This website uses cookies to get the best experience on our website

More InfoI accept

Want to get in touch with the planning and development team?

Filter

Future of Remote Planning Committee Meetings

April 2021 Planning

Government Ministers have written to local authorities to explain that temporary powers permitting remote meetings in the Coronavirus Act 2020 will not be extended after 7 May 2021. The letter…

Future of Remote Planning Committee Meetings
Read more

Future of Remote Planning Committee Meetings

April 2021 Planning

Government Ministers have written to local authorities to explain that temporary powers permitting remote meetings in the Coronavirus Act 2020 will not be extended after 7 May 2021.

The letter also provides a link to updated guidance on the ways local authorities can apply Covid-19 guidance to ensure meetings can take place safely.

A copy of the letter can be viewed here.

The government has also launched a call for evidence on the experiences of local authorities regarding remote meetings and to gather views on whether such arrangements should be made permanent. The consultation can be viewed here and is open until 17 June 2021.

Further Measures Announced to Enable Businesses to Operate Safely and Support Economic Recovery

April 2021 Planning

On 25 March 2021, the Secretary of State laid a Written Ministerial Statement to Parliament which emphasised local planning authorities should continue to take a positive and flexible approach to…

Further Measures Announced to Enable Businesses to Operate Safely and Support Economic Recovery
Read more

Further Measures Announced to Enable Businesses to Operate Safely and Support Economic Recovery

April 2021 Planning

On 25 March 2021, the Secretary of State laid a Written Ministerial Statement to Parliament which emphasised local planning authorities should continue to take a positive and flexible approach to planning enforcement action to support economic recovery and support social distancing while it remains in place as England moves towards Step 2 of the COVID response roadmap.

Specifically:

  • Where there are planning restrictions on retail opening hours, local planning authorities should not seek to undertake enforcement action which would result in unnecessary restriction of retail hours between 7am to 10pm, Monday to Saturday from Step 2 of the roadmap (no earlier than 12 April) until the introduction of Step 4 of the roadmap (scheduled for no earlier than 21 June) to support the safe reopening of non-essential retail shops;
  • The current Written Ministerial Statement about planning enforcement and the delivery of food and other essential goods to retailers will be extended until Step 4 of the roadmap (scheduled for no earlier than 21 June); and
  • The current Written Ministerial Statement encouraging flexible construction working hours will remain in place until 30 September 2021.

The Written Ministerial Statement can be found here.

To further support the hospitality sector as the economy reopens, it is also the Government’s intention to create a temporary permitted development right to allow pubs, restaurants and cafes to erect temporary moveable outdoor structures for the summer season.

For the first time, this will also apply to listed buildings provided there is no harm to the heritage asset.

Important Update - Supporting Housing Delivery and Public Service Infrastructure

April 2021 Planning

On the 31 March 2021, Robert Jenrick MP announced that following a national consultation exercise, the Government plan to go ahead and introduce new legislation which will allow commercial premises…

Important Update - Supporting Housing Delivery and Public Service Infrastructure
Read more

Important Update - Supporting Housing Delivery and Public Service Infrastructure

April 2021 Planning

On the 31 March 2021, Robert Jenrick MP announced that following a national consultation exercise, the Government plan to go ahead and introduce new legislation which will allow commercial premises to become housing in an attempt to support Britain’s High Streets. These new measures will come into force on the 1 August 2021 and will apply in all areas except National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The new rules, announced by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, have been introduced with the aim of supporting the creation of much-needed homes while also giving high streets a new lease of life – removing eyesores, transforming unused buildings and making the most of brownfield land.

They have also announced their intention to introduce a new fast track process for extending public service buildings. These new rules will allow for bigger extensions to existing public buildings including schools, colleges, universities and hospitals.

Finally, the Government intend to consult on further changes to the Permitted Development Rights Order, which will also come into force later this year. These changes should hopefully consolidate some of the many incremental changes which have been made in the past few years and reflect recent changes to the Use Classes Order.

