From:                              Cornwall Council Planning Service <egdcustomerrelations=cornwall.gov.uk@mail3.atl31.mcdlv.net> on behalf of Cornwall Council Planning Service <egdcustomerrelations@cornwall.gov.uk>

Sent:                               19 April 2017 15:42

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Subject:                          Planning Newsletter - April 2017

 

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April 2017

Previous newsletters

 

Communities and Devolution Newsletter

Information for Town and Parish Councils
 

In this Planning issue

  • Neighbourhood Planning Surgeries
  • Cornwall Local Plan Adoption
  • Future communications
  • Empty properties
  • Principal Residence Policies
  • New Business Regulatory Support service - Supporting Local Business across Cornwall

and more...

 

Welcome to the seventh Planning Newsletter

We hope you find the information in this special Planning Newsletter interesting and useful.

Please let us know if there is anything you would like us to cover in future newsletters.

Phone: 01872 323984
egdcustomerrelations@cornwall.gov.uk

Kind regards
Customer Relations team, Economic Growth & Development


Planning Partnership

The Cornwall Planning Partnership held its first meeting of 2017 on the 7th  March. The group received an update on the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) which provoked much debate and resulted in a sub-group being formed of 2 clerks and 2 councillors to work with the Council’s Policy team to consider how to carry out engagement and ensure Local Council input prior to the next stage in the process. The final draft of the CIL Charging schedule is hoped to be published in May following consideration by the Cabinet on 16th March.
 
Local Council consultation responses – the need for both local councils and planning case officers to state specific policies in their responses and reports was also discussed.  It was agreed to ask all Clerks to refer to their specific policies that would apply in their own Neighbourhood Plans, and also the Local Plan policies if possible, in their consultation responses to Planning.
 
The Cornwall pre-app protocol for Local Councils has now been live since Autumn 2016 and we now have 35 towns and parishes who have signed-up to this way of dealing with pre-applications and working with both the Council and developers in engaging local residents on pre-application proposals.  As part of measures to ensure greater community engagement and involvement in new developments in Cornwall, the Council has decided to introduce a new process as part of their pre-application advice service.  Planning case officers will advise applicants and agents on the most appropriate form of community engagement for their proposal.  This will form part of all pre-application discussions from May 2017.  One of those options recommended will be to work with the Local Council to facilitate an event for local residents, and the Cornwall pre-app protocol for Local Council sets out one way this can be achieved.  Planning case officers will continue to advise developers to liaise with the Local Council regardless of which option for community engagement they recommend however.  Information on the Cornwall pre-app protocol for Local Councils can be found on the Planning Partnership webpage:
 
http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/planning/local-councils/planning-partnership-meetings/
 
Enforcement is a hot topic in the group, and a Partnership workshop was held on 23rd February with relevant Development Management and Enforcement staff to consider reporting processes, retrospective planning applications, interactions between enforcement officer and local council, what constitutes a breach, and compliance with planning conditions, amongst others.  A range of actions to be taken forward came out of the workshop and will be communicated to all local councils shortly.
 
Work is almost complete on the new online planning training guide, “A day in the life of a planning application” which covers the whole planning process from an initial approach to the Council with a concept or proposal to actions after a formal decision has been made.  This training aid is the result of the first workshop held by the Planning Partnership and is an example of the sort of thing, the group is achieving together.  It is hoped the guide will not only benefit Local Councils but will be a resource for new Members, the public and a much wider audience.  The idea for the guide came from the Partnership workshop, content was agreed and added to at Partnership meetings as the guide was being progressed, and the whole thing was proof-read by a small team of volunteers from the Partnership prior to publication.  The interactive guide will be available on the Council’s website from May 2017 and contains guidance, links, information on processes from pre-application through to determination of a formal application, the Appeals process and Enforcement.  Coming soon … in May!
 
Finally, the next meeting of the Partnership is on 14th June and requests for items to be raised can be sent to David Edmondson at dedmondson@cornwall.gov.uk, or Sarah Mason at enquiries@cornwallalc.org.uk
 


Neighbourhood Planning
 
Groups in Cornwall continue to be very active, with 88 designated neighbourhood plan areas; this includes 5 cluster Neighbourhood Plans where two or more parishes are working together, so 103 parishes are preparing or have completed a neighbourhood plan. The easiest way to find out about neighbourhood planning activity in Cornwall is to visit this page of the Cornwall Council Neighbourhood Planning Toolkit:  Neighbourhood Planning in Cornwall  Bude-Stratton, Roche, Rame Peninsula and St Minver Parishes Neighbourhood Plans will go to referendum alongside the Council elections on May 4
th and Gwinear Gwithian and North Hill Neighbourhood Plans are currently being examined.
 


