Introduction of a permanent office to residential permitted development right

In a Statement issued on the 13th October, the Planning Minister, Brandon Lewis,  provided some much needed clarity regarding office to residential permitted development (“PD”) rights.

At present the PD right enables:

Development consisting of a change of use of a building and any land within its curtilage from a use falling within Class B1(a) (offices) of the Schedule to the Use Classes Order, to a use falling within Class C3 (dwellinghouses) of that Schedule.”

The PD right is temporary and the residential use has to have “begun” by 30 May 2016.  Before beginning the development, the developer has to apply to the LPA for a determination as to whether prior approval of the authority is required in relation to three areas:

(i) transport and highway impacts of the development;

(ii) contamination risks on the site; and

(iii) flooding risks on the site.

The temporary PD right has proved to be controversial with a number of authorities bringing in Article 4 directions to prevent its use.  In addition, the temporary nature of the PD right has caused uncertainties amongst those in the development industry and their funders.

The Prime Minister  made a speech on the 12th October in relation to the Government’s housing policy and in advance of the publication of the Housing and Planning Bill.  He stated that the temporary PD right introduced in May 2013 was to be made permanent and noted that almost 4,000 conversions had been given the go-ahead between April 2014 and June 2015.

No details have been published yet but the Planning Minister’s statement of 13 October notes that whilst the existing PD rights are to be made permanent, those who already have secured prior approval will have three years in which to complete the change of use.

In future it is proposed that the permitted development rights will be considerably widened to also allow for demolition of office buildings and the building of new residential development. The current PD rights only enable a change of use and any external works had to be the subject of an application for planning permission. It remains to be seen what restrictions and conditions will be imposed in relation to this much broader PD right.

17 local authorities in England have areas which are presently exempt from the office to residential permitted development right.  Those areas will have until May 2019 to make an Article 4 direction if they wish to continue determining planning applications for the change of use, otherwise the PD right will come into force in those areas.

New permitted development rights will also be brought in to enable a change of use of light industrial buildings and launderettes to homes.

All the proposed new PD rights will be subject to limitations and prior approval by the relevant Local Planning Authority.  We await sight of the details of the new permitted development rights and will blog further about those details.

The office to residential PD right has proved to be highly controversial.  Whether you are opposed to, or supportive of, office to residential PD rights the latest announcements at least provide some degree of clarity with more to follow when full details are published.


Compulsory Purchase: Home Loss Payments on the Rise

From 1 October 2015 the thresholds for home loss payments payable to residential property owners in England and Wales who are displaced as a result of a compulsory purchase order will increase.

The current levels of home loss payments are set at a minimum amount of £4,700 and a maximum sum of £49,000. The changes will see the minimum payment amount rise to £5,300 and the maximum sum to £53,000.

Under section 30(1) of the Land Compensation Act 1973, a freehold or long leasehold owner of a residential property in England & Wales who is in occupation at the date the property is compulsorily acquired is entitled to receive payment of a home loss payment.

The amount of the home loss payment payable by the acquiring authority is calculated as a percentage of the market value of the property at the date the property is acquired, subject to the minimum and maximum amounts. From October, affected property owners could therefore see a rise in the amount of home loss payment they received when their residential property is compulsorily acquired.

Of course, home loss payments form just one part of the amount of compensation typically payable to a qualifying residential property owner when their property is compulsory purchased. Home owners are typically also entitled to receive a payment equivalent to the market value of the property, together with any associated disturbance costs, such as reasonable moving costs, legal fees for acquiring a new property and costs of transferring a mortgage to a new property.

Depending on the circumstances, additional compensation payments may also be available and property owners faced with the prospect of having their home compulsorily acquired should always seek specialist advice.

Fixing the Foundations – the productivity plan

On July 10th 2015, following the Summer Budget, the Government issued its productivity plan: “Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation”.

In summary, HM Treasury and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills described the document as setting out:

“….a 15-point plan that the government will put into action to boost the UK’s productivity growth, centred around two key pillars: encouraging long-term investment, and promoting a dynamic economy. It sets out the government’s long-term strategy for tackling ‎the issues that matter most for productivity growth.”

The plan comprises 16 chapters and, in relation to planning, the two chapters of most relevance are:

  • Chapter 9 “Planning Freedoms and more houses to buy”; and
  • Chapter 15 “Resurgent cities, a rebalanced economy and a thriving Northern Powerhouse”.

