The government has announced that councils in England will no longer be applying Section 106 charges on smaller residential building schemes. Charges would be scrapped that require a large payment and add considerable costs for developers seeking to build a small number of properties or individuals whobuild their own home It will now be cheaper and easier to build new properties or bring disused buildings back into use. In support, it has been said that a number of building projects have been made unviable by councils applying exorbitant charges, such as a £32,000 charge that was required to build a continue reading
Exploring further reforms to cut red tape, the Department for Communities and Local Government has commenced consultation on making permanent the permitted development rights to allow offices to become residential. The provisions will include limitations on new permitted development rights in conservation areas and world heritage sites
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea have decided to delay determining approximately 120 planning applications for two or three storey basements. Last year they tried to stop these projects by imposing near impossible conditions to comply with and limiting them to no more than half the area of the garden of a property. The Council justify this saying ‘we have listened to our residents’ concerns and wish to rein in the very large projects which are in close proximity to neighbours’. Architects and developers have challenged this as being ‘politically motivated’ and it has now gone to the Government’s continue reading
According to data from Barbour ABI, almost half the planning permissions granted in 2012 for homes, have not been started on site. Of the 238,000 permissions from September 2013 to August 2014: contracts awarded so far have accounted for only 129,000.
The Health and Safety Executive have announced a new service to speed up the planning process. From March 2015, local authorities and developers will be able to obtain advice from the HSE’s Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL). HSE say it will ‘enable easier and more transparent access to HSE’s Land Use Planning advice, developers and planners will be able to get quick or even immediate answers to queries related to a plot of land they may be interested in purchasing or developing’. This should help cut the red tape involved in the planning process.