Feb 102012

February 2012 Newsletter


PPD has now been in existence for two months, and we have received great encouragement from clients and friends since starting.   Thanks to all for the good wishes received.

The company website contains a growing selection of comments and news on all aspects of the planning system, and in particular those parts of the new Scottish system that we find people still get confused about. 

This bulletin aims to update you on current Scottish planning issues.

Please visit our website for general information: https://pp-d.co.uk/

Development plans

We’ll start by boring everyone with the same comment that it is imperative that they need to protect  their land interests by taking part in the development plan approval process.

Many of us were cynical of the Government’s aim of speeding-up the preparation and approval of development plans.  That cynicism has proved to be well-founded.    It is unbelievable how slow many authorities have been;  and in council areas covered by a Strategic Development Plan, desperately  slow.  The SDPs have been lumbering along slowly, some swamped in a sea of verbiage.

One technique that a number of councils have adopted, which we have found useful, is to start land-searches early in the process.   This has taken the form of “calls for sites” – even before the Main Issues Report (MIR) stage.  A gazetteer of “candidate” sites is then published, together with an assessment process which may rank the sites into various categories:  eg, from  “promoted for inclusion in the housing land supply” down to “rejected”.   This allows site owners to make an early assessment of the work they will have to do to get a site into the plan.  It also allows communities to understand what land is being promoted for development.   The system assumes going straight from the Main Issues Report to the Draft Plan, which is a big jump.

Have a look at progress with development plans at :

Householder Permitted Development Rights

Having been in gestation for years, the new householder permitted development rights at last came into effect on 6thFebruary.   The long consultation and revision process has been worthwhile, as apart from one or two mind-benders, the terminology and most Class descriptions are quite easy to understand – certainly compared to the drafts.    We wonder how many two-storey extensions will succeed in meeting the “10m from the boundary” requirement.  We had a laugh at the maximum height of a ramp being set at 0.4m and its length at 9m :  odd numbers like these used to turn up in old legislation when dimensions were converted over from imperial.   Those who enjoy the world of legislation wordplay also probably laughed at Class 2B which introduced the interesting scenario that an addition to a dwelling house that protrudes up to a metre from its envelope is not an “enlargement”.

Have a look at our comments on the new householder permitted development rights at :

You can access the Statutory Instrument at : http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2011/357/pdfs/ssi_20110357_en.pdf

Local Review

There is growing experience and frustration with the Local Review procedure, and some developers are realising that it is judicious to make best endeavours to ensure that planning applications are determined by the planning committee, rather than delegated to officers.

Have a look at our comments on “local” planning applications, and Local Review Bodies :