Friday, 30 March 2012

MAZE in the north east

A successful week for MAZE Planning Solutions in the north east, assisting two established, growing businsses in their efforts to deliver sustainable services to the region:

Prior Approval granted on 27 March for a forestry road extension in Rowlands Gill, Gateshead, which builds on earlier forestry related approvals secured for to help the business provide sustainable timber fuel to its growing customer base.

Planning permission granted for a bus depot on 29 March to enable Weardale Travel to establish a base in Consett, County Durham, for provision of bus and coach services, giving sustainable transport a boost in the region.

National Planning Policy Framework Published

The Government's overhaul of national planning policy was published on Tuesday.  A significant planning event.

The National Planning Policy Framework is effective immediately and a material consideration for planning decision makers.  Local authorities with approved Local Plans have 12 months from 27 March to ensure strategies and polices are consistent with the new national guidance.

Essential reading, click below to view:
The NPPF document
The Government's press release
The Ministerial Statement to Parliament

Thursday, 22 March 2012

It's at the Printers!

It's almost time to sit down and digest the new National Planning Policy Framework - the much hailed and abridged successor to the current, familiar clutch of Planning Policy Guidance notes (PPG) and Planning Policy Statements (PPS) that provide national guidance on a broad range of issues from noise, to economic development, enforcement and green belt. 

George Osborne MP says the document's good to go on Tuesday, 27 March. It will be published and become immediately effective from that day. A quick look at the consultation draft Framework published in July 2011 promises a document that will say:
  • planning authorities should plan positively for new development, and approve all individual proposals wherever possible. In particular they should approve proposals that accord with statutory plans without delay
  • planning permission should be granted where the development plan is “absent, silent, indeterminate, or where relevant policies are out of date
  • the primary objective of development management is to “foster the delivery of sustainable development, not to hinder or prevent development
  • local planning authorities should approach development management decisions positively, attach significant weight to the benefits of economic and housing growth, influence development proposals to achieve quality outcomes, and enable the delivery of sustainable development proposals

Not long to wait now for a document that Mr Osborne described in his Budget speech as "...the biggest reduction in business red tape ever undertaken....".  That's quite a bold promise.  It will certainly be interesting reading.