The plan covers many areas including taxation, transport and energy.  Set out below, however, are the main proposals in relation to planning which focus primarily on the delivery of housing.


  • a new zoning system will be created in England which will  grant planning permission automatically (subject to certain “technical details”) on suitable brownfield sites which are identified in a statutory register of brownfield land;
  • tougher action will be taken against local authorities who have not got local plans in place by a set deadline (that deadline is to be announced before Parliament rises for the summer recess);
  • league tables will be published by the Government setting out local authorities’ progress in providing plans to deliver housing and jobs locally;
  • significant intervention will be undertaken by central government to the extent that they will arrange, where considered necessary, for local plans to be written (in consultation with local people);
  • proposals will be put forward to streamline the process of local plan preparation and to reduce the length of local plans (in both cases of implementing a plan and amending a plan);
  • proposals to improve co-ordination between local authorities will be introduced and the guidance on the operation of the duty to co-operate on key housing and planning issues will be strengthened;
  • consideration will be given to how to support higher density housing around key commuter hubs and how national policy and guidance can ensure that un-needed commercial land can be released for housing;
  • stronger and fairer compulsory purchase powers will be introduced in Autumn 2015, following the compulsory purchase consultation issued earlier this year;
  • legislation will be brought in to allow major infrastructure projects “with an element of housing” to apply through the NSIP regime for development consent;
  • the planning performance regime will be extended to include minor applications and tightened so that local authorities who make 50% or fewer decisions on time are at risk of designation and essentially put into special measures;
  • a fast-track certificate process is proposed to establish the principle of development for minor development proposals;
  • in order to help deliver the Government target of 200,000 starter homes for first time buyers being built by 2020 a proposal to require local authorities to “plan proactively” for the delivery of starter homes is to be issued as well as strengthening the presumption in favour of starter home developments and enabling communities to allocate land for starter home developments including through neighbourhood plans;
  • regulations will be implemented to exempt starter home developments from CIL and re-affirming through planning policy that section 106 affordable housing contributions and tariff-style general infrastructure funds will not be sought for starter home developments;
  • a dispute resolution procedure for section 106 agreements will be introduced.

Devolution and the Northern Powerhouse:

  • major new planning powers will be devolved to the Mayors of London and Manchester beginning with powers in relation to wharves and sightlines to the Mayor of London;
  • proposals will be brought forward to allow the Mayor of London to call-in planning applications of 50 homes or more;
  • the Government will work with the Mayor of London to bring forward proposals (presumably via changes to permitted development rights) to remove the need for planning permission for upwards extensions for a limited number of stories up to the height of an adjoining building where neighbouring residents do not object;
  • proposals will be brought forward to allow the Mayor of Greater Manchester to produce development corporations and promote compulsory purchase orders with these powers exercisable with the consent of the Cabinet member representing the borough in which the power is to be used.


  • a decision will be taken on airport capacity in the south east before the end of 2015 following the issue of the Airports Commission report and, if it agrees with the assessment that there is a need for further airport capacity in the south east, then the Government will also consider the best route for achieving planning consents;
  • it is proposed that a new long term National Infrastructure Plan for the key economic infrastructure sectors (transport, energy, flood defences, water, waste, communications and science) will be published supported by annual updates on progress with delivery.


The BPF responded to the planning proposals set out in the plan stating that it “hit the nail on the head for a number of planning issues”. However, they also noted that many of the measures would only work if the severe shortage of funds to local planning authorities was addressed.

The Squire Patton Boggs planning team will be monitoring the various proposals as they progress and will provide further blog updates in due course.

The Queen’s Speech 2015: Planning

The Queen’s Speech was delivered today, the 27th May 2015, at the State Opening of Parliament.  The Conservative Government have set out their agenda for this Parliamentary session including a total of 26 Bills.  The main issues of relevance to those of us working in planning are as follows:

(i) Onshore Wind Farms and NSIPs

The manifesto commitment to “…change the law so that local people have the final say on windfarm applications” is to be taken forward.  An Energy Bill will remove onshore wind farms of over 50MW from being categorised as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) in the Planning Act 2008 and take decision making back to Local Planning Authorities.  This means that planning permission rather than development consent will be required to authorise the construction and operation of large onshore wind farms.

Nothing is said about what happens when an application is refused and appealed or called-in and the decision making power is taken away from the local planning authority.

