Briefing Note: Planning Reforms Update

This paper provides an update on Planning reforms (both policy and regulation) in Wales and England.  The paper provides a short summary of the Law Commission's work on Planning law in Wales, and the Welsh Government's announcement about forthcoming consultations on strategic development plans.

In England, the paper covers forthcoming national planning policy changes and regulatory reforms emanating from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government.  It also summarises other policy areas which are likely to have an effect on planning policy i.e. Industrial Strategy (BEIS), National Infrastructure Assessment (National Infrastructure Commission) and the 25-year Environment Plan (DEFRA).

GN35-17 Heritage and other farm buildings: The conversion of farm buildings to new uses

This Guidance Note gives strategic and design advice on developing proposals and getting consent for the adaptation of farm buildings to residential and other new uses, either by using the 2013-15 permitted development/prior approval schemes, or by making conventional planning applications based on the improved planning policy in the National Planning Policy Framework and improved (2017) Historic England advice.  In the former case, it is designed to be read with the two separate CLA Guidance Notes on the Class Q/R prior approval schemes.  Although not written for Wales, where both policies and permitted development are very different, it should be of help there too.

Its intention is to help members maximise their chances of getting consent for sympathetic conversions, to help to solve the continuing problem of hundreds of thousands of farm buildings in decay, and thus indirectly to encourage conversion-resistant local authorities to see the substantial benefits of sympathetic conversion.

GN30-17 Grid Scale Battery Storage

Technological advancement, falling costs and the increasing use of distributed generation within the UK's electricity supply means that, whilst the battery storage sector is still in its infancy, it is a hot topic in UK energy market.

This guidance note provides CLA members with an introduction to large scale battery technology exploring their role in the electricity supply and the potential opportunity as well as highlighting some aspects to consider from a landowner perspective.

GN24-17 Heritage: Local listing of heritage by local authorities in England and Wales

Local authorities are able to create 'local lists' of heritage assets which are not significant enough to qualify for national listing/scheduling etc but are felt to be of sufficient local significance to be taken into account in planning decisions.  Less than a third have actually adopted local lists, though more may do so in future.  Local listing gives this heritage a degree of protection, and many affect (positively or negatively) owners and neighbouring owners.  This Guidance Note explains how local listing can be carried out, what it means, and how members can be involved in, or influence, the process.

Inquiry into the Historic Environment

The Wales Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee is undertaking a rapid select committee inquiry into the historic environment, following the publication of new heritage policy and guidance in 2016-17, and the Historic Environemnt (Wales) Act 2016.  The CLA was closely involved in both, and the CLA evidence generally supports the Act and Cadw's new best practice guidance, but suggests better ways of addressing the problem of buildings at risk, and expresses strong concerns about the dangerous system of 'preservation notices' in a last-minute addition to the Act.  In addition it points out the need to reform the current very labour-intensive heritage protection system, so that it can operate much more effectively within the limited levels of resourcing which will actually be available on the ground.

GN18-17 Solutions for problem heritage and heritage at risk in England and Wales

This Guidance Note is the only guidance on this subject written from the viewpoint of those who own and manage heritage.  It is an introduction to the widespread problem of managing heritage which is in decay, usually because the cost of repairing and/or re-using the building is much greater than any feasible economic return.  It also suggests what you can do if there are local authority or Historic England/Cadw repair or compulsory purchase initiatives on buildings you manage or own.

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