All of these new measures follow on from a consultation exercise which was carried out earlier this year, this is a summary of the key points:

Part 1: Supporting housing delivery through a new national permitted development right for the change of use from the Commercial, Business and Service use class to residential

A new national permitted development right to create new homes through the change of use from Commercial Business and Service uses will be introduced.

The right will:

  • have effect from 1 August 2021
  • be subject to a size limit of 1,500 sq m of floorspace changing use
  • apply to buildings that have been in Commercial, Business and Service uses for two years, including time in former uses now within that class
  • apply to buildings that have been vacant for at least three continuous months
  • apply in conservation areas, but not in other article 2 (3) land such as National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • be subject to prior approval by the local planning authority on specific planning matters
  • attract a fee of £100 per dwellinghouse

Part 2: Supporting public service infrastructure through the planning system

The permitted development right for public service infrastructure will be amended to:

  • allow for development of up to 25% of the existing buildings, or 250 square metres whichever is greater
  • extend the height limit for new buildings from 5 metres to 6 metres, and for the first time allow for development at existing prisons under this right
  • make university extensions subject to prior approval by the local planning authority on specific planning matters

In addition, a faster application process for new major public service infrastructure will be introduced (aiming to implement from 1 August 2021) by:

  • reducing the statutory determination period for these developments from 13 weeks to 10 weeks
  • shortening the statutory consultation period for these developments to 18 calendar days (from the current 21 calendar days)
  • requiring that local planning authorities notify the Secretary of State when they anticipate making a decision
  • making clear that the policy in paragraph 94 of the National Planning Policy Framework about the importance of pre-application engagement is extended to these types of development

Part 3: Consolidation and simplification of existing permitted development rights

The Government announced their intention to consult further on the detail of proposed consequential changes to individual permitted development rights.

For further information or to read the Government’s response in full, please click here.

Looking for your next home?

The PFK Estate Agency team spans across six branches, making it easier than ever to find just what you’re looking for.

Find out more
Looking for your next home?

Need help managing your estate?

PFK Land Agency has helped with a broad range of land and estate management requirements. You name it, we’ve got the experience.

Find out more
Need help managing your estate?

PFK Land & Development is here

PFK Land and Development offers integrated professional property services by bringing together our specialists.

Find out more
PFK Land & Development is here

Free, no obligation consultation

PFK Surveys have an expert team of chartered surveyors who offer free, no obligation consultations.

Find out more
Free, no obligation consultation

Our Guide to Occupancy Clauses

March 2021 Planning

In this week's blog, Kayleigh will provide her insight into occupancy clauses. The existence of a occupancy clause, either local occupancy or agricultural occupancy can restrict who can buy…

Our Guide to Occupancy Clauses
Read more

Our Guide to Occupancy Clauses

March 2021 Planning

In this week’s blog, Kayleigh will provide her insight into occupancy clauses. The existence of a occupancy clause, either local occupancy or agricultural occupancy can restrict who can buy or occupy a property, especially within protected areas such as the National Parks.

Local Occupancy 

Local Occupancy Clauses limit the occupation of a property to those who have an established connection to the local area. The local planning authority will specify what an ‘established connection’ and the ‘local area’ means. The aim of the clause is to prevent the property from being used as a second or holiday home and to keep rural housing affordable for local people. The Lake District National Park Authority and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority apply Local Occupancy Clauses to almost all approved planning permissions for new houses, including conversions. There are many variations of the clause; however, most of them state that the property must be the occupant’s principal residence and that the occupant must have lived or worked in the given area for a certain period of time (will be defined in the clause), or is coming to live or work permanently in the given area.

 

Previously owned local authority properties that have been sold under the Right to Buy often have a Local Occupancy Clause too. Section 106 Local Occupancy Agreements ensure that the clause remains on the property when it is sold. Therefore, new owners will need to meet the requirements of the clause. Each property that is for sale with a Local Occupancy Clause will have the specific wording included in the brochure to enable interested parties to see if they meet the requirements.

Agricultural Occupancy Clauses 

An Agricultural Occupancy Condition restricts the occupation of a property to those employed in agriculture. The aim of the condition is to keep rural housing affordable for agricultural workers. It also allows planning to be granted where there is a proven requirement for an agricultural dwelling, often where a normal application is likely to be rejected.

