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    RPS success at BALI National Landscape Awards 2013

    09 December 2013

    RPS success at BALI National Landscape Awards 2013

    Landscape Architects in our Birmingham office are celebrating success after their Keele University project picked up a Hard Landscaping Construction award at this year’s BALI awards.

    The project brings to life a new events plaza at Keele University, including regenerated shop frontages, new pathways, street furniture, service diversions and associated hard and soft landscape works and detailing.

    RPS was appointed as Landscape Architect following tender interviews by Keele University Estates Department. We provided initial concept proposals for the events plaza and surrounding areas that were refined through meetings with Keele Estates Department and other project team professionals.

    “Paving designs for the events plaza were inspired by the existing paving ‘weave’ in front of the adjacent listed Chapel” advises Duncan Bromley, Principal Associate at RPS. “We provided presentation plans for both public consultation and planning submission, as well as arboricultural method statements for carrying out work near to existing trees to discharge relevant planning conditions”.

    RPS liaised with English Heritage consultants over planter, hand rail and paving design associated with the listed Chapel. “We have worked closely with engineers and an artist commissioned to produce a central sculpture within the events plaza to ensure the installation is fully integrated within the design” concluded Duncan.

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    Hornsea Project One - Preliminary Meeting Confirmed

    21 November 2013

    Hornsea Project One - Preliminary Meeting Confirmed

    RPS is pleased to confirm that the Planning Inspectorate will be holding the Preliminary Meeting for Hornsea Offshore Wind Farm on the 10th of December 2013.

    Hornsea Project One, comprises up to 332 offshore wind turbines in the North Sea located103km from Yorkshire Coastline, 140km of offshore cable coming ashore at Horseshoe Point, Lincolnshire, and 40km of onshore cable to a new HVDC converter / HVAC substation which in turn will connect to an existing National Grid 400kV substation at North Killingholme.

    RPS is providing the environmental and planning support for this development, the first offshore wind farm in the Round 3 Hornsea Zone.

    RPS completed the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and prepared supporting documents for the Development Consent Order (DCO) application.

    “Minimising and mitigating against harmful effects on the environment, local communities and marine users has been the principal objective throughout the EIA process” advised Corinna Demmar, Senior Director at RPS. “Extensive public consultation and engagement with all of the stakeholders has been key to our approach for the DCO preparation under the Planning Act 2008.” added David Cowan, Regional Managing Director at RPS.

    “We developed an Environmental Statement containing a proposal for all the onshore cables to be buried underground. The laying of cables is planned to minimise excessive construction traffic movements and special precautions will be taken to ensure that topsoil and subsoil are reinstated and all arable land can continue to be farmed as normal. A landscape strategy has been developed to minimise potential visual impacts of the converter/substation.” added Corinna.

    The Project One application, comprising 176 documents, was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on the 30th July. The application was accepted for examination on the 22nd of August and registration of interested parties closed on the 23rd of October. A decision by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change is expected in early 2015.

    RPS is currently supporting the production of the Statements of Common Ground and preparing for examination. The Preliminary Meeting will set the timetable for examination.

    Consents Manager for SMart Wind, Chris Jenner, stated “The support that RPS has provided to SMart Wind for such a challenging project has, as always, been both professional and personable.”

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    Changes to Planning Appeals

    30 October 2013

    Changes to Planning Appeals

    Recent changes to the procedure for the submission and consideration of Planning Appeals in England.

    The attached guidance on the new appeal regulations is now in force and applies to all decisions decided/non-determination appeals when the application decision was expected after 1 October 2013. The effect of the regulations is to provide a front loaded appeal process whereby the appellant’s main case, justification for procedure, initial dates and draft Statements of Common Ground are submitted at the time of the appeal application – which is significantly more work than the previously required ‘grounds of appeal’.

    As explained in the attached leaflet and procedural guidance, any decisions made after 1 October 2013 are subject to the new appeal regulations, which means the submission process of an appeal is front loaded. This also applies to Public Inquiry procedure appeals so that everything has to be submitted with the appeal application – including draft Statements of Common Ground, a statement explaining the chosen procedure (i.e. justifying a public inquiry), agreed inquiry dates with the LPA and a full statement of case. The submission of an appeal with everything ‘to follow’ will not be validated until the draft Statements of Common Ground and full statement of case are submitted and therefore the main arguments have to be set out at the point of the appeal submission. The appeal submission also has to submit agreed initial dates for the inquiry with the LPA, and confirm the number of witnesses etc.

