The Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) (Amendment) Order 2013 and the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2013 come into force on 25 June 2013. The apply in England only with the purpose of: reducing the number of types of applications that must be accompanied by a design and access statement; improving the validation stage; and reducing the information that is required on decision notices.
Under the new rules a design and access statement is only required with certain applications for major development. However, for those of you worried that (small scale) developments can run amok, the new legislation recognises that smaller proposals may also have a significant impact on the character of an area that is of conservation and/or historic value. Similarly, applications for listed buildings consent continue to require a design and access statement. In other words, approporiate checks and controls have been put in place.
The other changes to help reduce the administrative requirements when granting planning permissions which will, presumeably, be pleasing to local authorities.
Perhaps the biggest question will be whether applicants actually stick to the new requirements or “check the kitchen sink in” for fear of their application being invalid. Of course, time will tell if the changes do result in efficiencies but, at the very least, are an acknowledgement that there are issues and demonstrate that steps have been taken to address issues withint the planning application process.