housing Group and Thakeham Homes are in danger of spoiling an ancient well that supplies water to many concerns in this vicinity. In the picture you can see a hired digger scooping out trenches to test drainage by pouring in water and measuring the rate of absorption by the soil. It seems to us that if you build houses on the ground that feeds the ancient well, that contamination from garden treatments such as Roundup and engine oils, etc., will find its way into this well leading to claims against the owners of the houses who would have been sold a pup, and/or against the Council for approving the proposal, by way of a negligence claim, and/or against the vendors or developers. Any way you look at it the developers and Council concerned should take steps to ensure that no development takes place until the proper tests and evaluations have been completed, and after that stage, to ensure that any houses built in this location will not be on a path that includes the water table that feeds the ancient well.

 

Any failure to conduct the proper tests and house situation, along with safe sewage disposal, may tempt the Secretary of State to call in the application. We imagine that all of those with a financial interest in this piece of greenbelt will want to resolve issues before it starts to get complicated.

 

 

DECISION TAKING

 

186. Local planning authorities should approach decision-taking in a positive way to foster the delivery of sustainable development. The relationship between decision-taking and plan-making should be seamless, translating plans into high quality development on the ground.

 

187. Local planning authorities should look for solutions rather than problems, and decision-takers at every level should seek to approve applications for sustainable development where possible. Local planning authorities should work proactively with applicants to secure developments that improve the economic, social and environmental conditions of the area.

 

Pre-application engagement and front loading

 

188. Early engagement has significant potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning application system for all parties. Good quality pre-application discussion enables better coordination between public and private resources and improved outcomes for the community.


189. Local planning authorities have a key role to play in encouraging other parties to take maximum advantage of the pre-application stage. They cannot require that a developer engages with them before submitting a planning application, but they should encourage take-up of any pre-application
services they do offer. They should also, where they think this would be beneficial, encourage any applicants who are not already required to do so by law to engage with the local community before submitting their applications.


190. The more issues that can be resolved at pre-application stage, the greater the benefits. For their role in the planning system to be effective and positive, statutory planning consultees will need to take the same early, pro-active approach, and provide advice in a timely manner throughout the development process. This assists local planning authorities in issuing timely decisions, helping to ensure that applicants do not experience unnecessary delays and costs.


191. The participation of other consenting bodies in pre-application discussions should enable early consideration of all the fundamental issues relating to whether a particular development will be acceptable in principle, even where other consents relating to how a development is built or operated are needed at a later stage. Wherever possible, parallel processing of other consents should be encouraged to help speed up the process and resolve any issues as early as possible.


192. The right information is crucial to good decision-taking, particularly where formal assessments are required (such as Environmental Impact Assessment, Habitats Regulations Assessment and Flood Risk Assessment). To avoid delay, applicants should discuss what information is needed with the local planning authority and expert bodies as early as possible.

193. Local planning authorities should publish a list of their information requirements for applications, which should be proportionate to the nature and scale of development proposals and reviewed on a frequent basis. Local planning authorities should only request supporting information that is relevant, necessary and material to the application in question.


194. Local planning authorities should consult the appropriate bodies when planning, or determining applications, for development around major hazards.


195. Applicants and local planning authorities should consider the potential of entering into planning performance agreements, where this might achieve a faster and more effective application process.


Determining applications


196. The planning system is plan-led. Planning law requires that applications for planning permission must be determined in accordance with the development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

 

This Framework is a material consideration in planning decisions.

 

197. In assessing and determining development proposals, local planning authorities should apply the presumption in favour of sustainable development.

 

198. Where a Neighbourhood Development Order has been made, a planning application is not required for development that is within the terms of the order. Where a planning application conflicts with a neighbourhood plan that has been brought into force, planning permission should not normally be granted.

 

Tailoring planning controls to local circumstances

 

199. Local planning authorities should consider using Local Development Orders to relax planning controls for particular areas or categories of development, where the impacts would be acceptable, and in particular where this would promote economic, social or environmental gains for the area, such as boosting enterprise.

 

200. The use of Article 4 directions to remove national permitted development rights should be limited to situations where this is necessary to protect local amenity or the wellbeing of the area (this could include the use of Article 4 directions to require planning permission for the demolition of local facilities).

 

Similarly, planning conditions should not be used to restrict national permitted development rights unless there is clear justification to do so.

201. Communities can use Neighbourhood Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders to grant planning permission. Where such an order is in
place, no further planning permission is required for development which falls within its scope.

