PPS Planning | News


Here you will find the latest news in planning and general advice.

By pps-planning, Jun 11 2014 02:20PM

Does your land have development value? Could you get planning permission?

Employing a chartered planning consultant to appraise your site can help you assess the development potential of your land or property. PPS planning can help you assess potential land uses and the possible scale of development which could be accommodated, having regard to site constraints and local planning policies.

PPS Planning is experienced in carrying out a range of Site Appraisals (from a large site in the green belt for a retirement village, to greenfield sites for housing, to changes of use of high street units).

PPS Planning has advised clients who were previously misinformed about the potential of their site or who have had expensive plans drawn up prematurely. Others have had an idea of what might be acceptable to the local planning authority but don't know where to start or what other options they might have.

To see what Site Appraisals cover, download our briefing note on Site Appraisals, or ask us to email a copy. Call Paul Simpson on 0161 665 2492 if you want to discuss your site and how we can help you.

By pps-planning, Feb 10 2014 11:07AM

Comment on the Site Allocations DPD ‘Options Report’ by 21 February 2014.

Residents, landowners, developers and businesses in Oldham have only two weeks left to comment on what sites they think should, or should not be identified for future development in the Oldham Local Development Plan. ‘Options’ for future development have been published by Oldham Council as part of the preparation of a Borough-wide Site Allocations Development Plan Document. Comments on the areas identified, or suggestions for other potential sites, must be received by 21 February.

The allocations plan will identify specific areas of land for housing employment and other uses, and it will show which areas are to be protected from development due to their conservation, recreational or other value. The document will form part of the Borough’s statutory development Plan and will guide decisions on planning applications.

Consequently it is vital that you look at the sites in the Options Report and have your say now on what uses if any you think are appropriate. You can also put forward other sites you think may be suitable for development or protection.

Those wishing to pursue the development of sites, and those who disagree with the development of certain sites need to comment now before the Plan is finalised. Once finalised, it may be too late to develop a site that is not allocated or to oppose a planning application that is in conformity with the Plan.

You can inspect the sites online using the Council’s consultation portal but you have to register to submit your comments or suggest a site.

PPS Planning is available to anyone who needs help submitting their comments or getting advice on presenting a case for allocating land or protecting sites from development.

By pps-planning, Feb 4 2014 12:33PM

The Pennine edge community of Littleborough is warming up to start production of a Neighbourhood Plan to guide future development, regeneration and conservation in its area.

Following the designation of the neighbourhood plan area last year and the establishment of a Neighbourhood Forum and Committee to manage the Plan process, work has started on moving the project forward.

On Saturday 1st February, over 20 volunteer members of the Littleborough community, including local councillors and members of the Civic Trust and other local organisations, gave up their Saturday afternoon to attend a three hour training and workshop session led by Carol Latham of Planning Aid England. Also delivering the training and workshops, were Rochdale Council planning officers, Wayne Poole and Keerpa Patel and the Forum’s independent planning consultant, Paul Simpson of PPS Planning Manchester.

Forum secretary, Iain Gerrard said, “the Plan presents a great opportunity for the community to have more say in what happens in the town in the future. This Plan is for all the people of Littleborough and we want as many of them as possible to get involved. We are pleased to have Paul Simpson (PPS Planning Manchester) providing us with independent consultancy support to help us write our plan and to complement support from Planning Aid and Rochdale Council."

Paul Simpson told the volunteers, “I believe the Littleborough community can do this well. I have worked in the past with the Civic Trust on the Town Design Statement which is a great example of how a community can mobilise itself to help improve its area.”

John Kay (Treasurer of the Littleborough Forum) said, “We need many more Littleborough people to join the forum and everyone is welcome to attend the next meeting of the Littleborough Neighbourhood Forum Committee which will be held at Littleborough Coach House at 7.30pm on Tuesday 11th February 2014.

Next Steps

A launch campaign will be organised very soon and volunteers will start work on gathering information before a Draft Plan is prepared for public consultation in a few month’s time. Before the final Plan can become operational, it must be scrutinised by an independent examiner and be subject to a public referendum.