    The statement of case to be submitted is a written statement containing the full particulars of the appellant’s case and copies of any documents to which it refers, and any other supporting evidence. The guidance to the new regulations advises that there is no opportunity to add to the statement during the process so the appellant “should only make their appeal when they are certain that they have finalised their case”. However, proofs of evidence are still submitted in the case of Public Inquiries to reflect the specifics of evidence to be given by expert witnesses, to respond to points raised by the Council’s/Rule 6 party statements and to deal with the matters that are unresolved by the finalised statement of common ground.

    For more information, please contact:

    Tim Partridge
    Birmingham
    T: 0121 213 5500
    E: tim.partridge@rpsgroup.com

    Tony Tapley
    London
    T: 020 7280 3200
    E: tony.tapley@rpsgroup.com

    Christopher LeCointe
    Oxford
    T: 01235 821 888
    E: lecointec@rpsgroup.com

    Don Proctor
    Cambridge
    T: 02920 668 662
    E: don.proctor@rpsgroup.com

    Jonathan Smith
    Newark
    T: 01636 605 700
    E: jonathan.smith@rpsgroup.com

    Jonathan Standen
    Leeds
    T: 0113 220 6190
    E: standenj@rpsgroup.com

    Darren Parker
    South West & Wales
    T: 02920 668662
    E: darren.parker@rpsgroup.com


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    RPS and AOA launch Delivering Airport Development

    24 October 2013

    RPS and AOA launch Delivering Airport Development

     

    The Airport Operators Association have produced a short video giving an insight into aviation development in the UK. Our experience and reputation in the sector, led to our involvement in the video which includes a four minute interview with members of our Aviation team who give an insight into our planning, environmental and design expertise.

    Watch our interview here

    For more information on our services, visit our Aviation page
    (http://www.rpsgroup.com/UK/Sectors/Transport/Aviation.aspx)

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    Understanding Planning System Changes

    27 September 2013

    Understanding Planning System Changes

    What they mean and how they impact you

    There have been a number of changes to the planning system during recent months making the already challenging process, that bit harder to keep up with.

    To help you understand these changes and how they may impact you, our Planners have rounded-up the most significant ones that you need to be aware of.

    For more information:

      • England
      • Wales

    For more information, please contact:

    Midlands & North
    Tim Partridge
    T: 0121 213 5500
    E: tim.partridge@rpsgroup.com

    London
    Tony Tapley
    T: 020 7280 3200
    E: tony.tapley@rpsgroup.com

    South East & East
    Christopher LeCointe
    T: 01235 821 888
    E: lecointec@rpsgroup.com

    South West & Wales
    Darren Parker
    T: 02920 668 662
    E: darren.parker@rpsgroup.com

    To find out more about RPS, visit www.rpsgroup.com/uk

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    A summary of planning updates in Wales

    26 September 2013

    A summary of planning updates in Wales

     

    • A statutory procedure to allow applications for non-material amendments to planning permissions. This would apply the provisions in Section 96A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, which currently only apply in England. The public consulation ended in March 2013. Find information on the draft guidance for the procedure to be introduced here

    • A new ‘Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendments) (Wales) Order 2013’ is scheduled to come into force on 30th September. This amends the Genereal Permitted Development order 1995, increasing permitted development rights for householders. The statutory instrument is available here

    • Proposed changes to non-domestic permitted development rights. This will allow businesses, educational establishments and hospitals to make more improvements and alterations without needing planning permission, will set conditions for permitted development rights so developments are carried out in a way that minimises impact on others and the environment and will place more restrictions on permitted development within World Heritage Sites. Public consultation on the proposed changes ended in January this year. The consultation document is available here

    • Consultation on a draft ‘Technical Advice Note 23: Economic Development’ ended on 5th September. It proposes that when identifying land for economic uses LPAs should adopt a sequential approach, with the first preference being within settlements, followed by edge-of-settlement sites and then land in the open countryside; however if sequentially inferior locations deliver additional economic benefits then those need to be factored into the decision making process. The draft TAN is available here

    • Proposed revision to Chapter 12 of Planning Policy Wales and Technical Advice Note 21 on planning for waste: consultation ended in June. Proposes to revoke Regional Waste Plans, introduce a requirement for data collection, monitoring and annual reports, to provide an evidence base, introduce a requirement to keep a minimum amount of landfill capacity in each region relative to a trigger point - hitting the trigger would result in a site search to identify suitable locations for landfill, updating policy direction to enable waste facilities to move up the waste hierarchy through the introduction of a Waste Planning Assessment. Draft revison to Chapter 12 of PPW is available here and draft TAN 21 is available here

    • Welsh Government White Paper and draft Planning Bill is expected by the end of the year.

