Chance to respond to planning consultation

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Chance to respond to Government consultation on planning conditions.

The newly renamed Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) are looking to change how local authorities consult planning applicants before they issue a planning permission. In particular to discuss any planning conditions that need to be complied with before works can start. The consultation runs until the end of February 2018.

Nearly all planning decisions are subject to planning conditions, which either restrict or clarify what planning permission has been granted for, or ask for further details to be agreed before work can start. The later are known as pre-commencement conditions. Many farmers and growers are working to tight timescales for getting buildings in place so can have issues with such conditions It is good practice for the local planning authority to discuss any planning conditions with a planning applicant or their agent, but this does not always happen.

Under the new proposals an applicant could be consulted on any proposed  pre-comment condition  (one that requires prescribed works to be carried out before  you can start your development) but you will need to respond by a certain time with reasons if you do not wish the condition to be imposed or you would like it to be changed.

What will happen:

  • A notice would be sent to the applicant or their planning consultant, setting out the proposed wording of the condition, why the condition is needed, and why the works it specifies needs to be carried out, before the development being granted permission can be started.
  • The applicant could be given 10 working days in which respond and will need to set out a ‘substantive response’ or explanation for their views.
  • If the applicant has not responded in 10 working days the condition can be imposed.

The NFU would like your views on whether this approach will work for planning applications for  farmers and growers?

The following questions may help the Government decide the best approach.

  • How is the current process working, if you have applied for permission did you or your agent get the chance to comment on planning conditions before you got an approval?
  • Do you think the new process – where you get notice of any  proposed pre-commencement conditions – would work?
  • Would 10 working days be enough – or should an applicant be allowed to request more  time, what other safeguards do you think would be useful?

More information about the consultation can be found here.

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