Local Residents’ News

An update from the Civic Centre

Janet Turner would like to say a big ’thank you’ to all residents who voted in the recent local elections.

Janet was elected a councillor for Hinchley Wood and Weston Green Ward with the largest number of votes cast for any candidate in the Borough.  A group comprising Residents’ Association and Liberal Democrat Councillors has formed the administration for this municipal year, with Janet returning to her previous position as a member of the Cabinet with responsibility for Culture and Leisure.  Tannia Shipley joins the Cabinet too, as Portfolio Holder for Social Affairs.

Janet Turner is also a member of the Main Planning Committee and the Licencing Committee, whilst Nigel Haig-Brown is Chairman of East Area Planning Sub Committee and sits on the Overview and Scrutiny and the Audit and Standards Committees.

Are you thinking of extending? 

Temporary changes to the Permitted Development regime announced in 2017 have now been made permanent.  However residents would be well advised to research the limits, rather than relying on media headlines.   For example, a drive extension of 5 square metres or more (say 8 ft x 6 ft) requires planning permission.  The rules for extensions include a series of complicated interactions between height, width, depth, distance to boundaries and the proportion of the original site remaining clear of buildings.  For further information, go to:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/606669/170405_Householder_Technical_Guidance__-April_2017_FINAL.pdf

Whilst the government’s policy is aimed at reducing red tape, costs and the time it takes before a project can start, pitfalls await the unwary further down the line.  Without formal planning consent, prospective purchasers may be reluctant to complete a transaction until there is certainty about the lawfulness of any construction.  An application to the local planning authority for a Lawful Development Certificate (at any time before starting, during or following completion) might be a way to allay such fears.  This is not the same as a Completion Certificate from Building Control, which confirms that the relevant building code(s) have been complied with.  Other areas to consider include trees, and consultation with neighbours (a requirement for certain schemes).

The Local Plan

The Local Plan will decide how the communities of, and places in Elmbridge will develop over the next 15 years, through a combination of principles to guide the granting of planning permissions, and by allocating land for development.  Details will become available once approved by the Special Cabinet meeting on 24th July.

Since the initial consultation, officers have been responding to residents’  feedback and changes to national planning policy, by enhancing the Council’s evidence base.  The next milestone, following the Issues and Options consultation in 2016/2017, is to share the findings of this further work with communities.  Subject to Cabinet approval, this consultation is scheduled to start on 19th August and run for six weeks.  It may include a series of panel style public meetings to discuss the consultation document and the implications of the proposals for each settlement area.

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