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IDeA - Councils to play major role in beating the recession

Local authority planning officers can help to kick-start local regeneration programmes by using their powers to allow developments to go ahead without the need for a planning application, if they can see that proposals meet previously agreed criteria. The process is called 'Local Development Orders'.

Five pilot programmes are already underway, and now the government wants up to another seven local authorities to come forward to be the next phase of pilots. The deadline for initial expressions of interest is 8 February 2010, and funds will be available from April to help them.

The initiative is being managed by the Planning Advisory Service (PAS), part of the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA), and the work is funded by Communities and Local Government (CLG).

Councillor Ian Swithenbank Chairman of IDeA said:

"Research carried out for PAS found that local development orders could provide a positive solution for councils in a variety of development situations. In this time of economic pressure it will be councils who can take the initiative with developers to bring change, and this another positive way forward."

Local authority planners are asked to contact:

Gillian Morgan
telephone: 07717 720682
email: gillian.morgan@idea.gov.uk

Background

The five pilot projects now running are:

Cornwall unitary authority: community engagement

Cornwall are piloting using an local development order (LDO) in conjunction with a parish or town council based design guide to encourage greater engagement by the local councils in planning.

Cornwall unitary authority: community engagement – on the PAS website.

London Development Agency (LDA) partnership: energy

This partnership between the Thames Gateway Development Corporation, London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Havering are looking to use their LDO to support a district heating network.  The network will use waste heat that currently goes into the River Thames.

London Development Agency partnership: energy – on the PAS website.

Hertsmere Borough Council: town centre regeneration

Hertsmere Borough Council aim to help regenerate Borehamwood town centre and assist in the success of the television and film industry.

 Hertsmere Borough Council: town centre regeneration – on the PAS website.

Southampton City Council: hospital campus

Southampton, in partnership with the Southampton University Hospital Trust, is to base their LDO on a master plan for the major refurbishment of the General Hospital. 

Southampton City Council: hospital campus – on the PAS website.

Wycombe District Council: retail

High Wycombe is suffering from a high rate of empty shop units and Wycombe District Council is currently consulting on a policy to allow changes of use through an LDO. This will help regenerate a key historic quarter of the town centre.

Wycombe District Council: retail – on the PAS website.

Change to development plan documents (DPD) requirements

On 23 June 2009 S188 of the Planning Act 2008 came into effect along with associated General Development Procedure Order (GDPO) changes. This removes the requirement that LDOs must implement DPDs. The Department for Communities and Local Government will publish a revised circular in due course that reflects this change.

The Planning Advisory Service is part of the IDeA and a member of the Local Government Association (LGA) group. PAS is funded directly by the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Further information

Contact:

Paul Bailey
telephone: 020 7296 6529
email: paul.bailey@idea.gov.uk

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