Monday, 29 April 2019

Broadwindsor examined

The Examiner's report on the Broadwindsor Group Neighbourhood Plan was received at the very end of last week, recommending that the plan (as modified by some very minor changes), should proceed to a referendum.

The Examiner says "It is clear that a great deal of commitment and effort has gone into the production of the BGPNP, and that it is founded on a desire to provide suitable and environmentally friendly homes, local employment and local services, whilst protecting the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which is highly valued by the local community."

This is likely to be the first to go in front of the new Dorset Council, who are legally required to consider the Examiner's report before the plan can have its referendum.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Laid-back Dorset

Interesting article in one of the planning magazines earlier this month regarding the differences in enforcement activity across the country. 

Taking a look at the Dorset stats for 2018, North Dorset, Purbeck and Weymouth and Portland all join the ‘laid back’ club (unless there really are no planning contraventions happening out there – which doesn’t appear to be the case from what I have heard), with no enforcement notices and only two planning contravention notices served (both in North Dorset).  West Dorset is also well below average (with 2 enforcement notices and 3 planning contravention notices served).  Only East Dorset (serving 6 enforcement notices and 13 planning contravention notices) was anywhere near “average” for a shire district.  To put this in perspective, across the Dorset Council area, there was 1 enforcement notice served for every 446 planning applications received.
Makes me wonder how many enforcement officers will be deemed necessary in the new Council – how “expedient” are they?

Friday, 5 April 2019

Dorset Council launches

This week has seen the launch of Dorset Council - the new unitary authority replacing the old Dorset County, East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck, West Dorset and Weymouth Councils into one smooth and streamlined whole (we hope).

There will no doubt be teething troubles - their website has certainly been difficult to navigate with missing pages and content - but there has obviously been much going on behind the scenes in preparation.  The new planning application validation checklist is now online, plus a handy tick list by application type, which means that the local list of requirements (which for many had been out of date) now has some teeth - at least for the next two years. 

There is no notice of validation timescales - before the changeover this was running at 5 weeks for some of the councils.  Let's hope this doesn't have to get worse before it gets better!  Looking forward to see how the first planning committees operate at the end of May. 

I wonder what they would have made of the 'Headington Shark' - Bill Heine its protagonist RIP 3/4/19.  As the Planning Inspector put it back in 1992, when he considered Oxford City Council's pleas to refuse consent for its retention, "any system of control must make some small place for the dynamic, the unexpected, the downright quirky.  I therefore recommend that the Headington shark be allowed to remain"