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Planning and environment

Tree preservation – seeds and saplings

A Tree Preservation Order covers ‘trees’, but does that include seeds, seedlings and saplings? 

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Office – to residential

As had been widely anticipated, the government has announced that a B1(a) to Class C3 (ie offices to dwelling houses) will be permanent from May 2016. This replaces the existing temporary right.

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EPC – non-domestic

The energy performance certificate rules come into force on 1 April 2018. After that date it will not be possible to let non-domestic (or domestic) property if the EPC rating is F or G. The Regs apply from:

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Office – residential conversion

Permitted development rights for office-to-residential conversions were introduced in 2013. In effect, the permitted development rights grant permission for such a conversion without the necessity of applying for planning permission (although there is a prior approval process for other aspects).

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Affordable housing – policy rejected

In November 2014 changes in national planning guidance were introduced to exclude developments of ten units or less from the requirement to provide affordable housing. That guidance has now been overruled by the High Court, which has held that it is inconsistent with the statutory TCPA scheme. The consultation was unlawful and unfair.

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Planning – Wales

The Planning (Wales) Act 2015 is a major step in the creation of a separate and distinct planning system in Wales (featuring a national development framework; the creation of strategic planning areas; making the protection of the Welsh language a material planning issue; new consents for developments of national significance; as well as new planning and village green application procedures). When all of these changes have been introduced, Wales will in effect have its own planning system.

 

Basement – extension?

Do basement extensions need planning permission? The answer is that there are no specific provisions for basement extensions in the Permitted Development Order (which sets out which types of development are, in effect, to be granted planning permission without the need to apply for it). Despite this, most LPAs have treated basement developments as permitted development, without the need to obtain planning permission.

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CLEUD – non-occupancy?

A certificate of lawfulness of existing use or development (CLEUD) is a certificate issued by an LPA certifying that the existing use is lawful for planning purposes. As such, it certifies what the situation was at the date the application was made. 

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Holiday lets – planning permission?

Is planning permission needed to convert a house into holiday lets?

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Solar – commercial rooftops

There is a new ‘permitted development right’ to install, alter or replace solar equipment on the roof of a commercial building (up to 1 megawatt). But, prior approval must be sought from the LA (which can impose conditions relating to design or exterior appearance).

 


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