    For more information on any of these changes, please use the links provided.

    For more information about RPS, please contact:

    Midlands & North
    Tim Partridge
    T: 0121 213 5500
    E: tim.partridge@rpsgroup.com

    London
    Tony Tapley
    T: 020 7280 3200
    E: tony.tapley@rpsgroup.com

    South East & East
    Christopher LeCointe
    T: 01235 821 888
    E: lecointec@rpsgroup.com

    South West & Wales
    Darren Parker
    T: 02920 668 662
    E: darren.parker@rpsgroup.com

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    A summary of planning updates in England

    26 September 2013

    A summary of planning updates in England

     

    • Various amendments to the The Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development)(Amendment)(England) Order 2013 including the controversial temporary PD right to erect single storey extensions of up to 8m to detached dwelling houses (6m otherwise). This came into force at the end of May 2013. Of particular interest:

         A new Class J to Part 3 of Schedule 2 introduces the temporary permission to change the use of an existing B1 office to C3 residential use (subject to the usual exclusions). Prior approval as regards transport and highways, and noise impacts or contamination risks required, and note that this relates only to the change of use but not any other changes required.
         A new Class K to Part 3 of Schedule 2 allows the change of use from Class B1, C1, C2, C2A and D2 to use as a state-funded school, subject to prior approval as above, and for the change back to the previous lawful use.
         Allows the use of a building & the land in its curtilage as a state-funded school for a single academic year (new Class C to Part 4 of Schedule 2).
         A New Class M to Part 3, to allow change of use of existing agricultural buildings to Class A1, A2, A3, B1, B8, C1 or D2 uses.

    • The amendment to the The Town & Country Planning (Development Management Procedure)(England) Order 2013 includes provisions to:

         Reduce the number of types of applications which must be accompanied by a design and access statement, and to simplify their required content.
         Allows applicants to serve a notice on the LPA if they disagree with the level of information required by the authority in order to register an application and seek a waiver of the requirement. Even if the LPA disagrees with the applicant (when the application then becomes a 'non-validated application'), it must determine the application within the normal period after which the applicant may appeal.

    • Section 7 of the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 provides (in England only) for an application to vary an affordable housing requirement within a planning obligation where this makes the development of the site unviable.

    • The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 introduces some helpful provisions and changes:

         Certificates of Lawfulness of Proposed Works can be applied for to confirm that Listed Building Consent is not required
         Listing descriptions may now specify objects or structures that should not be treated as part of the Listing
         Separate Conservation Area Consent for the demolition of buildings in conservation areas is no longer required, as this will be covered by the planning permission.

    NPS for Hazardous Waste (June 2013) - a framework document for planning decisions on nationally significant hazardous waste infrastructure.

    Draft Updated National Waste Planning Policy - Planning for Sustainable Waste Management (July 2013) - out for consultation until 23 September 2013

    • The DCLG has issued, for public consultation, proposals to revise the requirements for planning applications for onshore oil and gas.

    For more information on any of these changes, please use the links provided.

    For more information about RPS, please contact:

    Midlands & North
    Tim Partridge
    T: 0121 213 5500
    E: tim.partridge@rpsgroup.com

    London
    Tony Tapley
    T: 020 7280 3200
    E: tony.tapley@rpsgroup.com

    South East & East
    Christopher LeCointe
    T: 01235 821 888
    E: lecointec@rpsgroup.com

    South West & Wales
    Darren Parker
    T: 02920 668 662
    E: darren.parker@rpsgroup.com


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    New policy from DfT aims to simplify planning process - RPS' Guide to Changes

    25 September 2013

    New policy from DfT aims to simplify planning process - RPS' Guide to Changes

     

    On 10th September, the Department for Transport (DfT) issued new policy on how the Highways Agency will engage with communities and the development industry to deliver sustainable development whilst safeguarding the primary function and purpose of the strategic road network in England.