Cornwall Community Infrastructure Levy

The proposed rates for a Cornwall CIL were set out in a Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule which underwent a six week public consultation in January/February 2017.  Seventy-three representations were received from individuals, developers, Parish/Town Councils, businesses and organisations across Cornwall.  Representations received can be accessed via the Council’s CIL webpages at www.cornwall.gov.uk/cil

Comments received were considered and have informed production of a Draft Charging Schedule, which is the next step in development of a CIL for Cornwall.  Following Cabinet approval in March, the Draft Charging Schedule will be published for consultation later in the year; it is anticipated that this will begin in May. 

In addition to the Draft Charging Schedule, the next round of consultation will also see publication of three other draft CIL documents which we will be seeking comments on:
                                                 

  • Regulation 123 List – this sets out the infrastructure projects, or types of infrastructure, that Cornwall Council may fund, in whole or in part, through CIL. 
  • Instalment Policy – this sets out the options for developers to pay their CIL charge in instalments, dependant to the total CIL a development is liable to pay.
  • Discretionary Relief Policy – this sets out the relief that Cornwall Council proposes to provide to eligible development, over and above the mandatory relief provided for through the CIL Regulations. 

None of the documents included in this consultation contain information about the decision making process for how CIL income will be distributed and spent.  This will be informed by the outcome of an ongoing governance review, and will be a focus of attention for the new administration.  Parishes should talk to their local Councillor about this in due course. However, what is known is that at least 15% of CIL will be returned to Parish where it is raised, unless there is a Neighbourhood Development Plan in place when it is increased to 25%.

Representations received during the consultation period will be considered and, if required, alternations will be made to the Draft Charging Schedule and published through a Statement of Modifications.  The Draft Charging Schedule will then be submitted to the Secretary of State for examination in public.

If, once the Draft Charging Schedule has been examined, it is found to be sound and capable of adoption by an independent examiner, it will be considered by our Full Council for adoption. Once adopted, the CIL charges will be applied to any new applicable developments that receive planning approval.

More information on the CIL, and development of a CIL in Cornwall, can be found on the Council’s website at www.cornwall.gov.uk/cil.  For specific queries, please contact the Local Plans team at cil@cornwall.gov.uk or phone 01872 224665 who will be happy to help.

 


Neighbourhood Planning Surgeries

Neighbourhood planning officers facilitated ‘surgeries’ in Truro, Bodmin and Camborne in early March, where NDP groups were able to book a 45 minute slot to discuss progress and seek advice on plan preparation. The feedback from attendees was so positive that we are setting up quarterly sessions to continue providing this option to all groups. The next round of surgeries will be in late May/ early June in the following locations:
 

Wednesday May 31st

9am – 5pm

Liskeard, Luxtowe House

Thursday June 1st

9am – 5pm

Truro, Pydar House

Wednesday June 7th

9 am – 5pm

Camborne, Dolcoath

Friday June 9th

9 am – 5pm

Bodmin, Chy Trevail

Wednesday June 14th

9 am – 5pm

Penzance, St John’s Hall

 
Sessions will be 45 minutes long and start on the hour. Groups can book by emailing neighbourhoodplanning@cornwall.gov.uk
 


Community Engagement

As part of pre-application or Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) discussions, a planning case officer will advise applicants and developers on the most appropriate form of community engagement for a proposal; this advice will form part of all pre-application discussions.
 
Full details of the options for Community Engagement, together with Frequently Asked Questions, can be found in the Pre-application Community Engagement guidance note.
 
Notice of upcoming Pre-application Community Engagement Forums will also be published on the website.  Neighbours will be invited to a Forum (in accordance with the Council’s standard neighbour notification criteria for planning applications) and the wider community will be able to find out details of these events on the Community Engagement webpages.  This will not however apply to confidential requests for pre-application advice.
 

What place does Green Infrastructure play in your parish?

 

Cornwall Council has recently started a new European partnership (Interreg) project called ‘PERFECT’ that is being undertaken with the Town and Country Planning Association and six other European partners. PERFECT (Planning for Resource efficiency in European Cities and Towns) is a five year study designed to help raise awareness of the benefits that investing in green infrastructure can have in addressing social, economic and environmental issues in Cornwall.

 

The aim of the project is to increase both knowledge and the provision of green infrastructure in Cornwall. Neighbourhood Plans are great places to include proposals to increase greenspaces and accessibility for both people and nature. We will shortly be developing guidance for Neighbourhood Plans on how to help improve the environment in parishes through investment green infrastructure provision and maintenance.

 

A description of the project may be viewed at: www.cornwall.gov.uk/perfect and Robert Lacey can be contacted at (01872) 224319 if you have any questions on the survey or the project.
 


Cornwall Local Plan Adoption
 
The adoption of the Cornwall Local Plan provides a clear policy framework for groups preparing a neighbourhood plan. Neighbourhood plans should not repeat higher level policies, but focus on where they can add extra local detail.
 