The usual wording of such a condition is:

“The occupation of the dwelling shall be limited to a person solely or mainly working, or last working, in the locality in agriculture or in forestry, or a widow or widower of such a person, and to any resident dependents”.

The PFK Planning team have in-depth knowledge of Agricultural Occupancy Conditions and have been successful at lifting these conditions a number of times. There are two ways in which an occupancy condition can be lifted.

  1. Full Planning Application

A full planning application can demonstrate to the local planning authority that the occupancy condition is no longer needed. First, it needs to be demonstrated that there is no need for ‘tied’ property on the holding at the time of the application, nor will there be a need in the future. Secondly, it needs to be demonstrated that there is no need for the condition from the local area. To demonstrate a lack of need it is necessary to market the property for sale. If there is no firm interest from anyone who would comply with the condition, a full application can be submitted, with all the supporting information, to request that the condition is lifted.

  1. Lawful Development Certificate

A successful application for a Lawful Development Certificate can suspend the occupancy condition; however, there must have been a continuous 10-year breach of the condition. The local planning authority will request a sworn statement from the both the applicants and third parties as evidence of the breach. Further information such as council tax receipts and the employment history of the occupants can also be used as supporting evidence. A Lawful Development Certificate will only suspend the occupancy condition. If someone who meets the condition occupies the property in the future, the suspension would be lifted and the occupancy condition would apply again.

If you would like to discuss any type of occupancy condition, or if you have any other planning queries, please do not hesitate to contact the Planning team at PFK – email: planninganddevelopment@pfk.co.uk, tel: 01228 586085

Kayleigh Lancaster – Planning Specialist 

How to secure planning approval for residential development of agricultural land

March 2021 Planning

The planning system in England and Wales is supposed to be ‘plan led.’ That means there is a legal requirement for every council in England and Wales to have an…

How to secure planning approval for residential development of agricultural land
Read more

How to secure planning approval for residential development of agricultural land

March 2021 Planning

The planning system in England and Wales is supposed to be ‘plan led.’ That means there is a legal requirement for every council in England and Wales to have an up-to-date Local Plan to guide development over a 10 to 15 year period. This sets out the rules for exactly what can be built where.

If you want to get planning permission on your land, the first thing to do is check what the Local Plan says about your site.

The good news……..

If it is identified for development, or falls within the boundary of a town or village, any application for development is likely to be supported by the Council. For more on how to submit a planning application click here.

The bad news…………

In this article we will consider the options available to you if your land has not been identified in a Local Plan. In the majority of cases,  most agricultural sites will be identified as open countryside where development would be resisted by existing policy frameworks.

So, what options are available to you and how can we help?

Change the Plan!

If the policies in the Plan would stop development on your site, then you can try to influence the policies so they would allow development.

Each Local Plan is only intended to be in place for a fixed period of time (usually 10-15 years), councils periodically produce a new one, in some cases as often as every five years. Any change in Government and National Planning Policy can also influence the requirement to up date a Local Plan.

Before preparing a new Local Plan, the Council will gather evidence on the need for housing, economic growth and environmental issues, amongst other things, and decide how their policies need to change to reflect that evidence.

The next step in this process is for the council is to identify exactly which sites should be developed and where these should be located. This process, often referred to as a Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment of SHLAA involves gathering more evidence about all the potential development sites regardless if size or location.

The aim of this document is to answer three key questions:

  • Is the site suitable for development?
  • Is a development on the site achievable, or are there issues that would prevent it being built?
  • Is the site available for development; has the owner indicated that they would sell?

There is increasing pressure being placed upon Council’s to demonstrate that new homes outlined in Local Plans will be delivered and the introduction of national monitoring measures such as the Housing Delivery Test places greater emphasis on deliverable housing sites (which may not be in the Council’s preferred locations).

This evidence gathering exercise exercise is carried out openly, with frequent opportunities for local residents, land owners and developers to comment on the council’s approach.

These consultations provide an opportunity to promote your land to the council as a potential development site, usually by submitting your own evidence to show how your site meets those three criteria.