There are also proposals to make changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to give effect to the manifesto commitment.

The further commitment in the manifesto to end new subsidies for onshore wind farms is to be delivered separately with DECC making further announcements about this shortly.

(ii) Housing

The Queen’s Speech briefing notes state that the purpose of a new Housing Bill includes “increasing housing supply and access to home ownership“.  In terms of the main benefits that the Bill is setting out to provide, the list includes “ensuring local people have more control over planning“.

Local Planning Authorities will be required to support custom and self-builders who are registered in their area in identifying suitable plots of land to build or commission their new home so taking forward the Right to Build.  Another series of Channel 4’s Grand Designs looks likely!

A statutory register for brownfield land is proposed which it is said is “ help achieve the target of getting Local Development Orders in place on 90% of suitable brownfield sites by 2020.”  The neighbourhood planning system is to be simplified and sped up.  Finally, it is stated that the Bill will “..give effect to other changes to housing and planning legislation that would support housing growth.”

We will clearly be hearing a lot more from the new Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark, in relation to housing as the Parliamentary term gets underway.

(iii) Devolution – Wales

The briefing notes released by the Prime Minister’s Press Office to accompany the Queen’s Speech state that in the proposed Wales Bill powers will be “..devolved to Welsh Ministers over consenting for energy developments in Wales up to 350 Megawatts for both onshore and offshore projects“.

It is also proposed that there will be licensing devolution in relation to onshore oil and gas exploration in Wales which will enable the Welsh Government and the National Assembly “ decide whether exploration for shale oil and gas takes place in Wales“.

(iv) Devolution – Cities and Local Government

The Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill is to “…provide for the devolution of powers to cities with elected metro mayors, helping to build a Northern Powerhouse.”

Manchester is driving forward with this devolution agenda and it will be interesting to see how this works for the city and its region and also which other cities decide to take up the powers being offered to them.


There will certainly be plenty of planning changes to keep up to date with in this parliamentary session.  Stay tuned for further blogs!

Compulsory Purchase Reform – Improving the Process?

At the same time as giving the planning system something of a “spring clean” prior to Parliament being dissolved at the end of March, the Government also published a consultation document on its proposed reforms to the compulsory purchase process.

The consultation paper presents a package of proposals for improvements to the compulsory purchase process and also, long overdue, changes to Government guidance that are aimed at making the process “clearer, faster and fairer” for all parties involved and with a view to bringing forward more brownfield land for development.

The main proposals for change are set out below.

A CLEARER system…..

  • Improved guidance – guidance on compulsory purchase is to be updated and provided as a web-based resource, similar to that already adopted for planning guidance.
  • Updated guidance – whilst many of the key concepts contained within Circular 06/2004 “Compulsory Purchase and the Crichel Down Rules” will be retained, this ten year old Government guidance, together with an additional 13 other circulars and guidance documents, are to be cancelled once the new guidance is issued.
  • Encouraging public authorities to offer good levels of compensation – guidance is proposed to be introduced with the aim of encouraging Acquiring Authorities to offer more reasonable initial offers of compensation, with the aim of avoiding the need for compulsory purchase and its associated costs.

A FAIRER system……

  • Extending and harmonising the period of notice before entry – proposals are included that will ensure that a longer minimum period of notice of three months is given to land owners/occupiers before entry and taking possession. At present, occupiers may only have 14 days to relocate on service of Notice of Entry following a Notice to Treat.
  • Improved system of advance payments of compensation – it is proposed that a claim for an advance payment of compensation will be capable of being made at any time following the date of confirmation of a CPO and that a claim must be paid within two months of the date of Notice to Treat or execution of a GVD. A “fast-track” decision making process to determine disputes over the amount of an advance payment is also proposed.
  • Improved interest rates on outstanding compensation – the amount of interest on outstanding compensation is proposed to be increased from 0.5% below base rate to 1% above it. The setting of a 1% interest floor is also being mooted.
  • Transferring mortgages to avoid negative equity – to avoid a position of negative equity crystallising the Government is proposing to work with lenders and the Financial Conduct Authority to secure a voluntary agreement on porting mortgages between properties following compulsory acquisition.
  • Harmonising powers of entry – Acquiring Authority powers of entry for surveys are to be aligned across all Acquiring Authorities so that entry can be gained at an earlier stage in the compulsory purchase process.
  • Extending powers to override easements and restrictive covenants – the Government recognises that there is an inconsistency between the powers of Acquiring Authorities to override easements and restrictive covenants. The proposal is to extend existing powers to all Acquiring Authorities, including statutory undertakers, which do not already have these powers.

