Rochdale Council plans to build 7,000 homes

Rochdale Borough Council has published a masterplan for the delivery of 7,000 homes and 250,000 square metres of employment space along the Calder Valley rail corridor.

It outlines crucial redevelopment surrounding the borough’s five railway stations – Rochdale, Castleton, Smith Bridge, Littleborough and Mills Hills and forms part of the council’s next phase of regeneration.

The masterplan prioritises creating neighbourhoods on underused brownfield land that are close to local amenities and transport links.

Covid-19: Green space should be a priority in local plans

The social distancing measures implemented to contain the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) has highlighted the ‘critical importance’ of high-quality green spaces within housing developments, says Ecological Planning & Research Ltd (EPR).

The consultancy highlights that green and blue spaces have long been understood to improve human wellbeing – people with access to such amenities have lower levels of mental distress than those without, as was outlined by a Public Health England report in 2014. 

Time-limited permitted development right comes into force

A time-limited permitted development right has been published today, 9 April at 10:00 and will remain until 31 December 2020.

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Coronavirus) (England) (Amendment) Order 2020 No. 412 with Explanatory Memorandum has been published on Legislation.gov.

The regulations provide a new time limited emergency permitted development right and supports health service bodies and local authorities’ immediate response to coronavirus.

The right is wide ranging, allowing for

  • development by or on behalf of a local authority or health authority body for the purposes of preventing an emergency;
  • reducing, controlling or mitigating the effects of an emergency; and
  • taking other action in connection with an emergency.

The right enables development including, but not limited to, change of use for existing buildings and new temporary modular buildings. The right could be suitable to provide permission for a range of uses including use as:

  • Hospitals
  • health facilities
  • testing centres
  • coroner facilities
  • mortuaries
  • additional residential accommodation
  • storage and distribution, including for community food hubs.

There is no application process, and health service bodies and local authorities who are not the planning authority are required only to notify the local planning authority of the use of the development on a site as soon as practicable after commencing development.  It is expected this will be by e-mail or in writing.

Source: Planning Portal

Covid-19 Update

England Councils are business as usual as of 30th April 2020. Some delays are occurring but mainly on a more large-scale planning applications or those that require site visits or must go before planning committee. 

The target for determination of a typical application is 8 weeks from validation. This target decision date is still applicable although some boroughs have a backlog as a result of furloughing staff, and therefore delays are expected.

Construction sites across England, as opposed to Scotland, are open to builders and progress is being made in the construction industry, however there is an overall slowdown due to the uncertainty. There are some exceptions with a couple of housebuilders mothballing their projects.

The government are proposing changes to the planning system in light of the pandemic and are extending the permitted development rights, specifically conversions to D1 medical uses.

Osborne Planning are monitoring the situation daily and will provide important updates when required. For further information or to discuss your project, Osborne Planning are open for business. Please call us: +44 (0)2031500183 or email: enquiries@osborneplanning.uk