If, after this process, your site isn’t allocated in the Local Plan, and you don’t wish to wait until the next time the council review it, there is another way you could potentially secure planning permission. This involves undertaking an assessment of whether the Local Plan is actually achieving its targets and meeting the minimum level of ne housing required. If not, there may be opportunities to pursue an application for planning permission, despite the site not being allocated within the Local Plan, in this next Section we will cover this process in more detail.

 

Is the Plan working?

When a Plan is adopted, it is intended to deliver a minimum number of homes across the whole of the plan period. To monitor progress against that target, the government has made it a requirement for every council to be able to demonstrate a ‘five-year housing land supply.’ That means that councils should be able to identify where all the homes they need for the next five years are going to be built. Usually, those sites must already have planning permission.

Recent changes to the National Planning Policy Framework, have changed the types of sites included in this calculation, Councils can no longer rely upon allocated sites or large sites with outline planning permission unless there is clear evidence of anticipated delivery within the five year period.

If a council can’t demonstrate an adequate supply of new homes, then its Local Plan clearly isn’t working. In other cases, the period that the existing Plan covers might have come to an end without a new one being but in place. That old Plan will be ill suited to ensuring an appropriate level of development continues to be delivered.

In both those cases, a council’s housing policies can be considered to be out-of-date. In such circumstances, Paragraph 11 of the National Planning Policy Framework is triggered and a presumption in favour of sustainable development is engaged. At such a time, a planning application will be judged on whether they represent sustainable development, rather than whether they meet specific housing related policies within the Local Plan.

What this means is that that greenfield, agricultural sites which are next to an existing town or village will often be considered suitable for development and looked upon more favourably.

Depending on the location, some Councils can become more resistant to this approach than others as they feel they are losing control over where development is located. However, the Government is clear that the planning system has a responsibility to significantly boost the supply of housing to help address the housing crisis we currently face. Consequently, even where councils oppose applications like this, they are frequently over-ruled at appeal.

How can we help you?

PFK Planning and Development has built a reputation for securing planning permission for new homes on land close to existing settlements. Usually through a combination of promoting land through the Local Plan process and monitoring the housing supply position.

If you have a site that you think might be suitable for housing development, please get in touch and we’ll give you our advice entirely without obligation.

Call us on 01228 586805 or email planninganddevelopment@pfk.co.uk

Naomi Howard – Graduate Planner

Budget Update - 3 March 2021

March 2021 News Planning

Today, Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP announced his Budget which includes a range of schemes and measures to support the economic recovery and stimulate growth of our future economy. The announcements…

Budget Update - 3 March 2021
Read more

Budget Update - 3 March 2021

March 2021 Planning

Today, Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP announced his Budget which includes a range of schemes and measures to support the economic recovery and stimulate growth of our future economy.

The announcements included £135 million to progress the A66 Trans-Pennine Upgrade Project – which is fantastic news for Cumbria!

One of the most anticipated announcements was the selection of the successful bids for Freeport status. Freeports will benefit from tax incentives and relaxed planning rules to stimulate economic growth and activity.

Cumbria was one of around 30 areas which submitted bid for Freeport status, but sadly was not chosen as one of the eight locations announced today.

The eight successful Freeport locations are:

  • East Midlands Airport;
  • Felixstowe & Harwich;
  • Humber;
  • Liverpool City Region;
  • Plymouth;
  • Solent;
  • Thames; and Teesside

For the housing sector, it was announced that stamp duty holiday on the first £500,000 of a property’s value will be extended until 30 June 2021. After this date, the starting rate of stamp duty will be £250,000 until the end of September. Stamp duty will then return to the usual level of £125,000 on 1 October 2021.

It was also announced that the Government will introduce a Mortgage Guarantee Scheme enable buyers to obtain mortgages for 95% of the value of a property, which is supported by a number of major lenders.

He also announced further packages of financial support for businesses which have been forced to close as a result of the pandemic and extended the furlough scheme to support the reopening of our town centres, hospitality venues and theatres and entertainment venues. Additional funds such as the Town Deals Fund and a £150 million Community Ownership Fund to help protect assets important to local communities.