A FASTER system……

  • Strict timescales to apply to the CPO process – the introduction of strict time limits is proposed that will apply once the starting date letter has been issued including for the holding of any site visit; the completion of the Inspector’s Report; and, ultimately, the issuing of the Secretary of State’s decision letter.
  • Delegated decisions – a proposal is included that would enable decisions on compulsory purchase orders that “do not raise issues of more than local importance” to be delegated to Inspectors rather than such Orders being determined by the Secretary of State.
  • Reforming the High Court challenge process – proposals include the introduction of new powers for the courts when faced with a legally flawed decision of the Secretary of State confirming an Order. New powers will enable the court to quash that decision alone rather than the whole of the Order. This will avoid the need for an Acquiring Authority to have to restart the whole of the CPO process and allow the Secretary of State’s decision to be retaken leaving the Order unaffected.

The consultation document can be found online and the deadline for responses is 9 June 2015.

Should you wish to discuss any aspect of the consultation please contact Squire Patton Boggs’ dedicated compulsory purchase and compensation team.

Wind Generation Appeals – Update

As we set out earlier this year, 2014 was not the best year in terms of wind generation appeal decisions. Has the first quarter of 2015 been any more fruitful, or are we continuing in the same direction as last year?

Unfortunately, it appears that we seem to be following the same path.

During the first 3 months of 2015 there have been 61 wind generation appeals.

The breakdown of the above appeals is as follows:

  •  Single turbine schemes made up 80% of the appeals, and have resulted in only a 24% success rate;
  •  Schemes of two turbines or more responsible for the remaining 20%, with a higher rate of success at 40%.

This results in a very low success rate of only 26%. Given overall approval rate for wind generation appeals in 2014 was approx. 38%, things seem to be going from bad to worse.

With the election imminent changes may be afoot. As for who will be making those changes, we are still a couple of weeks from knowing.

Permitted Development Rights

After 22 amendments to The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, we finally have a new Order which consolidates all the amendments, as well as providing for some new changes.

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 comes into force on 15 April 2015.

As well as consolidating the previous amendments, the 2015 Order has reordered the Parts, with the effect of these being reduced from 43 to 19. Just when you thought that was enough, there are also a number of new permitted development rights which are introduced.

Some of the new changes that have been brought in are (but this is by no means a comprehensive list):

  • Temporary, for 3 years, permitted development right to allow up to 500sqm of storage and distribution buildings to change to residential. Additional requirements are that the building must have been in B8 use for 4 years and in use or last used as B8 on or before 19 March 2014;
  • Extension, for a further 3 years, of the existing permitted development right for larger householder rear extensions (now available until 30 May 2019);
  • Betting shops and pay day loan shops removed from A2 and become sui generis. Premises that have previously changed to betting shop or pay day loan shop under Class D temporary permitted development right retain their original use class and will revert to that at the end of the temporary two year period;
  • Permitted development for retailers to erect click and collect facilities within curtilage of existing premises. Only one is permitted per retail premises and is limited to 4m high and gross floor space of 20sqm;
  • Permitted development for the temporary filming for commercial film making inside existing buildings and outside on sites of up to 1.5 hectares. The right is limited for 9 months in any 27 month rolling period.

A point worthy of note is that the temporary permitted development rights from office to residential will still expire and the end of May 2016.  No replacement permitted development right has been legislated for, despite this being proposed in the Government’s Technical Consultation on Planning from July 2014. Perhaps once the response to this part of the Consultation has been published the 2015 Order may be subject to its first amendment.

If you wish to review the comprehensive list of changes provided by the 2015 Order, the link below will take you to the explanatory memorandum which provides a useful summary.

April 2015 – the planning system undergoes a “spring clean”

The Government had something approaching a “spring clean” of the planning system prior to Parliament being dissolved on 30 March 2015 for the General Election.  As a result, this month will see a number of changes coming into effect. The list below shows what you need to be aware of in terms of the dates when various pieces of secondary legislation, which were made before 30 March 2015, come into force.