37 Section 38(1) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004: this includes adopted or approved development plan documents i.e. the Local Plan and neighbourhood plans which have been made in relation to the area (and the London Plan). 38 Section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and section 70(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.


202. Neighbourhood Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders require the support of the local community through a referendum. Therefore, local planning authorities should take a proactive and positive approach to proposals, working collaboratively with community organisations to resolve any issues before draft orders are submitted for examination. Policies in this Framework that relate to decision-taking should be read as applying to the consideration of proposed Neighbourhood Development Orders, wherever this is appropriate given the context and relevant legislation.


Planning conditions and obligations

 

203. Local planning authorities should consider whether otherwise unacceptable development could be made acceptable through the use of conditions or planning obligations. Planning obligations should only be used where it is not possible to address unacceptable impacts through a planning condition.

 

204. Planning obligations should only be sought where they meet all of the following tests:

●● necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms;


●● directly related to the development; and


●● fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development.

205. Where obligations are being sought or revised, local planning authorities should take account of changes in market conditions over time and, wherever appropriate, be sufficiently flexible to prevent planned development being stalled.

206. Planning conditions should only be imposed where they are necessary, relevant to planning and to the development to be permitted, enforceable, precise and reasonable in all other respects.

Enforcement

207. Effective enforcement is important as a means of maintaining public confidence in the planning system. Enforcement action is discretionary, and local planning authorities should act proportionately in responding to suspected breaches of planning control. Local planning authorities should consider publishing a local enforcement plan to manage enforcement proactively, in a way that is appropriate to their area. This should set out how they will monitor the implementation of planning permissions, investigate alleged cases of unauthorised development and take action where it is appropriate to do so.

 

CONTACTS

 

Department for Communities and Local Government
Eland House
Bressenden Place
London, SW1E 5DU

United Kingdom


Telephone: 030 3444 0000

       

     

    HINKLEY, CALIFORNIA - GROUND WATER CONTAMINATION - The town of Hinkley, California, located in the Mojave Desert, (about 121 miles driving distance north-northeast of Los Angeles) had its groundwater contaminated with hexavalent chromium starting in 1952, resulting in a legal case against Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and a multimillion-dollar settlement in 1996. The legal case was dramatized in the film Erin Brockovich, released in 2000.

    Residents of Hinkley filed a class action against PG&E, encaptioned Anderson, et al. v. Pacific Gas and Electric (Superior Ct. for County of San Bernardino, Barstow Division, file BCV 00300.

    In 1993, Erin Brockovich, a legal clerk to lawyer Edward L. Masry, investigated the apparent elevated cluster of illnesses in the community linked to hexavalent chromium. The efforts of Brockovich and Masry, and the plight of the people of Hinkley, became widely known when the film Erin Brockovich was released in 2000.

     

     

     

     

    After many arguments, the case was referred to arbitration with maximum damages of $400 million. After the arbitration for the first 40 people resulted in roughly $110 million, PG&E reassessed its position and decided to end arbitration and settle the entire case. The case was settled in 1996 for $333 million, the largest settlement ever paid in a direct-action lawsuit in U.S. history.

    In 2006, PG&E agreed to pay $295 million to settle cases involving another 1,100 people statewide for hexavalent chromium-related claims. In 2008, PG&E settled the last of the cases involved with the Hinkley claims for $20 million.

     

     

    LEAD CASE: In the case of Wealden District Council and planning application WD/2015/0090/MAO, originally filed by Tim Watson in 2014, then re-filed by Gleeson Developments in 2015, and taken over by Clarion Group and Thakeham Group, there appear to be multiple errors in applying these policies to greenbelt, including failing to protect open spaces and the historic built environment, and not promoting sustainable transport.

     

    The Horse Sanctuary Trust are following this case with much interest. We consider that the paper trail will eventually make interesting reading, leading us to who is making the decisions and the money ........

     

     

     

    GREENBELT - Digging up Greenfield sites for quick profits from windfall planning consents is ruining the heritage of the nation. Once it is gone, it is gone. Britain is short of genuinely affordable housing that developers are loath to provide where all they want is the money. It may be that Clarion Housing and Thakeham intend building affordable units on this site. They should also bear in mind the requirement for sustainable development in United Nations terms. Copyright photograph April 26 2018, Herstmonceux Museum Limited. All rights reserved. You may not copy this picture except for educational use.

     

     

     

 

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