1. Development Control News

Biodiversity net gain details required from 12 February 2024

Legislation requiring information on biodiversity net gain (BNG) to be submitted as part of planning applications and post-permission discharge of conditions in England is coming into force on 12 February 2024. 

BNG is a new process designed to make sure new developments deliver a net positive impact on the natural environment. It requires development to be planned in ways that minimise any loss and damage to existing habitats and compensate and off-set any damage caused.

Applications for such proposals will need to include sufficient details to be validated and, if they receive consent, will need the ‘general biodiversity gain condition’ discharged before work can begin. 

‘Small sites’ (i.e. non-major developments) will be temporarily exempt until 2 April 2024, when similar requirements will apply. 

What BNG means for your planning application 7. Biodiversity Net Gain | Cannock Chase District Council (cannockchasedc.gov.uk)

National Planning Fee Increase

Following debates in Parliament, the Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications, Deemed Applications, Requests and Site Visits) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2023 have been approved and made on 8th November. 

The regulations can be viewed here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/id/uksi/2023/1197 

The regulations do the following: 

• Increase planning application fees by 35% for applications for major development and 25% for all other applications. 

• Introduce an annual indexation of planning applications fees, capped at 10%, from 1 April 2025. 

• Remove the fee exemption for repeat applications (the ‘free-go’). An applicant will still be able to benefit from a free-go if their    application was withdrawn or refused in the preceding 12 months, subject to all other conditions for the free-go being met. 

• Reduce the Planning Guarantee for non-major planning applications from 26 to 16 weeks. 

• Introduce a new prior approval fee of £120 for applications for prior approval for development by the Crown on closed defence  sites. The new fees will come into force from the start of 6th December 2023. 

Special areas of conservation (SACs) mitigation requirement payments

Applications determined on or after 1 April 2022 which fall within the 15km radius of the zone of influence for the Cannock Chase SAC will need to provide mitigation.

The types of development affected include new homes including those arising through the conversion of existing buildings, houses in multiple occupation, sheltered accommodation and care homes falling within use class C3 and gypsy and traveller pitches. Hotels, holiday lets, and camping & caravan sites will also need to undertake a habitats regulations assessment (HRA) or provide a financial contribution, if they could generate visitors to Cannock Chase SAC. The majority of payments would be provided through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) however some developments may be CIL exempt.

If a contribution towards SAC is required and the development is exempt from CIL, the SAC mitigation can be paid upfront by a Section 111 form or, where a Section 106 Agreement is required for planning permission, the payment can be included with other obligations. 

For more information on CIL,  SAC mitigation and the Section 111 form please click on the following link:-

6. A guide to the CIL Process | Cannock Chase District Council (cannockchasedc.gov.uk)

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