The RCA team have had steam coming out of our ears going through the Government's new planning white paper.
On 21st July 2020, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced new and expanded Permitted Development (PD) rights which he argued would deliver much-needed new homes and revitalise town centres. The new measures were originally mooted in the Prime Minister’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ announcement back at the end of June, in which Boris Johnson promised “the most radical reforms to our planning system since the Second World War”.
For developers in towns and cities, vacant buildings are often seen as a constraint as they can impose additional costs upon development, either in terms of their conversion or demolition. Clearly, if the building is a designated or non-designated heritage asset, the presumption will be for retention of that building.
So now we await a return to normality that may never really arrive. Cummings’ trip up north may have heralded a relaxation of the government’s lockdown and a move towards us being more ‘alert’ – whatever that means.
We now find ourselves experiencing a mix of weird dreams, unsettled nights, gorgeous weather, home working, home schooling, social distancing, fear for our loved ones and friends and total uncertainty over the future.
With the country’s mind firmly fixed on the COVID-19 crisis, other, normally significant issues have had to take a back seat. One such issue are the Government’s proposals for the delivery of affordable housing in England.
The importance of good design in recent years, is in my opinion, a subject that has gained a lot of traction in attempts to reintroduce the principles of ‘good design’ into residential developments across the country.
This month I have been motivated to muse about public feedback on affordable housing proposals: before we’ve submitted the application and after it's gone in.
As a profession, we are encouraged to engage with the public before submitting planning applications, particularly major schemes that will have (presumably) a much larger scale impact.
Well we’re now into a new year and new decade and the RCA team have been reflecting on the most recent consultation season at the end of 2019. At the end of the year, the team were busy preparing representations for a wide breadth of clients to represent their sites to various Local Plan Reviews at various stages.
So, you have concerns about whether your site is viable to develop because the cost of planning obligations are too high, or the affordable housing requirement is too onerous, or the values are too low, or because of a combination of some or all of these factors.