Open Letter to Nadim Zahawi MP

Open Letter to Rt Hon Nadhim Zahawi MP.

Open letter to Rt Hon Nadhim Zahawi MP on the importance of supporting British farmers such as our client Valefresco to produce fresh wholefoods – this letter follows a meeting with Nadhim last Friday.

Good afternoon Nadhim Zahawi

I write on behalf of Valefresco following our meeting at your constituency office last Friday (20th October 2023).  Our meeting sought to continue discussions on the Government’s progress for policy support to facilitate changes to the current farming and planning systems to secure the sustainable cultivation of fresh wholefoods (salad and orientate vegetables) through protected cropping here in the UK.    Policy support for the cultivation of fresh wholefoods in protected climates (typically green houses and polytunnels) has been highlighted by the Government in the National Food Strategy (2022) and Farm to Fork Strategy (2023).  We were told policy support for protected cropping would be specifically addressed through the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill which has reached final stages and appears to make no mention of this specific support or mechanism to achieve such an outcome.   Please could we have a written response on this matter; namely, how and when will policy support be provided?

I am sure the Government appreciates that farming businesses like and including Valefresco make a significant economic contribution not only in terms of goods and employment but through sustainable farming and the cultivation of fresh wholefoods which directly impact health and education.  As recognised in the aforementioned policy documents, the current destructive approach to farming and influence of ‘Big Food’ has promoted the prevalence of Ultra Processed Foods (UPF) which is the leading cause of illness (obesity, diabetes, and chromic disease from inflammation) here in the UK over and above smoking which previously held this unprestigious mantel.  Therefore policy support for protected cropping of fresh wholefoods here in the UK is not solely limited to sustainable farming practices,  the objective of “building a strong, responsive and competitive economy” (para 8, NPPF), achieving environmental commitments and national food security, it will contribute towards improved health and education outcomes which is of particular importance given the pressure the NHS is presently under and the value people of this country put on this world revered service.

It is therefore essential that meaningful policy support is provided by the Government before key businesses, such as Valefresco, can no longer survive.  A lack of support will only act to move further away from delivering Government objectives as outlined in the policy documents referred to above.  Valefresco, and other businesses alike are able to support and deliver the Government’s aims – meaningless intent or delayed action will only fail to accomplish.  Please prioritise this matter moving forward.

Best regards

Wendy Hopkins | MRTPI

Company Director | Brodie Planning Associates Ltd

Office: 01242 898368 | Mob: 07900243414 | Web: www.brodieplanning.co.uk

The Stables | Manor Farm Courtyard | Southam | Cheltenham | Gloucestershire | GL52 3PB

Contact us today with any planning, design or architectural enquiries you may have. 

6 + 6 =

Planning Fee Changes

Upcoming Planning Application Fee Increases

On the 26th September 2023, legislation to increase planning application fees was approved by both the House of Lords and Commons.

The legislation is to come into effect on the 6th December 2023.

The main changes to the fees are as follows:

  • All application fees will increase by 25%, rising to 35% for ‘major’ schemes.
  • Provision of a ‘Free-Go’ for application re-submissions will be removed entirely.
  • Introduction of an annual increase in application fees from April 2025 linked to inflation (capped at 10%).
  • The ‘planning guarantee’ time period will be reduced from 26 weeks to 16 weeks to be eligible for a refund of fees for non determination of any non-major applications (including householder development).

A full list of the amended planning application fees can be found on the Planning Portal website here.

If you have any questions about the proposed planning fee increases, or need to get a planning application submitted before these increases come into force, get in touch today to see how we can help you.

12 + 7 =

SWDPR Regulation 22 Submission

SWDPR Regulation 22 Submission

*drum roll* SWDPR HAS BEEN SUBMITTED FOR EXAMINATION *cheering and clapping*🎉

 

On Wednesday 27th September 2023, under Regulation 22 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations, 2012 (as amended), the South Worcestershire Councils – Malvern Hills, Worcester City, and Wychavon – submitted the South Worcestershire Development Plan Review (SWDPR) for independent examination.

