If you are applying for capital items in Countryside Stewardship one of the evidence requirements could be planning permission. This is often the case for water capital items. All evidence for a Mid-Tier application must be submitted by 31st August deadline.
Planning permission can be difficult to obtain, taking several weeks to get the required information. Consequently, Natural England (NE) has issued the following clarification for applicants:
If planning permission is required but not yet obtained:
- If the applicant has been unable to get a response from the Local Planning Authority (LPA) after several attempts, then NE will use their discretion to accept this as proof that sufficient efforts have been made by the customer well in advance of the 31st August deadline. Evidence of the failed contact attempts - or confirmation of a decision date from the LPA after the 31st August deadline - in the form of letters, emails and calls made, must be provided with their application.
Planning permission is not required but unable to obtain confirmation from LPA:
- If no planning permission is required for the works then evidence will need to be supplied to prove that a discussion has taken place with the LPA (and the Environment Agency (EA), where applicable). Details such as the date of the conversation and person spoken to within the LPA and EA are essential and must accompany their application.
- Email consent from a relevant person within the LPA or EA is acceptable evidence, as is an extract from the LPA website or from Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning Act (General Permitted Development) Order legislation website http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/596/contents/made, indicating the project is a permitted development.
Planning permission may be required but delayed request for LPA advice following delayed CSFO visit:
- If the customer has not secured planning permission due to not obtaining Catchment Sensitive Farming Officer (CSFO) endorsement of the option, they must be able to demonstrate [with their application] that they requested a visit from the CSFO before the stated 31st May deadline. They must demonstrate (as part of their application) that they have made reasonable attempts to secure a timely visit and to pursue an appointment, otherwise the relevant option may be rejected.
- If the LPA has indicated a response will be forthcoming after 31st August, due to the late submission of a planning application arising from a delayed CSFO visit, NE may accept the application if the customer is able to demonstrate (with evidence provided with their application) the delays in a manner already outlined, pending the final planning permission being forthcoming.
The above flexibilities around the 31st August application deadline should enable relevant applicants to submit their Mid-Tier applications and remaining evidence by 31 August 2018, with the remaining planning permission following as soon as possible thereafter, otherwise options and/or the application may be rejected.