Planning for new facilities

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IN this country, Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) have seen a flurry of planning applications for logistics developments, characterised by large-scale high quality schemes in strategic locations with good road networks. NAI Fuller Peiser undertook a survey of LPAs to investigate their attitudes towards Class B8 ‘Storage and Distribution’ uses in 1999/2000 and again in 2001 to assess any changes in their views. The results of the survey support the general view that LPAs tend not to encourage Class B8 development.

Planning is therefore becoming an increasingly important factor in the successful delivery of business strategies of major logistics players.

Most logistics developments require planning permission. As with other large-scale schemes, once a scheme has been formulated it is advisable to hold a pre-planning application meeting with the relevant LPA. This provides a basis to discuss particular planning issues and to identify the scope of information that will be required to accompany a planning application.

Planning applications can either be ‘detailed’ or an ‘outline’. A ‘detailed’ planning application may be submitted in order to obtain full planning permission for a development. An application will need to be accompanied by a range of information including detailed architects plans and drawings. Large scale schemes may also need to be supported by a Transport Assessment, Travel Plan and an Environmental Assessment. A cross-disciplinary project team would therefore need to be appointed.

An ‘outline’ application is normally submitted to obtain approval for a scheme in principle and to allow detailed matters to be considered at a later date as part of a separate planning application for ‘reserved matters’. Detailed matters include siting, layout, access, design, external appearance and landscaping.

The application is accompanied by a site layout plan and sufficient information to identify the proposed quantum of development. However, depending on the scale and nature of the scheme, a LPA may require a Transport and/or an Environmental Assessment and any detailed matters to be considered as part of the outline application.

LPAs are required to determine planning applications in accordance with the development plan, unless other material considerations indicate otherwise (under s54A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990). Material considerations include more recent National and Regional Planning Guidance, and other planning matters. Certain planning applications may also be determined by the Secretary of State, including those, which are a departure from the development plan or are of more than local importance and are ‘called-in’ for determination.

Applications should be determined within a statutory period of eight weeks, however large scale developments can take nine to18

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