What's new

Communities and Local Government - postpone designation letter

8 November 2013 - Communities and Local Government (CLG) advised that they have decided to 'put back the first designation of county matter authorities by six months'.  The details are available on our 'How well are we doing|' page.

Communities and Local Government - pre-designation letter

8 October 2013 - We responded to a pre-designation letter received from Communities and Local Government (CLG) related to our development control performance.  The details are available on our 'How well are we doing|' page.

Amendments to the planning fee regulations 

1 October 2013 - The 2013 amendments| to the 2012 planning fee regulations| came into effect.  The amendments included a new regulation that means that applicants can now have their money back if their application has not been determined after 26 weeks, unless they have agreed to extra time. We've updated our fee guidance accordingly|.

Consultation on National Planning Practice Guidance

28 August 2013 – Communities and Local Government (CLG) published the ‘National Planning Practice Guidance|’  to support the National Planning Policy Framework.  CLG are inviting feedback on this new web based draft guidance by 9 October 2013.

Consultation on Updated National Waste Planning  Policy: Planning for Sustainable Waste Management

1 August 2013 - Communities and Local Government (CLG) are currently consulting on a draft of updated national waste planning policy for England, Planning for sustainable waste management. The consultation closes on 23 September 2013.

 PDF Document Consultation draft - Updated national waste planning policy: Planning for sustainable waste management|

Planning Guidance for onshore oil and gas.

19 July 2013 - Communities and Local Government (CLG) have announced new planning practice guidance for onshore and gas| (external link). The guidance provides advice on planning issues assoicated with the three phases of extraction of hydocarbons.

Consultation on Draft Waste Management Plan for England

17 July 2013 - Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs| (external link) are currently consulting on a draft Waste Management Plan for England. The consultation closes on 9 August 2013.

PDF Document  Consultation Draft - Waste Management Plan for England (July 2013)|

Changes to reduce the number of Design and Access Statements

14 June 2013 - The Government has introduced changes effective from 25 June 2013 to reduce the number of types of applications that must be accompanied by a Design and Access Statement|

Revocation of West Midlands Regional Strategy and Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Structure Plan

20 May 2013 - The Government Order revoking the Regional Strategy for the West Midlands and the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Structure Plan has now come into effect. For more details see the Chief Planning Officer letter - 24 April 2013| (adobe pdf, 1mb).

Assessment of saved mineral policies and their consistency with the National Planning Policy Framework

7 March 2013 - The findings of an assessment of our saved minerals policies| in terms of their consistency with the National Planning Policy Framework were presented to the County Council's Planning Committee.

Consultation on nationally significant infrastructure planning:

26 November 2012 - Communities and Local Government (CLG) consultation| (external link) on proposals to extend the type of projects that may be treated as nationally significant infrastructure.  The proposed list includes mineral development over 100 hectares in size.

Adobe pdf document CLG consultation 26-11-12 - extending the nationally significant infrastructure regime|

Adobe pdf document Staffordshire County Council's response to the consultation 20-12-12|  

New fees come into effect on 22 November

14 November 2012 - Communities and Local Government (CLG) confirmed that new fees come into effect on 22 November 2012.  The updated schedule of fees is available on our Application Forms page|.

Adobe pdf document Communities and Local Government letter - application fee increase|

Extensions to planning permissions and positive and proactive statements

18 September 2012 - Communities and Local Government (CLG) have advised that there is to be a one year extension to the temporary provisions introduced in 2009, which allow applicants to apply to extend the time limits for implimenting planning permissions granted between 1 October 2009 and 1 October 2010.  The new legislation will take effect on 1 October 2012.

Adobe pdf document Letter to Chief Planning Officers from CLG -18 September 2012|

Advice about forthcoming increase in planning fees

19 July 2012 - Communities and Local Government (CLG) have advised that regulations introducing new planning application fees and fees for monitoring site visits are to be laid before Parliament.

The Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications, Deemed Applications, Requests and Site Visits) (England) Regulations 2012| (external link)

New provisions for neighbourhood planning, non-domestic microgeneration, planning registers and consultation arrangements

4 April 2012 - Communities and Local Government| (CLG)(external link) announced that from 6 April 2012 new provisions relating to neighbourhood planning, permitted development rights for new non-domestic microgeneration, and development management procedures - planning registers and changes to consultation arrangements will come ino effect.

The National Planning Policy Framework

27 March 2012 - Communities and Local Government (CLG) published the National Planning Policy Framework| (external link).  The document is accompanied by a 'letter to the Chief Planning Officers'| (external link) and technical guidance| (external link) to do with flood risk and minerals planning.

The Government says that this new framework is a key part of their reforms to make the planning system less complex and more accessible, to protect the environment and to promote sustainable growth.