1 April 2015

(i) The Community Infrastructure Levy (Amendment) Regulations 2015 come into force

These Regulations make further amendments to the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 in relation to:

  • extending the types of dwelling which can benefit from social housing relief from CIL;
  • amending the definition of “clawback period” whereby social housing relief is withdrawn before the end of that period and an amount of the levy has to be repaid;
  • amending the definition of “national rent regime” in Regulation 49(11) of the 2010 Regulations to include reference to the Rent Standard Guidance (which was published in January 2015).

6 April 2015

(i) Section 106 – pooling contributions

This is the date when the limitation on the use of pooled planning obligations to fund infrastructure projects comes into effect for those authorities who do not yet have an adopted CIL charging schedule in place.  For those with a charging schedule in place, the changes came in with the adoption of CIL in their area. It was thought that the date might be extended again by the Government, after the one year extension granted last year, but that has not proved to be the case.

The effect is that local authorities will be prevented from seeking planning obligations, which constitute a reason for granting planning permission, to the extent that the obligation relates to the funding or provision of infrastructure where five or more planning obligations relating to other planning permissions granted for development within the authority’s area have been entered into on or after 6 April 2010 for that infrastructure. The pooling restriction will have the greatest impact on authorities who do not tightly define infrastructure but instead use broad headings such as “education” or “open space”.

(ii) The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 come into force

These Regulations amend paragraph 2 of Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011 in terms of the thresholds for Infrastructure Projects to be Schedule 2 development. The paragraph on Infrastructure Projects will become as follows:

10 Infrastructure Projects
(a) Industrial estate development projects; 


The area of the development exceeds 5 hectares
(b) Urban development projects, including the construction of shopping centres and car parks, sports stadiums, leisure centres and multiplex cinemas; (i) The development includes more than 1 hectare of urban development which is not dwellinghouse development; or 

(ii) the development includes more than 150 dwellings; or

(iii) the overall area of the development exceeds 5 hectares.


(c) Construction of intermodal transhipment facilities and of intermodal terminals (unless included in Schedule 1); The area of the development exceeds 0.5 hectares.


The Government are introducing these changes in response to suggested amendments set out in the Technical Consultation on Planning last year and the Consultation Response of January 2015. The Government’s aim is that these amendments will reduce the number of applications which are screened for EIA purposes. Transitional provisions apply so that if before these amending regulations come into force it is determined that an application is EIA development then the amended regulations do not apply to that application.

15 April 2015

(i) The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 comes into force

My blog post of 27 March explains the changes that this will bring forward.

(ii) The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 comes into force

A future blog post will highlight the main changes in the newly consolidated GPDO 2015.

(iii) The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (England) Order 2015 comes into force

This Order amends the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 and applies, as its name suggests, in England only.

Betting offices and pay day loan shops are now excluded from being a specific use class and instead become sui generis. This means that whilst they used to be an A2 use, they no longer come within any use class and so a planning application will be required to change use to a betting office or a pay day loan shop.

A definition of “pay day loan shop” has also been included in the amending order.

There are transitional provisions which cover the situation where on the day the amending order comes into force the process of converting to a betting office or a pay day loan shop is underway.  The effect is to remove the amendments set out in the 2015 amending order and, instead, the 1987 Use Classes Order will apply in the form it existed in before 15 April.  The transitional provisions will cease 3 years after the amending order comes into force.

Already in force:

In addition to all the above changes, the Government issued two updated Guidance documents in relation to applications for development consent on 26 March 2015:

  • Guidance on the pre-application process (replaces the August 2014 guidance document and an earlier local authority guidance document which was withdrawn in 2010)
  • Guidance for the examination of applications for development consent (replaces the April 2013 guidance document).


A busy month ahead!

15 April 2015: a new Development Management Procedure Order comes into force in England – what are the changes?

The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2015 (“the DMPO 2015”) was laid before Parliament on 24 March 2015 and comes into force on 15 April 2015.  It replaces the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2010 (“the DMPO 2010”) and its various amendment orders. A copy of the DMPO 2015 is available via the link below:

Why has the Government issued the DMPO 2015?

Since the coming into force of the DMPO 2010 (itself a consolidation order) it has been amended 15 times. The Government considered that it was time to consolidate all these amendments into one order as well as to make some further changes including the deemed discharge of planning conditions and to improve layout and legibility.  The DMPO 2015, as its name suggests, relates to England only.

Are there any changes that I should be aware of?

