CgMs Newsletter

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Specialist & Independent Advisors to the Property Industry


This spring newsletter gives an update of the key planning measures that have occured during the Spring of 2009 which are either now in place or are being proposed by Communities and Local Government. Specifically, we comment upon:

  • The Government's response to the Killian Pretty Review
  • Draft PPS4
  • Government response to the Matthew Taylor Report on Rural Matters
  • Changes to the appeal system and other changes to development control procedures
  • National Significant Infrastructure: Pre application and consultation procedures update
  • Eco Towns update
  • The South East Plan
  • Other planning news in spring 2009

Our newsletter highlights the Government's recognition that the English planning system has to improve in its delivery of the much needed new homes and jobs to help combat the deep recession that the UK economy now finds itself in and which is now projected to continue until the end of the year. This recessionary context is compounded by the fact that many planning applications are having to be determined in a planning policy vacuum as few "core strategies" are yet adopted and the old style development plans - such as Unitary Development and Borough Wide Plans- are increasingly becoming out of date and not fit for purpose.

The Government's response to the Killian Pretty Review (as reported in our winter newsletter) generally endorses the independent review of the urgent need to make planning procedures much simpler and effective so as to help business and wealth creation.

 More on the Killian Pretty Review (492k) >>

Hard on the heels of this response is the long awaited and long overdue draft PPS4 in relation to planning for economic development.

 More on the Draft PPS4 (563k) >>

The need to provide new jobs in the rural areas is also shown by the Governments response to the Matthew Taylor Report relating to the countryside.

 More on the Matthew Taylor Report (496k) >>

During the spring of 2009, further measures have into force of the 2008 Planning Act., including changes to the appeal procedure- and the ability of twin tracking planning applications and "Call In" applications.

 More on New Appeal Procedure (456k) >>
 More on Twin Tracking Planning Applications (430k) >>
 More on Revisions to Call In Procedure (472k) >>

news icon National Significant Infrastructure: Pre application consultation and procedures update

There are proposals as to how to consult on major new infrastructure projects under the Planning Act and the new procedures for handling such applications. This is summarised below:

The Planning Act 2008 introduced a new system for nationally significant infrastructure planning and established an Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) as the new authority granting development consent for such projects. A consultation, running until 19th June, seeks comments on the draft Regulations and guidance documents which will set out the procedures for pre-application consultation and the information which an application submitted to the IPC should contain. It is intended that the Regulations will be introduced in stages over the next twelve months. The IPC should be ready to take applications for development consent orders in April 2010.

The draft Regulations identify a lengthy list of statutory consultees who must be consulted as part of the application process, and set minimum standards for public consultation. The IPC will determine whether an Environmental Impact Assessment is required and the draft Regulations make the necessary arrangements. The content of applications is prescribed and model forms of draft Orders and provisions set out. Orders can encompass "associated development" for which a definition is also provided in the consultation documents.

Several CgMs clients are following closely the development of the IPC process and are already adjusting their procedures to align with the requirements of emerging legislation. CgMs will support this process as new applications come through.

For further information please contact Richard Atkinson

news icon Eco Towns Update

Despite the recession the green agenda is still very much at the front of Government thinking with the continued promotion of the eco towns Summarised below is our latest update on Eco Towns.

CgMs awaits with interest the outcome of the Government's latest round of consultation on its Eco-towns programme.

The draft Planning Policy Statement on Eco-towns was published in November 2008 and the period for consultation was extended until the end of April. This was in response to commitments made prior to recent legal proceedings, in which the Court rejected an application for judicial review of the Eco-towns programme. The claimants in that case, who oppose the proposed sites at Weston Otmoor and Middle Quinton in the Midlands, are to take their case to the Court of Appeal. In the event that this Appeal is successful, further doubt would be cast on the programme. Should it fail, then it is likely that the Government will announce its preferred sites for Eco-towns later this summer. The Planning Policy Statement will be finalised and will guide the further development of Eco-towns proposals and the way in which local planning authorities respond to proposals in their area.

CgMs is acting as planning advisers to Barratt Strategic for their proposed site at Rackheath, north east of Norwich. This site is supported by the local planning authorities and is already identified in the emerging Joint Core Strategy for Greater Norwich. It is the only location to be granted Grade A status by the Government in terms of its suitability for development as an Eco-town. Further information is available at

For further information please contact Richard Atkinson

news icon The South East Plan

Has been finally adopted having taken almost 6 years to complete.  The plan represents the most up to date development plan in the south east of which emerging core strategies will now have to take into acount when being prepared by the respective district and borough Councils in the South East - including the allocated housing figures.

 Further information in relation to the South East Plan (716k) >>

news icon Other planning measures during spring 2009

As a means to help fund CrossRail - which has now been approved by Government, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson is now proposing financial contributions from property developers in the form of section 106 contributions. The details and procedures are to be subject to public consultation. Initial responses seem to be that the levy is excessive and if implemented could seriously affect the viability of major regeneration schemes - such as British Land's proposed development at Euston station.

 Further information on the Crossrail proposal(477k) >>

news icon South Downs - A New National Park Designation

The South Downs area has been given national park status almost 60 years to the day since it was recommended, and in the year which sees the 60th anniversary of the legislation which established National Parks. The South Downs, which covers parts of Sussex and Hampshire, was among 12 areas identified for national parks in the 1940s. It covers an area of 627 square miles and is home to around 120,000 people.

A new South Downs National Park Authority is expected to be established by April 2010 and become fully operational a year later.

 Further information on the South Downs designation. (712k) >>

If you require further information on this Newsletter please contact:

Mike Straw, BA, BTp, MRTPI
Director, Planning
Tel:020 7832 0252   Email:

Erica Mortimer, BA (Hons) FRTPI FRSA
Managing Director, Planning
Tel:020 7832 1465   Email: 

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