The Local Plan examination hearings for Epping Forest District Council (EFDC) got underway this morning (12 February 2019) at the Council Offices in Epping.
Louise Humphreys has been instructed by EFDC to provide legal advice and assistance to the Council during the examination process, working alongside Mark Beard of 6 Pump Court.
The first part of the hearings will focus on legal compliance; the plan’s context, vision & objectives and sustainable development; place-shaping & general masterplan approach; and the quantitative requirements for development.
The second part of the hearings, which will commence on 25 February 2019, will focus on the spatial strategy and distribution of development before a short break until mid March.
The hearings are being webcast and you can follow them here. Alternatively you can find out more about the examination process at the examination website.
Planning permission has today (7 December 2018) been granted by the London Borough of Hackney for a regeneration scheme at Shoreditch Park. The hybrid application sought permission for a new leisure centre, new secondary school, commercial floorspace and up to 481 residential units (including 81 affordable units) in 6 separate blocks ranging from 4 to 25 storeys in height on the site of the existing Britannia Leisure Centre, Shoreditch Park and surrounding land.
Louise Humphreys was instructed by the London Borough of Hackney in its capacity as landowner and applicant, working with the Project Team, on all aspects of the planning application and s106 obligation to deliver this ambitious regeneration project.
It is hoped that construction will start on the leisure centre and school in early 2019 and complete in 2021.
The former chair of Westminster City Council’s planning sub-committee has resigned as a councillor after a probe into his acceptance of hospitality.
An inquiry found Robert Davis registered gifts and hospitality and their acceptance was not unlawful but “it also does not rule out a conclusion that he has placed himself in a position where people might seek to influence him in the performance of his duties”.
The investigation report concluded: “By accepting the large scale of gifts and hospitality Cllr Davis has not promoted and supported high standards of conduct through leadership and by example. …His conduct has attracted media and public attention which has an impact of the council as a whole.”
Mr Davis referred himself to Westminster’s monitoring officer after press articles last spring about his acceptance of 530 cases of gifts and hospitality since 2015.
The report found that in 41 cases where the planning sub-committee overturned officers’ advice and instead approved applications six of the applicants, agents or individuals involved had provided Mr Davis with gifts or hospitality; 5 of these came either before or shortly after the sub-committee granted consent.
Planning permission has today (13 July 2018) been granted by Hart District Council (HDC) for the redevelopment of the former Pyestock MoD land (to be known as Hartland Village) for up to 1,500 dwellings, a local retail centre, a local community centre, a primary school, drainage works, SANG mitigation, landscaping, open space, the creation of ecological habitats and highway work.
Louise Humphreys was instructed by HDC in relation to the s106 obligation which accompanied the application. The obligation secured the provision of the SANG mitigation land, the provision of affordable housing, highway works, travel plan, the provision of a primary school and the payment of approximately 15 million pounds of financial contributions.
Louise was also instructed by HDC in relation to the s106 obligation for the associated planning application to change the use of land at Kennels Lane to provide 27.9 hectares of SANG land.
Officers of Aylesbury Vale District Council have discovered to their cost the consequences of not following the authority delegated to them by the Planning Committee when issuing planning permission.
The Committee resolved to grant planning permission for residential development “delegated to officers… subject to such conditions as are considered appropriate and to include a condition requiring that a reserved matters application be made within 18 months of the date of permission and that any permission arising from that application be implemented within 18 months”. Members had wished to impose these short timeframes because they were concerned about the length of time that the site had remained undeveloped notwithstanding the existence of planning permission granted in 2007 and then renewed in 2011 and so they wished to encourage the building out of the site more swiftly than if longer timeframes were allowed.
Officers, however, were of the view that there was insufficient justification for shortening the period for applying for reserved matters and for requiring implementation within 18 months and granted consent without that condition.
The decision was challenged by Newton Longville Parish Council. The High Court granted permission to apply for judicial review on the ground that the decision went beyond the terms of the delegated authority because it conflicted with the confined terms of the members’ resolution. Other grounds of challenge related to the officers’ failure to provide adequate reasons, as required by under regulation 7 of the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014 and the related section 106 agreement
The District Council has consented to judgment on all grounds and the decision has been quashed by consent.
This case highlights the importance of going back to the terms of any resolution delegating authority to officers before they issue a decision to ensure that their proposed action complies with its terms.