    Circular 02/2013 ‘The Strategic Road Network and the Delivery of Sustainable Development’ replaces the policies set out in the DfT Circulars 02/2007 ‘Planning and the Strategic Road Network’ and 01/2008 ‘Policy on Service Areas and other Roadside Facilities on Motorways and All-purpose Trunk Roads in England’.

    The policy is intended for all parties involved in development propsals which may result in traffic or other impacts on the strategic road network. The aim of the policy is to cut unnecessary red tape and make the planning process simpler and more straightforward. Key changes include:

    • Commitment from the Highways Agency to engage early in the local plan process. The Highways Agency will work with local authorities to influence the scale and patterns of development so that it is planned in a sustainable manner that will reduce the potential for creating congestion on the strategic road network

    • Commitment from the Highways Agency to support the delivery of developments that have been approved in a local plan. Indeed, where development proposals are consistent with an adopted local plan, the Highways Agency does not anticipate engagement in a full assessment process at the planning application stage

    • The creation of new junctions or direct means of access onto the strategic road network may be identified at the plan making stage where new infrastructure is essential for the delivery of strategic planned growth

    • The adoption of a less restrictive approach to the formation or intensification of use of accesses to non-motorway sections of the strategic road network

    • Mitigation measures are expected to be provided to address areas where development would otherwise result in capacity issues. However, development should only be prevented or refused on transport grounds when the residual cumulative impacts of development are severe

    • Devolution of decisions on the minimum spacing for service areas to local planning authorities

    • Allowances for greater retail development at motorway service stations and devolution on further retail development at service stations on the remaining strategic road network to the discretion of local authorities

    • Wind turbines near major roads should be sited within a safety zone of their height plus 50 metres, or a total of one and a half times their height, whichever is the lower, to mitigate the effects of mechanical failure of the structures. It adds that their potential to distract drivers should also be minimised

    To speak to a member of our team, contact your usual RPS contact or contact:

    Oxofrd
    Richard Stacey
    T: 01235 432 190
    E: richard.stacey@rpsgroup.com

    Birmingham
    Emma O’Neill
    T: 0121 213 5500
    E: emma.oneill@rpsgroup.com

    Newark
    Damian Meehan
    T: 01636 605 700
    E: damian.meehan@rpsgroup.com

    London
    Shelley Dix
    T: 020 7280 3200
    E: shelley.dix@rpsgroup.com

    For more information on our Transport & Infrastructure services, download our Capability Statement here.

    Visit www.rpsgroup.com/uk to find out more about RPS and our multi-disciplinary services.

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    New Planning Guidance on London Air Quality Neutral Policy

    25 September 2013

    New Planning Guidance on London Air Quality Neutral Policy

     

    Download RPS’ Briefing Note on the GLA’s new Air Quality Neutral Requirements

    The Greater London Authority has now published for public consultation its draft Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) Sustainable Design and Construction, which details how the Mayor of London`s “Air Quality Neutral” policy will be implemented.

    The SPG requires applicants to demonstrate that the emissions of NOx and PM10 from the buildings and transport elements of major developments do not exceed the Air Quality Neutral benchmark values published by the GLA. This will require a new NOx and PM10 emissions footprinting exercise (separate from a conventional Air Quality Assessment). If a scheme can’t meet the Air Quality Neutral benchmarks, then the excess emissions can be offset locally and this would be secured by condition or by section 106 agreement as appropriate.

    In response to the draft guidance, RPS has put together a briefing note that summarises the important points that planners and developers need to know now, before the requirements are implemented at the end of the year.

    RPS’ team of experienced air quality professionals is able to draw on its existing detailed technical knowledge of plant emissions and transport data to calculate the emissions footprint for your development, advise on suitable mitigation measures to reduce emissions and, support you in negotiating the costs for section 106 agreements.

    For more information, or to find out how RPS can help your project, contact:

    Jon Pullen, Operational Director
    T: 01273 546 800
    E: pullenj@rpsgroup.com

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    Shale Gas Planning Guidance Published

    24 September 2013

    Shale Gas Planning Guidance Published

    The much awaited “Planning practice Guidance for Onshore oil and gas” was published on Friday (19.07.2013) by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

    RPS is the UK’s largest planning and environmental consultant and has over 10 years experience of providing geo scientific and resource evaluation advice to support to shale gas development worldwide.

    For more information, please contact:

    Andy Young
    T: 01636 605 700
    E: andy.young@rpsgroup.com

    You can find more information on our services in the Shale Gas industry in our Shale Gas Capability Statement.

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