Policy consultations by Central Government: planning appeals inquiry process

Review of the planning appeals process

Update 19/09/2018

We have commented on the policy consultation by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the Planning Appeal Inquiries process. You can see what we have said here: Planning Appeal Inquiries process review

The review is designed to identify how processes can be improved so that “decisions can be made sooner but without compromising their quality”.

Revised National Planning Policy Framework

Update 09/05/2018

We have submitted our comments on the Government’s proposed amendments to the National Planning Policy Framework. This is an important document framing planning policies. Amongst a number of issues we have raised, we are seeking to ensure there is improved protection for the setting of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, particularly from insensitive developments which could affect its historic vistas. You can see our comments here: National Planning Policy Framework revision Kew Society comments

House of Lords Select Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment

Update 22/02/2016

The Select Committee has now published its report, “Building better places”, which you can see here.

We are pleased to see that the Committee has picked up on several of our points, perhaps most notably recommending that financial viability assessments, often used to argue against the inclusion of affordable housing in schemes, should be published (see paras 324-336 in the report), We hope the Government will implement this recommendation – this is something we have been raising for some time, not least on the Brentford Football Stadium enabling developments where we have achieved partial disclosure through the Freedom of Information Act and appeal to the Information Commissioner.

The report also comments on delays by developers in implementing approved plans for housing development (see paras 312-323) which we raised, on the expertise needed in Council planning departments (see paras 375-376), and on the problems with allowing change of use from employment space to housing introduced by national Government which is causing problems in many parts of the country, including Kew (see paras 131-140).

Update 23/10/2015

We have taken the opportunity to submit evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment, drawing on our experience over the last few years. We have commented on the poor location proposed for the Deer Park School on the A316, difficulties in meeting affordable housing targets, the expertise we think is needed within the Council for optimal planning management, problems with loss of employment space because of Government policies on housing,  delays by developers in implementing agreed plans, and a lack of transparency in the evidence used in assessing the financial viability of schemes. You can see details of the Committee here and our submission on the questions most relevant to us here: Evidence for the House of Lords Select Committee.

You can watch the oral evidence given to the Committee by David Tittle, a Trustee of Civic Voice to which we belong here:Oral evidence

This is an important consultation drawn to our attention by the London Forum which will be featuring the Kew Society in its next Newsletter.

Superfast broadband

Update 26/3/2013

Together with the Richmond Society we drafted a response to the Government’s consultation on speeding up the process for roll-out of superfast broadband around the country. The Government proposed relaxing the current restrictions on deployment of overhead infrastructure in protected areas and removing requirements for prior approval of the siting of street cabinets. The Government’s view is that these relaxations in planning law are needed in order to speed up deployment, especially in rural communities. We do not think the relaxations are necessary and are concerned that they could mean unsightly deployment of street cabinets and overhead lines. Commercial providers should engage with communities through local authorities to demonstrate they have given due weight to environmental issues. The process of approval could be speeded up by the development of guidelines and a Code of Practice which Civic Voice, the national body of civic societies, has already offered to help develop. We submitted comments in a joint letter from the Richmond and Kew Societies on 4 March 2013.

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EVENTS

  • Mon
    06
    Jan
    2014
    6:30 pmSt Anne's Church Kew Green

    Many thanks to all who organised yet another fabulous 12th Night Party.

    We had almost 70 people enjo

  • Fri
    21
    Feb
    2014
    10:45 amKew Gardens

    Sara Redstone, Plant Health & Quarantine Officer at The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew kindly offered

  • Sat
    29
    Mar
    2014
    11:00 amMarble Hill House, Twickenham

    John Moses, Chairman of the Marble Hill Society, kindly offered to lead a private tour for our membe

  • Wed
    30
    Apr
    2014
    1:15 pmRichmond Park

    Our spring season of events began with a wonderful tour of the Royal Ballet School in April, which h

  • Thu
    15
    May
    2014
    7:30 pmThe Barn Church, Atwood Avenue.

    A very popular Hustings was once again hosted by The Kew Society and expertly chaired by Malcolm Wel

  • Sat
    14
    Jun
    2014
    7:00 pmKew gardens

    Fun at Sunset for all the family!

    We were extremely lucky to be given the opportunity to host a picn

  • Mon
    22
    Sep
    2014
    5:00 pmKew Gardens

    Exclusive Members only walk with Tony Kirkham, Head of the Aboretum.

    We were thrilled when Tony agre

  • Wed
    15
    Oct
    2014
    6:45 pmBarn Church, Attwood Avenue

    The Kew Society AGM was held on Wednesday 15th October 2014 at the Barn Church, Attwood Avenue.

    The

  • Mon
    10
    Nov
    2014
    8:00 pmGood Wine Shop in Kew

    Pippa Hayward from the Good Wine Shop in Kew devised an introductory wine course especially Kew Soci