The DMPO 2015 is predominantly a consolidating order but it does introduce other changes, the main ones are set out below:

  •  Notification requirement for railway infrastructure managers (Article 16)

The DMPO 2015 introduces a new requirement to notify railway infrastructure managers of planning applications within 10m of relevant railway land (which is essentially operational railway land).  The manager can instruct a local planning authority that they do not require notification of certain types of development or development in relation to particular areas and that instruction can be withdrawn at any time.

  •  Clarification of information requirements that must accompany a planning condition (Article 27)

This Article imposes additional requirements upon an applicant to those set out in Article 30 of the DMPO 2010 in that it specifies that plans, drawings and “such particulars….as are necessary to deal with the application” should be submitted.

  •  Deemed discharge of planning conditions (Articles 28, 29 and 30 and Schedule 6)

The introduction of a process of deemed discharge of planning conditions was reported on in my blog entry of 26 February 2015.

Section 74A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 provides for the deemed discharge of planning conditions procedure to be prescribed by way of a development order.  The DMPO 2015 is that development order with Articles 28 and 29 setting out the process for deemed discharge including the service by an applicant of a deemed discharge notice.  Article 30 and Schedule 6 govern which conditions are exempt from the deemed discharge process.

  •  Written justification for pre-commencement planning conditions (Article 35)

I reported on this in my blog post of 9 March 2015.  The DMPO 2015 now introduces this new requirement for local authorities which is additional to the justification that must be given for the imposition of all conditions. The LPA must now justify, in the case of a pre-commencement condition, why the condition has to be complied with before development commences as opposed to before occupation or some other trigger date.

  •  Changes to statutory consultation (Schedule 4)

Changes have been made in relation to the consultation requirements with Natural England, the Highways Agency, English Heritage, the Garden History Society, water and sewerage undertakers and lead local flood authorities.

As a result of the changes to the Highways Agency brought about by the Infrastructure Act 2015, with Highways England appointed as the strategic highway company for England from 1 April 2015, amendments have been made to reflect this.

The addition of a consultation requirement in respect of water and sewerage undertakers for shale gas planning applications has also been added.

Where can I find the corresponding Article from the DMPO 2010 in the DMPO 2015?

There is a helpful “Table of Destinations” in the Annex to the Explanatory Memorandum produced by DCLG which sets out the Article number from the 2010 DMPO and its corresponding article number (where there is one) in the DMPO 2015. The Explanatory Memorandum can be viewed via the link below:

What if I am working on a planning application now, which DMPO applies to me: 2010 or 2015?

Transitional provisions are in place (see the details in Article 47 of the DMPO 2015).  Essentially if your application for planning permission was submitted before 15 April 2015 then certain Articles and Schedules of the DMPO 2015 will not apply and the corresponding Articles and Schedules in the DMPO 2010 will still govern the application.

The Budget 2015 – what does it mean for planning?

George Osborne, The Chancellor of the Exchequer, presented the Budget 2015 to the House of Commons earlier today, 18 March 2015.

What does the Budget 2015 have to say in relation to changes to planning?

Rather than providing a comprehensive list including Enterprise Zone changes, Housing Zones and details of the Board members for the Ebbsfleet UDC as well as funding to support plans for the regeneration of Brent Cross, I have picked out four issues which caught my eye:

1. A Consultation has been launched jointly by DCLG and HM Treasury entitled “Technical Consultation on improvements in compulsory purchase processes”.  The Consultation runs from today until 9 June 2015 and applies to England only. 27 consultation questions are raised.  Alongside the Consultation, draft updated guidance on compulsory purchase and the Crichel Down Rules has been published with comments invited in the same timeframe as the consultation.

2. Further devolution of powers to the Mayor of London, including planning, are proposed. A consultation will be undertaken in relation to powers over sightlines and wharves which the Government hopes, if devolved to the Mayor, will speed up the provision of new homes by reducing planning delays.

3. Planning Guidance to Local Authorities will be updated this month to clarify that it should be possible for non-residential properties to rent out their existing parking spaces without requiring planning permission, provided that there are no substantive planning concerns.

4. In the next Parliament, the Government proposes to consult on bringing planning notification arrangements for deep geothermal energy planning into line with those for onshore oil and gas planning applications.


So if you have some land that you want to compulsorily acquire or rent out for parking or use to undertake deep geothermal energy production or to construct residential development in London then there is something in the Budget 2015 for you!