We expect further details of the various schemes and initiatives to be announced in the coming weeks.

Read the package of measures in full here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/budget-2021-what-you-need-to-know

Our Guide to the Planning Requirements for Short-Term Holiday Letting Accommodation

February 2021 Blog Planning

In this blog, Kayleigh Lancaster (Planning Specialist) provides her advice on whether planning permission could be required for the use of existing homes, annexes or outbuildings to provide short-term…

Our Guide to the Planning Requirements for Short-Term Holiday Letting Accommodation
Read more

Our Guide to the Planning Requirements for Short-Term Holiday Letting Accommodation

February 2021 Planning

In this blog, Kayleigh Lancaster (Planning Specialist) provides her advice on whether planning permission could be required for the use of existing homes, annexes or outbuildings to provide short-term holiday letting accommodation.

Following the rise of AirBnB, many homeowners have decided to let either all or part of their properties to visitors for short-term holidays. If you are considering starting a short-term let, in particular a holiday let, you may be required to apply for ‘change of use’ planning permission. Planning approval is required in situations whereby using the property as a short-term let amounts to a ‘material change of use’. There is no statutory definition for a material change of use; however, it is related to the significance of change and the consequent impact on the use of land and buildings. Planning Practice Guidance explains that a material change of use is a matter of fact and degree, and cases will be determined on their individual merits.

The difficulty with short-term lets is that they have no specified Use Class and can therefore fall into a number of classes. Short-term lets are mostly considered under the ‘C3 dwellinghouses’ use class. The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 defines this class as:

Use as a dwellinghouse (whether or not as a sole or main residence) by:

  1. a single person or by people to be regarded as forming a single household;
  2. not more than six residents living together as a single household where care is provided for residents, or
  3. not more than six residents living together as a single household where no care is provided to residents.

This definition suggests that the main criteria which short-term lets must meet is to be occupied by one ‘single household’ at a time. The exception to this is where a material change of use is considered to have taken place. Advice on what constitutes a material change of use has been taken from recent case law.

 

Moore v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [18 September 2012] involved a case were a nine-bedroom property was rented out entirely to large groups of guests. Suffolk Coastal District Council issued an enforcement notice alleging a breach of planning control. The breach was stated to be a change of use without planning permission from a C3 dwellinghouse to commercial leisure accommodation which was considered to be a ‘sui generis’ use. Moore appealed the enforcement notice and the case was eventually heard by Lord Justice Sullivan in the Court of Appeal.

Lord Justice Sullivan established that a material change of use depends on the character of the use, i.e. who is staying in the property, when are they staying and how are they using the property. He also explained that the character of use can be judged by its impact on neighbours. The issues he put forward included:

  • Parking – if guests bring more vehicles than would be expected for a typical family, this may constitute a material change of use;
  • Patterns of arrival and departure – if guests are arriving and departing at unusual hours of the day, this may constitute a material change of use;
  • Number of guests – if the number of guests staying in the property is more than might reasonably be expected to live the house, this may constitute a material change of use;
  • Frequency of “party type activities” – if parties are occurring on a more frequent basis than might be expected at a residential property, this may constitute a material change of use, and
  • Refuse and recycling collection – if a lack of organisation around refuse and recycling collections are causing a visible impact to local residents, this may constitute a material change of use.

 

To summarise, in order to operate a short-term holiday let under the C3 dwellinghouses use class you must operate the property as a single unit (e.g. not let by the room); ensure that most of your guests form a single household either because they are related or because there are not more than 6 guests and ensure that no material change of use has occurred by minimising the impact on the neighbours.

However, if the property is similar in nature to the property in the Moore v SSCLG case, with a large number of guests staying at any one time, this may constitute a change of use to sui generis use and will require planning permission. The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 defines this class as “a use on its own to which any change of use will require planning permission, such as theatres, scrap yards, nightclubs, amusement centres, casinos, and large HMO’s”.

