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Planning and environment

Environmental impact – ‘significant’ local effect

Small-scale or local impacts can be ‘significant’ for deciding whether a development needs an environmental impact assessment (EIA).

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Affordable housing – vacant building credit

Vacant building credit was introduced at the end of 2014. It applies when working out the amount of affordable housing contribution required for a new development; in effect, there is a credit for existing floor space, so the additional housing contribution only relates to the net increase.

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Agricultural – conversions

In April 2014 the rules on agricultural-to-residential conversions were relaxed by the introduction of a new class of permitted development (Class MB).

 

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Section 106 – monitoring fees

It is not uncommon for an LA to require a developer to pay ‘monitoring fees’ to cover the costs of ensuring that the developer complies with the terms of an s106 agreement. However, the High Court has held that such fees will often be unlawful.

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Planning – noise nuisance

DCLG has amended its planning practice guide on noise. The aim is to protect existing pubs, music venues and similar businesses from being required to install expensive soundproofing when new residential developments are built nearby (and also to protect them from statutory noise nuisance proceedings).

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Agricultural – conversions

In April 2014 the rules on agricultural-to-residential conversions were relaxed with the introduction of a new class of permitted development (Class MB) allowing change of use and some building operations. Needless to say, this change has not been welcomed by all rural planning authorities.

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Planning – Wales

The Planning (Wales) Bill is likely to come into force in 2015, and introduces a new framework for strategic planning, and the preparation of planning policies, in Wales. In effect, this is a further step towards there being a distinct planning system for Wales.

 

Planning conditions – deemed discharge

As part of its moves to speed up the planning process, the government is intending to introduce a system for deeming that a planning condition has been discharged (if the LPA has not responded within a reasonable time).

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Planning – agricultural condition

It is not uncommon to find a planning condition which restricts occupation of a dwelling to agricultural workers (‘ag-tag’ condition). 
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Permitted development – extension

In 2013 the government introduced important changes so that many offices could become residential under the permitted development regime (ie without the need to apply for planning permission). As we noted in our September 2014 issue (p27) there are now further proposals to extend the scope of office-to-residential conversions, and also other change of use categories.
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Most-read articles

Trustees – duty to beneficiaries
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Trustees cannot simply ignore beneficiaries’ request for information about a trust, the High Court has held. In this case, the trust property was a farm outside Cardiff. Read more...
Conveyancing searches – disbursements?
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Should electronic property searches be treated as disbursements for VAT purposes? Alternatively, are they part of the legal service provided, and so subject to VAT? Read more...
Professional – update
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
From December 2018 there will be new rules requiring firms to publish prices for conveyancing, probate, motoring offences and immigration, as well as the price for bringing ET claims.  Read more...
Service mistake – discretion?
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
To what extent do you have a duty to point out the other side’s procedural errors (as part of your obligation to comply with the ‘overriding objective’)? Read more...
Exiting the Portal – reasonable
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Insurers should be very careful about making allegations (for instance, at Stage 2 of the EL/PL Protocol), especially if they could be interpreted as allegations of ‘dishonesty’. Read more...
Airbnb – breach of lease
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
It now seems clear that an Airbnb short let will be in breach of a typical long lease. Read more...
GDPR – data rooms
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
If L is planning to sell a property subject to leases, then almost certainly a data room will be set up containing all relevant documents. Read more...
Rights of way – public
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
There are four categories of public rights of way: Read more...
Financial remedies – company assets
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
A recent ruling illustrates when a court can treat a company-owned asset as as a matrimonial asset. Read more...
GDPR – references
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
GDPR impacts on the giving of references: Read more...

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