The Planning Casework Unit - update

10 February 2012 - Communities and Local Government (CLG) issued a 'letter to the Chief Planning Officers'| (external link) to provide details of the address and role of the Planning Casework Unit which replaced the work of the Government Offices in March 2011.

The Localism Act

15 November 2011 - The Localism Bill received Royal Ascent| (external link)

According to the Government, the five key measures| (external link) are:

  • Community rights
  • Neighbourhood planning
  • Housing
  • General power of competence
  • Empowering cities and other local areas

New Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations

24 August 2011 - The Town and Country Planning Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2011| (external link) came into force.  The new regulations consolidate, update and replace the earlier regulations.

The regulations introduce the following significant new features:

  • a duty to give reasons for negative screening decisions;
  • clarification regarding the handling of subsequent applications in relation to EIA development;
  • changes to the screening of modifications or extensions to projects;
  • confirmation that screening directions for Schedule 2 development may be requested from the Secretary of State by any person, and that such direction may include development below the Schedule 2 thresholds.

The regulations also introduce new provisions, such as the inclusion of sites for the geological storage of carbon dioxide and installations for the capture of carbon dioxide streams for the purposes of geological storage.

Communities and Local Government (CLG) have promised to publish new guidance shortly.  In the meantime advice is available from the CLG archive web page|.

Draft National Planning Policy Framework

25 July 2011 - Communities and Local Government (CLG) published a consultation on a draft National Planning Policy Framework document which is intended to replace the existing Planning Policy Guidance (PPGs) and Planning Policy Statements (PPSs).  The consultation period ends on 17 October 2011.  The document contains guidance on planning for minerals development but specifically excludes guidance on planning for waste development which will continue for the time being to be found in PPS10| and the companion guide| (external links).

Review of National Waste Policy in England 2011

14 June 2011 - The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (defra) published a review of waste policy in England| (external link).  The document 'contains actions and commitments for the government and other key actors, which together set a clear direction towards a zero waste economy.'

EU Directive and Local Waste Plans

31 January 2011 - Adobe pdf documentStaffordshire County Council's response to 10 January CLG letter|

10 January 2011 - Communities and Local Government (CLG) wrote to Waste Planning Authorities to remind them about the requirements of the EU Framework Directive on Waste to have up to date local waste plans in place in a Adobe pdf documentletter to Chief Planners|.

The Localism Bill

13 December 2010 - The Government published the Localism Bill and on 15 December Communities and Local Government (CLG) wrote to explain the Bill in a Adobe pdf documentletter to Chief Planners| (37 kb).

Proposals to introduce new planning fees

15 November 2010 - Communities and Local Government (CLG) published proposals to allow Local Authorities to set their own charges for planning applications| (external link)

Government confirms its intention to abolish regional spatial strategies

10 November 2010 - Communities and Local Government (CLG) published updated advice to Chief Planners| (external link)

The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2010

1 October 2010 - Communities and Local Government (CLG) published advice about changes to planning procedural legislation, effective from 1 October 2010, in a letter to Chief Planners| (external link)

The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2010| (external link)

'Guidance on information requirements and validation'

March 2010 - Communities and Local Government (CLG) published 'Guidance on information requirements and validation' which cancelled section 3 of Circular 01/2006 Design and Access Statements and all of Circular 02/2008 Standard Application Forms and Validation' and all of 'The Validation of Planning Applications: guidance for local planning authorities' (2007). The new guidance took effect from 6 April 2010.

In the new guidance:

Adobe pdf documentGuidance on information requirements and validation - March 2010| (335 KB)

'Greater flexibility for planning permissions' - new guidance

November 2009 - Communities and Local Government (CLG) published new guidance relating to extensions to the time limits for the implementation of planning permissions; non-material amendments; and, minor material amendments which came into effect on 1 October 2009.

Adobe pdf documentGreater flexibility for planning permissions' - new guidance - November 2009|

To understand the new procedures you are advised to read the guidance above.  In brief the key changes are as follows:

Extensions to the time to implement a new planning permission

This is a temporary measure that only applies to permissions granted before 1 October 2009 and which have not yet been implemented i.e. during the normal 3 year implementation period. (A 12 month extension has been allowed to include permissions granted between 1 October 2009 and 1 October 2010 - see 18 September 2012 above). 

There is a standard application form for making this type of application, available via the National Planning Portal web site.

Adobe pdf document National Planning Portal - application forms|
Adobe pdf document National Planning Portal - help text|
Adobe pdf document  National Planning Portal - extension applications - guidance note|

This is treated as a new application so a fee is payable and if approved, a new permission would be issued.

New fees were introduced with effect from 26 February 2010. For major applications the fee is £500; for other cases £170.

