The guidance on minor material amendments at paragraph 62 of the DCLG document Greater Flexibility for Planning Permissions states that local authorities are advised to include a condition listing approved plans in decision notices. However, my authority has been criticised by inspectors in the past for such conditions and has changed them to informatives. Please could I have your thoughts? CT.
The Planning Act 2008 introduced a procedure for non-material amendments but contained no provision for minor material amendments. Last year's Killian-Pretty review recommended that this issue should be resolved. One of the options proposed by WYG Planning & Design, which carried out research for the government, was that it could be tackled by authorities imposing conditions listing approved plans when permissions are granted if parliamentary time was not available to introduce further primary legislation. If changes in a scheme are needed and cannot be treated as non-material amendments, an application under section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 could then be made to vary such conditions. To me this seems a convoluted procedure to avoid introducing primary legislation. Like you, I am aware of appeals in which inspectors have objected to "approved plan list" conditions and in this respect the proposal appears a volte face. However, the WYG report argues that such conditions would comply with the advice in Circular 11/1995. The General Development Procedure Order 1995 has been amended to enable faster processing of section 73 applications by requiring less consultation. It would seem that this should now become standard practice for planning authorities. However, this begs the question as to what degree of change can be dealt with under this procedure, such as where a housing layout is completely redesigned. JH.
Is adding a pitched roof to an existing flat roof on a house permitted development under class B, part 1, schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order 1995 as amended? If so, does the phrase "the highest part of the existing roof" relate to any part of the property or just the part to be extended? Also, the order precludes extensions which "extend beyond the plane of any existing roof slope which forms the principal elevation of the dwellinghouse and fronts a highway". Does a flat roof have a plane, as most actually have a slope? TC.
Adding a pitched roof to an existing flat roof would be covered by class B. The judgement in London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham v Secretary of State for the Environment  indicates that the "highest part" of the roof is the overall highest. Even if a "flat" roof slopes at an angle, as is normally the case to allow drainage, I would not interpret this as having a "plane". However, sometimes a pitched roof added to a flat one could project forward of the plane of a roof onto which it abuts and would therefore not be permitted development. JH.
Could you advise when satellite dishes on business premises in conservation areas require planning permission? GH.
Permitted development rights for satellite dishes on business premises, flats and other property types are found in part 25, schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order 1995, which has subsequently been modified in both England and Wales. Rights for dwellinghouses are set out in class H, part 1. The rights in class A, part 25 relating to buildings more than 15m high do not apply in conservation areas or on other article 1(5) land. However, class B rights relating to buildings less than 15m high apply in conservation areas. JH.
If a council or parish council has delegated its powers to manage allotments to a management committee, can that body carry out small-scale works such as providing sheds on individual plots or small communal car parks as permitted development under part 12, schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order 1995? LW.
I am not entirely sure and maybe a reader can advise. However, applying the principles set out in an appeal decision relating to the provision of a skateboard ramp in Wales (DCS Number 029-875-317), if there is a clear agreement that the committee would provide the facility on behalf of the authority it would then seem to be covered by part 12. JH.
In response to a query from JB (Planning, 13 November, p21), JH asked for comments on the appropriateness of conditions requiring species protection licences to be obtained.
Given that Natural England urges consultants to refrain from making applications and endeavour instead to avoid committing offences, a condition requiring a licence may represent an appropriate application of the precautionary principle and in my opinion would be entirely acceptable under PPS23 and the Welsh equivalent. Also, the planning authority should consider what scope there is in the application to provide positive enhancement of the nature conservation value of the site. PS.
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