IMPORTANT: DCLG launches its “Planning Practice Guidance” website …

On 06/03/2014, DCLG launched the following "Planning Practice Guidance" website:

  • March 2014: "Planning Practice Guidance" website (link).

Summary of the above Planning Practice Guidance website:

  • The above website provides guidance within a series of categories, such as "Advertisements", "Air Quality", "Appeals", etc.  Each category consists of one or more webpages containing a series of questions and answers.  For example, the category "When is permission required" (link) consists of three webpages, one of which is titled "What are permitted development rights" (link) containing 59 questions and answers.
  • Each question and answer includes a "Paragraph" number (e.g. "016"), a unique "Reference ID" (e.g. "13-016-20140306"), and a unique link (e.g. link).
  • The above website supersedes a significant number of separate guidance documents, as set out by the document titled "Guidance documents cancelled by the planning practice guidance suite" (link).  Although some of the information within these separate guidance documents has been incorporated within the above website, other information doesn't appear to be present.  For example, although the above list of cancelled documents states that "Circular 08/10 - Changes to Planning regulations for Dwelling Houses and Houses in Multiple Occupation (2010)" (link) is "To be cancelled when Planning Practice Guidance Suite launched", the above website doesn't appear to contain any information about HMOs or Use Class C4 (other than a single line stating that Use Class C4 equates to "small Houses of multiple occupation").  It should also be noted that there is an alternative version of the above list of cancelled documents (link).
  • It's important to note that the above website does not supersede all separate guidance documents.  Indeed, the webpages within the above website still direct users towards a significant number of separate guidance documents.  For example, the webpage titled "What are permitted development rights" (link) still directs users towards the "Permitted development for householders - Technical Guidance" document (50 pages), "Circular 01/01" (42 pages), the "Code of Practice" for fixed electronic telecommunications equipment (10 pages), and the "Code of Best Practice" for mobile electronic telecommunications equipment (61 pages).
  • The "About" section (link) of the above website states that "DCLG will be actively managing the planning practice guidance, and any necessary updates will be made as soon as possible", albeit stating that "this does not mean that we will be continually changing the practice guidance material, or that everything will be updated or amended every time we review it".  The above section also states that "If a question has been amended or updated, you will be able to click on “see revisions” to view previous versions of that question".
  • For info, the introduction of the above website follows the review by Lord Taylor in December 2012 (link), the launch of the draft version of the above website in August 2013, and the associated consultation processes.
  • The written statement by Nick Boles MP to Parliament dated 06/03/2014 (link) draws attention to the fact that the Planning Practice Guidance website includes advice about flood risk, green belt protection, the test of soundness for local plans, windfalls, assessing housing need, infrastructure, brownfield land, the delivery record of developers and landowners, renewable energy, past over-supply of housing, the 5 year supply of sites, prematurity in relation to draft plans, and joint working between local authorities.

Updates to the Planning Jungle website:

  • The "Part 1 of the GPDO - Official Documents" page has been updated to indicate that "Circular 10/2005 - Permitted development rights for antennas" has been cancelled, and to include a reference to the "Planning Practice Guidance" website.
  • The "Parts 3 and 4 of the GPDO - Official Documents" page has been updated to indicate that "Circular 03/2005 - Changes of use of buildings and land", "Circular 02/2006 - Changes to planning regulations for casinos", and "Circular 08/2010 - Changes to planning regulations for dwellinghouses and houses in multiple occupation" have been cancelled, and to include a reference to the "Planning Practice Guidance" website.
  • The "Parts 8, 32, 41, 42 of the GPDO - Official Documents" page has been updated to indicate that the "Interim Guidance from Communities and Local Government on Amendments to Permitted Development Rights for non-domestic properties" has been cancelled, and to include a reference to the "Planning Practice Guidance" website.
  • The "Part 24 of the GPDO - Official Documents" page has been updated to include a reference to the "Planning Practice Guidance" website.
  • The "Part 40 of the GPDO – Official Documents" page has been updated to include a reference to the "Planning Practice Guidance" website.