Knocking on No 10’s door?

Whilst our followers have been out there buying presents, stuffing, basting and doing all things Christmas and New Year the army of developers eager to build all over Waverley have been knock’a’knock knocking on heavens door . Or… the answer to all their prayers – The Government’s door.

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“Please, please let us build all over the green fields in the Borough of Waverley Mr Prime Minister” 

Yes, the good, the bad and the downright ugly have been tripping up to No 10 Downing Street to see  Government Ministers  to have a good old gripe about “Our Waverley.” Moaning about delays preparing the Daft Local Plan;  Delays on Appeals; delays in validating and registering planning applications; delays in considering planning applications; delays in responding to applicants; delays in dealing with conditions attached to planning applications once  granted …delays…delays..delays and …yep you guessed delays!

Even though the poor old Big D’s are filling in zillions of forms, reports, and surveys on everything from bats to bees, newts to nesting sites;  not forgetting flooding zones,  good old Waverley, has  brought in a SUDS requirement, that is a pro forma unique to Waverley. No it has nothing  to do with washing powder – it is Sustainable Urban Drainage System – a topographical survey that now has to accompany applications. Surrey County Council is now  the strategic drainage authority.

By the way, that’s who we blame from now on when our new homes flood!”  It would appear the Environment  Agency  has washed its hands of it!

Has the Government been listening?   You bet it has, reeling off another update to planning guidance to get those concert mixers churning.

Deemed Discharge of Planning Condition
The Government has introduced the principle of deemed discharge into the Town and County Planning Act 1990 (by way of the Infrastructure Act 2015) and consolidated and reissued the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) Order 2015 (the “DMPO 2015”) to provide the detail on how deemed discharge works in practice. The new legislation came into effect on 15 April 2015.
The new deemed discharge provisions acknowledge and seek to address unnecessary delays caused by the discharge of planning conditions that can prevent developments with planning permission from commencing. Following a consultation last year the Government considered that new measures should be introduced to give greater certainty for all parties around when decisions could be expected.

WW believes This is an insult to our decent representatives at WBC.

A Local Planning Authority (“LPA”) is required to determine an application for approval of a condition within 8 weeks following receipt of the application (or such other longer period as may be agreed between the applicant and the LPA in writing). If an LPA fails to determine within 8 weeks or the agreed period a right of appeal accrues.
In order to provide the required information on surface water drainage from the proposed development the attached pro-forma must be completed in full and be submitted with any planning application which seeks permission for ‘major’ development (unique to WBC). The application for planning permission will not be validated until this pro-forma is completed. This information contained in this form will be used by Surrey Council in its role as Lead Local Flood Authority and ‘statutory consultee’ on SuDs for all ‘major’ planning applications.

Appeals against Waverley decisions now with the Government are taking 18 months. Many  applications are taking 8 weeks just to be registered – and there are more public inquiries planned than WW can count. All this just  when  Chief Planning Officer Matthew Evans  has resigned and we hear is hopping across the County boundary into Hampshire to help them with their Local Plan. Oh dear!

Procedure
Deemed Discharge at a Glance:

1. Submit an application in writing to the LPA for any consent, agreement or approval required by a condition attached to a planning permission with the requisite supporting information.
2. Serve a ‘deemed discharge notice’ on the LPA no sooner than 6 weeks after the application to discharge the condition is made.
3. Deemed discharge takes effect if the LPA has not notified the applicant of its decision within 14 days of receiving the deemed discharge notice.

Onwards and upwards we say…

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