Keep up to date with the latest planning news in Swale. This page includes information about recent changes to legislation, our web pages and the latest services provided by Planning Services.
There are more planning news stories on the government's Planning Portal.
From April 2014 the planning departments across Maidstone, Swale and Tunbridge Wells Borough Councils will be undergoing significant changes to their ICT systems and support services (Administration, Land Charges, Scanning, Validation and Technical Teams).
This means there will be changes to our website in the coming months, as well as changes to forms, letters and methods of communication where we will be driving towards more electronic access in line with the Government’s e-planning agenda.
This will result in reduced cost and increased efficiency of planning services across the three boroughs. This will also involve reviewing our reception and duty officer services. Planning services will still remain fully accessible and we will be undertaking direct consultation with groups that will be significantly impacted by these changes. An Equalities Impact Needs Assessment for these changes has been carried out.
We thank you for your patience as we improve our services.
We published our draft Local Plan on the 19 August 2013 and asked for your views. You can view the comments received on our consultation portal. It is likely that a summary of the comments received will be reported to our Local Development Framework Panel on the 5 December 2013.
From the 1 August 2013 we will be changing the way we refer customers to Planning Services.
Customers will be booked in at main reception by name, postcode and nature of visit before sending to Planning Services.
We are aware of a breach of planning control at this site, amounting to the laying of crushed concrete, and are acutely aware of the sensitivities of local residents to potential development here.
Whilst we cannot prejudice our consideration of a future application covering the development carried out, and any other development which might be proposed, we anticipate that the following information may prove useful to local residents and interested parties.
New! We have added a new section to our web pages, Planning Maps showing:
Please note that on Thursday 22 November 2012, all planning application fees will increase by 15%. The new scale of fees will be available from this date.
If you have any questions about this change, please contact our duty officer on 01795 417442 or by email.
It was agreed at the Full Council meeting on 11 January 2012 to change our charges for the 'pre application planning advice service'.
The new charges will come into effect from 6 April 2012. There will be a £50 charge to apply for a meeting about pre application advice for householder planning applications. There will also be a £25 charge for only written advice. The new fees can be found at 'Will I Get Planning Permission?' with a pre application request form and guidance about what to submit.
In a judgment delivered on 25 March the Court of Appeal decided that demolition constitutes a project under the terms of the EU Environmental Impact Assessment Directive after allowing SAVE Britain's Heritage's judicial review against the proposed demolition of the former Mitchell's Brewery site in Lancaster.
The Government had argued that the Town and Country Planning (Demolition - Description of Buildings) Direction 1995 paragraph 2 (1) provided that demolition of listed buildings (and buildings which were scheduled ancient monuments or in a Conservation Area) were not development and that as a result fell outside the EIA Directive.
In an earlier case the courts had agreed with the Secretary of State's stance that demolition of dwelling houses and buildings adjoining dwelling houses which have permitted development rights by Part 31, Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 did not (and could not) require EIA.
Since permitted development rights are withdrawn where EIA is required that view was of considerable practical importance in housing clearance and Pathfinder cases.
Now the Court of Appeal has ruled that demolition could be a project under Article 1.2 of the EIA Directive (either as a 'scheme' under the first limb of the Article or as 'other interventions in the natural surroundings and landscape' under the second limb).
A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesperson said: "This is a legal challenge that was initiated under the last administration, and stems from the implications of an EU Directive. We will now consider the judgement carefully and consider the next steps."
The Court of Appeal stated "It is a curious, and thoroughly unsatisfactory, feature of the Direction that those demolitions which are most likely to have an effect on the cultural heritage - the demolition of listed buildings, ancient monuments and buildings in a conservation area - are effectively excluded from the ambit of the Directive."
The Court granted the declaration sought by SAVE that paragraph 2 (1) (a) to (d) of the Demolition Direction are unlawful. The Court did not consider whether the exclusions in subparagraphs (e) and (f) are lawful.
The Secretary of State's applications for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court and for a stay of the declarations and quashing order were refused.
The judgment may also mean that proposals for demolition of listed buildings and buildings in conservation areas may need EIA.
The Government's chief planner, Steve Quartermain, has written to local authorities drawing their attention to the Court of Appeal Judgement.
From the 5 July 2010 to ensure that future planning applications are well prepared and have the appropriate information and plans, the council is improving its pre- application service. This service will enable us to become more actively involved in planning applications at an early stage. This will help improve the quality of design , encourage greater public consultation and enable the council to process pre application enquiries and subsequent planning applications more quickly (for details see the Pre-Application Advice page)
The Planning Committee on 1 April 2010 adopted its own local list of validation requirements for the submission of planning applications.
From 5 July 2010 all applications submitted to Swale will be assessed against both national and local checklists. The national list of validation requirements was introduced by the Government to accompany the new system of standard planning application forms (1 APP) and took effect from 6 April 2008. More information on national validation requirements and 1 APP forms can be viewed at Planning Portal.
The local list of information requirements is intended to cover all scenarios relating to development proposals. The intention is to help developers prepare applications properly with all information submitted at the start of the process. However, where such information is not submitted then the applications will be invalid and not registered until the receipt of the outstanding information is provided. It may then be returned with an explanation why.
The checklist requires a positive input, ie if information is not submitted as shown on the checklist then the applicants are asked to demonstrate why it is not required. The intention behind this is to encourage applicants to positively address issues and explain why such information might not be required.
If you have any queries regarding the above then please email, phone 01795 417442 or write to:
The Development Manager, Planning Services, Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne, ME10 3HT