The Cornwall Local Plan Policy 3, Role and Function of Places, identifies housing targets for main towns and a figure that needs to be provided by the rural areas of each community network area.
 
Neighbourhood plans will need to demonstrate how they are meeting their share of this distribution in order to be in general conformity with the Local Plan. The neighbourhood planning team can help you to understand the basic level of development your plan should aim for, which groups can then refine through consultation and analysis of evidence.



Principal Residence Policies

One of the main stories in neighbourhood planning over the last few months has been the inclusion of a principal residence policy in the St Ives NDP. A legal challenge was dismissed and this may encourage other neighbourhood plans to include restrictions on second homes.
 
It’s important for groups considering the inclusion of a principal residence policy to justify the need for this to provide evidence that the second homes market is having a detrimental impact on the sustainability of their community.
 
Groups should also consider the wider impacts of the policy, which will affect development viability and may reduce the provision of affordable housing or other community benefits: NDPs which include a principal residence policy may drop one ‘Value Zone’ for Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and affordable housing. See Appendix 2 of the Cornwall Local plan for Value Zones and the percentage of affordable housing which can be required in each zone.



Empty Properties

Empty properties are a wasted resource which could be used for homes. They can also be an eyesore or cause other problems.
 
Cornwall Council works to bring empty properties back into habitable use to help contribute to housing supply and improve the area. Ideally this is achieved by coordinated provision of advice and financial assistance to property owners, including through our Empty Property Loan scheme. However, if an owner is not engaging or cooperating with the Council, we may resort to enforcement action.
 
If you have concerns about an empty property in your area, please contact the Empty Homes Team: Email: emptyhomes@cornwall.gov.uk or Telephone: 01726 223600
 
Further information about the work of the team, including links to information leaflets, is available on our website: www.cornwall.gov.uk/emptyproperties
 


Delivering quality through planning appeals


Since the adoption of the Local Plan, we have seen a marked increase in our success rate in defending planning appeals.  We are currently successfully defending 90% of our planning appeals.  We have a number of appeal decisions confirming that the Council can demonstrate a 5 year land supply, which will assist us going forward as it is an issue which will be regularly challenged in appeals. We have received less appeals in the calendar year to date compared to previous years, which is also positive news.  The successful appeal decisions highlight that demonstrating and keeping a 5 year supply of housing is critical if we want to deliver quality development in the area.


Future Communications

We’re investigating different forms of communications – Would you like to receive notifications via a text message to alert you to the newsletter being available to view? Please let our Customer Relations Team know by emailing egdcustomerrelations@cornwall.gov.uk and include the word TEXT in your subject heading.



New Business Regulatory Support service - Supporting Local Business across Cornwall

 

The success and growth of local business across our county is not just in the interests of business operators. A successful business sector will bring with it, increased wealth and a sense of well-being which will bring benefits across all of our local communities, everybody wins.

 

Within Cornwall Council we are as regulators working hard to do our bit in partnership with the business community, to help build and sustain the conditions for business growth. We are seeking to do this by the provision of readily accessible, sound, consistent and timely advice to help you grow and succeed.

 

We are here to provide support and help across regulatory spectrum including food safety, trading standards, environmental protection, licensing, health and safety, fire safety, planning and building control. Business surveys have regularly shown the desire from business for a single point of contact within your local authority, with whom you can do your business. This has always been difficult to achieve because of the vast range of topics we cover, we have though now put in place a Business Regulatory Support Hub (tel. 0300 1234 212), staffed by individuals who know and understand business needs, and who have in many cases worked in the private sector.

 

The aim is not only to get you the support and advice you need, but to get it to you quickly and in a format that works for you. We give a named contact and a 9-5 Monday to Friday same day response.

 

We can offer a range of services to businesses and Town & Parish Councils. We offer a range of water sampling services, expert advice in health and safety and fire matters, a full range of training across safety, fire wardens, first aid and food safety. We can even tailor courses to your needs. For a full range of services see our website www.businessregulatorysupport.co.uk


Planning Enforcement

Information regarding planning enforcement complaints can be found at:

http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/planning/enforcement/
 
If you wish to find out more about our enforcement options you can find more details in our Planning Enforcement Fact Sheet or Enforcement Toolkit.
 
The Quarterly Planning Enforcement Report 2016/17 Quarter 4 is prepared to summarise the level of enforcement activity for planning enforcement within Cornwall Council for the quarter:-
 
1 January 2017 - 31 March 2017


Useful links

Quick links to pages on our website you may find useful:


Useful information for Planning Consultees

Find out about the online planning register, how to respond and what happens after your comments are received.

http://www.cornwall.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/planning/information-for-planning-consultees/


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