Non-material amendments

This change seeks to regularise the minor amendments process that was sometimes used. It is intended to be a simple application procedure and enable a quick turnaround time.  There is no statutory definition of 'non-material' as it must be considered in the context of the overall scheme.  It is for the County Council to decide whether the change is 'non-material'.

Only a person with an interest in the land can make this type of application. 

Adobe pdf document National Planning Portal - non-material amendments application form|  
Adobe pdf document National Planning Portal - help text|  
Adobe pdf document National Planning Portal - guidance note|

As this is not an application for planning permission existing statutory consultation, publicity and notification arrangements do not apply.  However the applicant must notify anyone who owns the land or where the land comprises an agricultural holding, the tenant of that holding.  This type of application should be determined within 28 days, unless a longer period has been agreed.

The decision is issued in writing and the decision letter will describe the non-material amendments to the planning permission.  The original permission will not be re-issued but the letter will state that it must be read in conjunction with the original planning permission.

New fees were introduced with effect from 26 February 2010. The fee is £170.

Minor material amendments

Section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 allows changes to be made to conditions applying to existing permissions.  The changes are intended to streamline this process.  More discretion is available about who to consult (except where it is an EIA application); and, there is no need to provide a design and access statement.

A non statutory definition of a 'minor material amendment' is "one whose scale and nature results in a development which is not substantially different from the one which has been approved."

This type of application can only be used if there is a condition listing the relevant plan(s), or the relevant wording of a condition to be amended in the original permission.

The existing standard Section 73 application form should continue to be used via the National Planning Portal| (external link).

A standard fee is payable - again the National Planning Portal| (external link) can advise. 

An application to extend the time to implement a planning permission made at the same time must be determined first.  If successful this would lead to the issue of a new permission.  As the new permission was issued after 1 October 2009, an application to extend the implementation cannot be considered.

Existing consultation, publicity and notification will apply but they may be proportionate according to the extent of the impact of the changes.

A fresh planning permission would be issued, setting out all the conditions pertaining to the original permission, as amended, updated or changed as necessary.  A section 73 application cannot be used to vary the time to implement the original permission.

New design advice for waste management facilities - October 2008

Defra, in conjunction with CABE, have published new advice about the design of waste management facilities 

Adobe pdf document Designing waste facilities - a guide to modern design in waste| (3 MB)

This guidance has been added to the Design and Access Statement information in our updated A to Z Guide available our National and Local List page|.

Charging for pre-application discussions - August 2008

On 4 August 2008 Planning Committee approved a recommendation to consult on plans to introduce charges for pre-application discussions. The consultation was due to take place in the autumn 2008 but has been held back due to the resource implications and the down turn in the economy and applications.  For more details visit our Pre-application advice page|.

Pre-application advice forms - August 2008

We've introduced new forms to aid the pre-application process.  The forms correspond with the validation forms we now use to validate planning applications.  They are therefore designed to encourage applicants at a very early stage to consider the range of information that might need to be prepared for submission in support of applications for waste development and the County Council's own developments. For more details visit our Pre-application advice page|.

New planning application fees from 6 April 2008

With effect from 6 April 2008 the Government has introduced new planning application fees. A significant feature of the new fees is the introduction of fees for requests for confirmation of compliance with conditions or submissions of detail requiring approval following the grant of planning permission.  The charge of £85, will apply to submissions of detail required in connection with all permissions granted by us except for those that are subject to monitoring fees (i.e. permissions for mineral and landfill sites).

Adobe pdf documentFees for Applications - Statutory Instrument 2008 No 958
Adobe pdf documentExplanatory Memorandum
Adobe pdf documentCircular 4/2008 Planning-related Fees|

1APP standard application form and local list of validation requirements 

New national standard planning application forms came into effect from 6 April 2008 together with national and local lists of validation requirements. For more details visit our Application Forms, Fees and Advice page.

'Saved policies'

'Saved policies'| provides the latest information about the strategic, minerals and waste planning policies that have been saved as part of the development plan after 28 September 2007.

Outline and Reserved Matters

New outline and reserved matter procedures take effect from 10 August 2006

The Government has published new requirements relating to outline and reserved matter planning applications which take effect from 10 August 2006. 

Adobe pdf documentCircular 01/2006 'Guidance on Changes to the Development Control System'|

Generally speaking, as a County Planning Authority, we do not receive applications for outline planning permission and subsequently therefore reserved matter applications.  We do occasionally however receive applications for County Council's own development in outline e.g. an application for a new industrial estate on County Council owned land.

Design and Access Statements must now accompany planning applications

With effect from 10 August 2006, a Design and Access Statement (DAS) must accompany all planning applications, except for:

  • applications for a material change of use to land or buildings (not including operational development)
  • engineering and mining operations; and,
  • householder development (except in a designated area such as a National Park; SSSI, AONB, World Heritage Site and the Broads).
For more details visit our Design and Access Statements advice page|.

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