In parts of Cumbria, particularly the Lake District National Park, the reuse of buildings as short-term holiday lettings is not permitted. The only exceptions to this are when the building or site is not considered suitable for meeting a local need or local affordable need or is not viable or suitable for reuse as employment.

The PFK Planning and Development team have extensive knowledge and experience of planning for short-term holiday lets. If you would like to discuss your options for a holiday let, or if you have any other planning queries, please do not hesitate to contact us – email: planninganddevelopment@pfk.co.uk, tel: 01228 586805

Copeland Local Plan Consultation Deadline - Extended to 30 November 2020

November 2020 News Planning

Due to the high level of interest in the Copeland Local Plan Preferred Options, the Council have extended the Preferred Options consultation by a further two weeks.  This is to…

Copeland Local Plan Consultation Deadline - Extended to 30 November 2020
Read more

Copeland Local Plan Consultation Deadline - Extended to 30 November 2020

November 2020 Planning

Due to the high level of interest in the Copeland Local Plan Preferred Options, the Council have extended the Preferred Options consultation by a further two weeks.  This is to give everyone a chance to consider the Local Plan and understand the various evidence base reports that have informed it.

The closing date for responses is now Monday 30th November 2020.

Click here to find out more. 

COVID-19 Update

November 2020 Planning

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on the 31 October of a national lockdown, as of Thursday 5th November we are closing our office doors to the public. However, we…

COVID-19 Update
Read more

COVID-19 Update

November 2020 Planning

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on the 31 October of a national lockdown, as of Thursday 5th November we are closing our office doors to the public.

However, we very much remain open for business with our teams working remotely and within our office premises, committed to providing you with the best possible service.

We are taking every possible precaution to ensure the safety of our customers and staff and we will continue to monitor this changing situation and will notify you of any further changes in our procedures, as and when they occur.

Our team can be contacted on 01228 586805 or email planninganddevelopment@pfk.co.uk.

 

Lake District National Park - Major Modifications Consultation Launched

October 2020 Planning

The Lake District National Park Authority have launched their latest consultation on their new Local Plan. This is the last opportunity to comment on the plan prior to it being…

Lake District National Park - Major Modifications Consultation Launched
Read more

Lake District National Park - Major Modifications Consultation Launched

October 2020 Planning

The Lake District National Park Authority have launched their latest consultation on their new Local Plan. This is the last opportunity to comment on the plan prior to it being formally adopted by the National Park in early 2021.

At this stage, comments can only be made on the proposed changes, referred to as the ‘Major Modifications’.

Further information on the current consultation can be found here.

Do you need advice? Are you affected by changes proposed to the Local Plan? 

Email: planninganddevelopment@pfk.co.uk

Call:  01228 586805

 

1 2 3 4 5 6

Estate Agency

Buying or selling, renting or letting, our expert team is here to help your transaction go smoothly. Speak to a member of the team to see how we can support you today.

Visit site

Land Agency

A comprehensive range of professional property services for the farming and rural community

Visit site

Planning & Development

Offering integrated professional property services. Speak to one of our experts and let them guide you through the development process from beginning to end

Visit site

Surveys

Our team of chartered surveyors can conduct everything from major structural surveys to simple valuations

Visit site

Media Services

Professional aerial photography and videography services delivered by fully licensed drone pilots

Visit site

Planning & Development

Apply for a role at PFK

We have no available positions at the moment, but please share your interest using the form below so we can consider you for roles in the future.

I agree to my information being stored so PFK can respond to my enquiry by doing so.*
Please check our Privacy Policy to see how we protect and manage your submitted data

I would like to receive information about PFK's services, events, news and offers by email and telephone

*Required fields

Book a valuation

*Required fields

I agree to my information being stored so PFK can respond to my enquiry by doing so.*
Please check our Privacy Policy to see how we protect and manage your submitted data

I would like to receive information about PFK's services, events, news and offers by email and telephone

Arrange a viewing

I have a property to sell or let

I would like my property valued

I agree to my information being stored so PFK can respond to my enquiry by doing so.*
Please check our Privacy Policy to see how we protect and manage your submitted data

I would like to receive information about PFK's services, events, news and offers by email and telephone

*Required fields