12 MARCH 2014 – Arc planning has secured planning permission from London Borough of Barking and Dagenham for additional temporary storage areas required as part of the Crossrail project.

Arc were responsible for coordinating, submission and negotiation of the planning application

The project is also part of the RSPB Wallasea Island Habitat Creation scheme.


On 6 March Nick Boles announced the launch of the new National Planning Practice Guidance (‘NPPG’). The guidance has been in draft ‘Beta’ format since 28 August 2013. The NPPG contains 41 categories; from ‘Advertisements’ to ‘Water supply’. Each category contains sub-topics which when clicked on reveal a series of questions and answers. It is designed to be accessible and user friendly.

DCLG will be actively managing the planning practice guidance, and will make necessary updates including regular reviews to the guidance, to ensure it is relevant, usable and up-to-date and users are able to sign up to receive email alerts on changes to the Guidance.

Particular points of note in terms of the published NPPG include:

Guidance on the undertaking of housing assessments and methodologies including:

  • Allowing windfalls to be counted in housing numbers across the whole of the Local Plan period.
  • Allowing past over-supply of housing to be taken into account when assessing housing need.
  • Confirming that five year housing land supply assessments are not automatically outdated by new household projections.
  • Allowing for student housing, housing for older people and the re-use of empty homes to be included in assessments of housing need.

Guidance on Plan Making:

  • Providing clarification as to when Councils can consider refusing permission on the grounds of prematurity in relation to draft plans.
  • Making it clear that Local Plans can still pass the test of soundness where authorities have not been able to identify land for growth in years 11 – 15 of their Local Plan.
  • Further encouraging joint working between local authorities but clarifying that the duty to co-operate is not a duty to accept.

The guidance can be found here..


A further set of amendments to the CIL regulations came into force on 24th February 2014.

The amendments that come into force today include:

  • a new mandatory exemption for self-build housing, as well as new mandatory exemptions for residential annexes and extensions
  • a change to allow charging authorities to set differential rates by reference to the intended floorspace of development, or the intended number of units or dwellings
  • a change that will delay until April 2015 the date from which local authorities’ ability to seek financial contributions through the use of section 106 agreements will be scaled back
  • provisions that provide a basis for giving charging authorities the option to accept payments in kind through the provision of infrastructure either on-site or off-site for the whole or part of the levy payable on a development
  • a new ‘vacancy test’ so that buildings must have been in use for six continuous months out of the last three years for the levy to apply only to the net addition of floorspace. The rules had previously required a building to be in continuous lawful use for at least six of the previous 12 months
  • a requirement on the charging authority to strike an appropriate balance between the desirability of funding infrastructure from the levy and the potential effects of the levy on the economic viability of development across the area, rather than the aim to do so
  • provisions for phasing of levy payments to all types of planning permission to deal fairly with more complex developments.

Here is a link to the new CIL Regulations…..