Volunteers Wanted

Anyone who lives or works in Littleborough is welcome to join the Forum. Further details are on

the Littleborough Neighbourhood Forum website

More about Neighbourhood Plans

The Localism Act in 2011 gave communities the right to play a greater role in shaping the future of their area by preparing a Neighbourhood Plan. The Plan can include policies and proposals to improve the area (e.g. policies for housing, employment, heritage and transport) and to decide where new development should take place. The Plan will also be used by the Local Planning Authority (Council) when assessing any planning applications in the area but it must comply with national and strategic local policies and the relevant legislation.

After the Draft Plan has been publicised and comments considered, the Local Authority will publish the final Plan. This must then be submitted to an independent Examiner. If the Examiner considers it can meet the 'basic conditions' set down in the legislation (with or without modifications), it will go before a Public Referendum. For the Plan to become operational, 50% or more of those voting need to vote in favour of the Plan.

For more information on Neighbourhood Planning, visit:

The Littleborough Neighbourhood Forum web site

The Rochdale online community web page


My Community Rights

RTPI/Planning Aid

Nuts and Bolts training workshop, Littleborough, 1st Feb 2014
Nuts and Bolts training workshop, Littleborough, 1st Feb 2014

By pps-planning, Feb 3 2014 02:20PM

Do you want to know if your proposal needs planning permission or if it is likely to get permission? Do you know exactly what information the local planning authority wants you to provide them with to support your application?

Well, if you want to contact your local planning office to ask before you submit your planning application, you may have to do this through a formal pre-application advice service. Also, be prepared to pay for this and don’t expect a guarantee of satisfaction with the Authority’s response.

More and more Council Planning services are responding to the ongoing cuts by increasing income through charging for pre-application advice. In 2010, 35% of Authorities charged (source: DCLG) but this figure must now be considerably higher. In a number of cases existing charges have been increased, especially in the case of major applications.

PPS Planning, like other planning consultants and developers feel that whilst it is not unreasonable for cash-strapped Councils to charge for pre-application advice, charges should be proportional to the complexity of the proposal and the quality of the advice received.

Charges differ between Authorities, and the detail and quality of advice received varies greatly also. This makes it difficult to assess the value of paying for advice.

Some applicants refuse to pay for expensive (and sometimes non-committal) pre-application advice, especially considering the cost of the planning application fee itself, architects fees, building regulations fees, and the cost of buying other specialist advice (e.g. a tree or ecology survey, or flood risk assessment). This is not in the best interests of the applicant or the planning authority.

But if you do have a pre-application meeting, its important to present your proposal in the best light, to negotiate effectively with the local planning authority, to find solutions and compromises, to ask the right questions, and to be clear what information the Authority needs in order to process your application. You also need to ensure that their written response is thorough and reflects what was said at the meeting.

Contacting a planning consultant to discuss your proposals, can help you get the best out of a meeting or they may be able to advise you on your application without the need for a meeting with the local authority. In fairness to local authorities though, they will tell applicants when it would be in their interests to consider appointing a planning consultant to assist them with their submission.

By pps-planning, Sep 13 2013 03:50PM

The best planning story of the last week came from Ryedale in North Yorkshire where a 260 home 'eyesore' housing estate was accidentally approved. Controversial plans for the development on greenfield land were approved after a councillor opposed to the scheme 'pressed the wrong button' to vote in favour of it. Councillor David Cussons who spoke out against the controversial plans accidentally registered an approval vote, which then allowed the plans to get the go-ahead.

The Councillor admitted later he had made a mistake which he regretted. According to the Ryedale Gazette and Herald, Cussons said afterwards: "I pressed the wrong button, that’s all that went wrong and I would rather it hadn’t happened. In a recording of the meeting on the council website, Committee Chairman John Raper is heard to say after the vote: "He’s pressed the wrong button then. That can’t be undone."

After embarrassing nation-wide press coverage Ryedale Council is considering moving towards a different electronic version that should be easier for Councillors to use. The current version has three buttons for councillors during meetings marked ‘for’, ‘against’ and ‘abstain’

The new system would have just one big red X button that should only be pressed to register a vote against the application.

Those against would be invited to make a brief comment such as ‘I’m going to say No’ or ‘You’re just not ready yet’ or ‘Never, ever, ever’ before hitting the big red button.

Those Councillors in favour of applications would be invited to record comments for applicants, such as:

‘You made that scheme your own’

'You’re through to the next round (…subject to signing a s106)’

‘One million percent yes’

‘You’ve taken a risk and it’s paid off’.

See press article

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