In addition to the SWDPR itself, the Councils have submitted a suite of supporting evidence and other essential documents.

In due course, the Secretary of State will appoint independent Inspector who will oversee the examination process. Their impartial guidance will ensure the examination is conducted thoroughly and fairly.

To facilitate effective communication throughout the examination period, a Programme Officer has been appointed by the Councils, who will be the first point of contact for any matters related to the examination of the plan.

The Programme Officer’s contact details, the submitted version of the SWDPR, and all accompanying documents are available to view on South Worcestershire Development Plan Review | Local Plan Examination Services

For those who prefer to review documents in person, appointments can be made between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday to Friday, at any of the South Worcestershire council offices. To arrange a visit, please get in touch with the SWDPR team using the appropriate email address below. Be sure to specify in advance which documents you wish to view.

We are delighted to share this important development in the progression of the SWDPR and encourage you to stay engaged in the examination process.

Please get in touch if we can help to answer any questions relating to how this emerging policy may affect your development proposals and/or development aspirations. You can submit a request via the contact form below, or alternatively email / call us directly at:

Email: mail@brodieplanning.co.uk
Phone: 01242 898368

15 + 11 =

Updates to NPPF – September 2023

NPPF Updates
5 September 2023

On the 5th September, the government is making new changes that will empower communities to advance onshore wind projects, leading to quicker generation of renewable energy and reduced energy bills for supportive residents.

The government has streamlined planning regulations, granting local communities a more influential role in determining the fate of onshore wind projects. This move aims to foster electricity cost savings and bolster national energy security.

These measures encompass a broader range of methods for identifying suitable locations, including community-driven initiatives, and expediting the site allocation process through alternatives to the local planning process. This approach ensures that the entire community has a voice, shifting the focus from a minority of objectors to a majority of supporters, thereby opening the door to more community-supported onshore wind projects.

Importantly, local policies regarding onshore wind will continue to be decided by elected local councillors, who are accountable to their constituents. Projects will move forward when they can demonstrate local support and address planning concerns raised by the community.

Furthermore, communities endorsing local wind farms could stand to benefit from reduced energy costs, thanks to proposals designed to incentivize more projects. The government has sought input on measures to enhance the benefits and rewards for communities supporting onshore wind farms and will unveil the next steps in this process later this Autumn.

In a post on Gov.UK on the 5th September, the Government confirmed that:

  • Communities are able to bring forward proposals for onshore wind – planning policy will be changed to make clear onshore wind developments can be identified in several ways rather than through local plans. This includes through Local Development Orders and Community Right to Build Orders.
  • Councils should consider the views of the whole community, rather than a small minority, when considering a planning application. This includes addressing the planning impact of onshore wind projects as identified by local communities.

If you have any queries regarding the updated NPPF, or any other planning matters, please use the form below to contact our team today.

7 + 5 =

Successful Appeal and Award of Costs

Successful Appeal and Award of Costs

BPA has secured planning permission on appeal, along with a full costs award, for the change of use of an ancillary building to an independent dwellinghouse in Upper Oddington, Moreton-in-Marsh.

Despite the advice of professional officers, the Council refused the application at planning committee due to the effect of the proposal on the character and appearance of the area.

BPA successfully argued that as the external appearance of the building would remain exactly the same as an extant planning permission, the reason for refusal could not be substantiated. The Inspector agreed and found the building to be of a high-quality design respecting the character and appearance of the locality. Accordingly, the Inspector found no conflict with the adopted Local Plan or Cotswold Design Code.

In addition to allowing the appeal, the Inspector held that the Council provided little evidence as to why it felt the development was considered to be of an inappropriate design. Consequently, the refusal of planning permission constituted unreasonable behaviour and the Council were ordered to pay the applicant’s full costs in the appeal proceedings.

If you have any queries on this decision or would like to discuss a similar proposal, please contact the Office on 01242 898368 or mail@brodieplanning.co.uk