Housing Delivery Test; Defra Consultation on Biodiversity Net Gain; Development Management Challenge toolkit; and more...

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28 January 2022

Planning Advisory Service

Happy New Year to all of our readers. I hope you had a lovely break over the festive period and have come back refreshed for what looks to be a busy start to the year.

I have just returned from a period of absence. It turns out that I don't react very well at all to the COVID virus and I definitely will not want to be repeating that experience.

Thank you to everyone who has sent their best wishes over this period, it is very much appreciated. It is great to be back and, just as I expected, the PAS team have managed marvellously without me. In strange times such as these you need a great team around you, I found this when I was working in councils and it remains the case in my current role.

PAS has lots of events planned in the coming months that you will need to sign up. They deal with some of the most topical issues in planning at the moment including the Housing Delivery Test, Biodiversity Net Gain, Development Management performance and the Plan making process

Please keep an eye on our events page and look out for invitations in your inbox. There is plenty going on and our support programmes continue apace so please get in touch if there is anything we could help you with. Here's to a positive and productive 2022 for planners.

Anna Rose PAS
Principal Advisor

Housing Delivery Test

The 2021 Housing Delivery Test (HDT) has been published, meaning over 100 councils now need to prepare an Action Plan. Never fear, PAS is here to help and we are running two types of events to help council officers.

  1. A series of 'HDT coffee mornings' for officers who have never written an Action Plan before
  2. A webinar for those councils now facing the 'presumption of sustainable development'. 

Book your place on the HDT webinar

Defra Consultation on Biodiversity Net Gain

Defra has published its consultation on Biodiversity Net Gain regulations and implementation. It's open until 5 April 2022. 

To help Local Planning Authorities (LPA) understand what it covers and how best to respond, we are running overview events with Defra, Natural England and DLUHC for local authority officers on 8, 10 and 16 February and for councillors on 15 February.

We will also run deep-dive topic-based discussion sessions in March - dates TBC.

(Until) A change is gonna come – Can we future proof our plan making activity? 

We sold out our January events twice over so we are running these sessions again on 10 February. Amongst planning reform speculation Government’s most consistent message has been "getting plans in place for 2023". We’re going to be sharing our learning from councils currently preparing and reviewing their local plans. We’re focusing on the requirements that are unlikely to change in any new system. This includes project management, evidence bases and cooperating on strategic matters. Come along to one of our sessions on 10 February.

Future Proofing the Plan Making Process (AM session)

Future Proofing the Plan Making Process (PM Session)

Development Management Challenge toolkit

We are holding a training workshop with practical tips on how to use the newly updated toolkit.  Peter Ford will host the workshop alongside two practitioners who are currently using the toolkit as part of their improvement plans.

Book your place for the toolkit training workshop  

First Homes - Section 106 model clauses

Just in case you missed it during the holidays,  DLUHC has now published model Section 106 clauses for delivering First Homes through developer contributions.

For First Homes being delivered through the Government’s grant-funded pilot programmes with Homes England, separate template documents are available from Homes England.

Biodiversity Metric FAQ

We have worked with Natural England to answer your questions on the Biodiversity Metric and added these to our Biodiversity Net Gain FAQs webpage. Feedback and additional questions to add to the page are always welcome. Contact Beccy at rebecca.moberly@local.gov.uk.

Updates to Natural England standing advice on protected species and ancient woodland

Natural England has reviewed and updated its standing advice on protected species and its joint standing advice with the Forestry Commission on ancient woodland, ancient and veteran trees for LPAs. The species advice has been streamlined and simplified, with a clearer distinction between planning and licensing requirements and updated links to other guidance.

Pilgrim Pete's blog

In response to the reports of unacceptable stress being seen among local authority planners, Pilgrim Pete tries to bring the joy back to working as a local authority planning officer using a rather unusual angle to convince you. 

Bring the joy back in being a planning officer 

The latest Khub posts

Definition of a new dwelling for housing supply figures

First Homes (decision making in the medium term)

Monitoring self build plots