Inquiries Review: Notification Of Inquiry As Preferred Procedure Now Required 10 Days Prior To Appeal Submission

If you want a planning appeal to follow the inquiry procedure, you now need to tell us, and the Local Planning Authority, at least 10 days in advance of appeal submission

Planning Inspectorate

Planning Inspectorate

At the Planning Summit held in London on 14 May the Minister for Housing, Kit Malthouse MP, endorsed our Action Plan to implement the recommendations of the Inquiries Review.  As we have previously announced, we have begun implementing some of the recommendations and this update summarises the latest step forward.

Recommendation 3 advises streamlining the procedure used by appellants when they request an inquiry, recommending they notify the relevant local planning authority (LPA) at least 10 working days in advance of the submission of the appeal, ensuring they also share the notification with the Inspectorate at the same time.

How to notify

With immediate effect, you should notify the Local Planning Authority and also the Planning Inspectorate by email inquiryappeals@planninginspectorate.gov.uk at least 10 working days before submitting your planning appeal.

In the notification, we request that you include:

  • Appellant name
  • The Local Planning Authority that the appeal will be against
  • Reason for appeal
  • Site address
  • Description of development
  • Planning application number; and
  • Likely submission date of appeal.

Download the template to attach to the notification email.

We have also asked local planning authorities to provide this instruction to applicants in the decision notification.

For clarity, this only applies to planning appeals that follow the inquiry procedure.

Next actions for the inquiries review

In the next few weeks, we will publish guidance on new arrangements for the statement of case and statement of common ground. Appellants and local planning authorities should familiarise themselves with the guidance once published.

Keep informed about the changes

As we implement the recommendations of the Inquiries Review, we will publish updates on Inquiries Review page of GOV.UK. Subscribe to email notifications to keep updated on progress and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Preventing Pollution And Hazards From Soil Water Run-Off

Environment Agency and Herefordshire Council are using satellite technology to target sites where soil water run-off is causing big problems for the environment and the county’s roads

Large quantities of mud have washed onto the county's roads

Large quantities of mud have washed onto the county’s roads

Heavy rain in Herefordshire last week led to a number of pollution incidents caused by soil running off into rivers and large quantities of mud washing onto the county’s roads resulting in hazardous driving conditions.

With a lot more rain forecast the Environment Agency with Herefordshire Council are continuing to target landowners to remind them of their responsibilities.

In heavy rain, soil can be dramatically washed away from fields. Better soil management can help reduce instances of soil loss which causes water pollution, exacerbates flooding and creates dangerous conditions on the county’s roads.

Satellite imagery and footage from drones will be used to identify bare, sloping agricultural fields where soil run-off is most likely. Using this intelligence, the landowner will be visited to make them aware of the potential issues and guidance on better soil management practices.

This is particularly important for the River Wye; one of the biggest threats to this special area of conservation comes from run-off from agriculture. Herefordshire’s famous sandy red soils are generally very fine and become extremely mobile during heavy rain storms, meaning it is not unusual for soil and sediment to enter watercourses and harm the delicate gravel ecosystems.

Dave Throup, the Environment Agency’s Herefordshire Environment Manager said:

Agricultural pollution and soil run-off is a significant problem, which is why we are using targeted patrols and a number of other methods to try and tackle the issue. Working with our partners from Herefordshire Council and Natural Resources Wales we can identify those sites that pose a risk to the environment and work with farmers to prevent pollution incidents happening in the first place.

Clive Hall, Herefordshire Council’s Acting Assistant Director Highways and Transport, said:

Anyone with concerns of excessive mud on the road that is presenting a hazard to road users should call Balfour Beatty Living Places on 01432 261800 (calls are monitored 24/7). They will assess the risk and take the action required to return our roads to as safe a state as we can.

Environment Agency staff respond to pollution incidents 24/7 to contain pollution and protect water quality. We investigate pollution incidents to find the source, stop the problem and understand how best to reduce any impacts on local communities and the environment. We would urge anyone who notices pollution to land or water to call our hotline: 0800 80 70 60.

UK And EU Law Enforcement Boost Co-Operation On DNA Databases

Prüm framework will assist law enforcement agencies in Britain and the EU to identify criminals and crack cold cases

Home Office

Home Office

Law enforcement agencies in the UK and across the EU will be able to search for matching samples on each other’s DNA databases, boosting their capacity to tackle cross-border crime and protect citizens.

The UK’s implementation of Prüm will facilitate better co-operation between police forces and law enforcement agencies. Unknown DNA samples taken from crime scenes can now be compared automatically with profiles held by other EU member states.

Improving the speed and efficiency of data exchanges between EU member states will increase cross-border police cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism, crime and illegal migration.

This also has the potential to help UK and EU police forces to identify suspects in cold cases.

Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Nick Hurd said:

Connecting to the Prüm DNA framework will help our police forces to quickly identify foreign criminals and bring them to justice.

We are committed to working closely with our EU partners on security co-operation, and to providing law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to protect our citizens.

The UK’s DNA database currently holds profiles of more than 5 million people and 500,000 samples from crime scenes.

Prior to connecting to the Prüm DNA framework, data exchange was done by the UK’s National Crime Agency using manual exchange mechanisms.

The UK government is committed to a long-term security partnership with the EU.

Three New General Licences Announced

Three new general licences for the killing or taking of wild birds in England will be issued on Friday 14 June

Wild Bird

Wild Bird

Three new general licences for the killing or taking of wild birds in England will be issued at 00:01 on Friday 14 June.

The recent call for evidence demonstrated a range of impacts that individuals and groups experienced as a result of the revocation of licences GL04, 05 and 06, including crow attacks on lambs and ewes during lambing, the risk of predation for eggs and fledglings of birds of conservation concern, and public health issues caused by pigeons in urban areas. A summary of the evidence and the government response will be published shortly.

The new licences will allow users to control certain species of wild birds in order to:

  • conserve wild birds and flora or fauna (WML GL34)
  • preserve public health or public safety (WML GL35)
  • prevent serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, fisheries or inland waters (WML GL36)

The decision to issue the new licences follows analysis of information provided to Defra’s formal open evidence-gathering exercise which allowed all concerned parties to explain the impact that Natural England’s withdrawal of its three general licences GL04, 05 and 06 had on the management of wild birds.

The call for evidence Use of general licences for the management of certain wild birds closed on Monday 13 May, with over 4,000 responses submitted. Having also sought the views of user groups on the usability of different potential licensing options, the three new general licences seek to protect wild birds whilst recognising the legitimate needs of people and other wildlife.

The three new general licences cover species and specified purposes that Defra considers appropriate in light of the information gathered through that exercise and other relevant evidence, including statutory advice from Natural England. At this stage, the new licences will not apply to European protected sites (more information below).

The licences will be valid until 29 February 2020. In the meantime, Defra will lead a review of the longer-term general licensing arrangements. We intend to launch an initial public consultation by the end of the summer, with further details to follow. Defra will work closely on this review with Natural England, who have already indicated the need to examine a wider range of general and class licences.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:

I recognise the scale of interest and concern that was generated by Natural England’s decision to revoke three general licences and I am grateful to those thousands of individuals and groups who shared their experiences in responding to the call for evidence.

The three new general licences announced today seek to minimise some of the negative impacts that the withdrawal of the previous licences had. But this is a temporary way forward and does not cover European protected sites, where the law is more complicated and we continue to engage with stakeholders.

We will shortly set out details of a wider review of general licences, to provide a long term licensing solution which balances the needs of users and wildlife.

Natural England’s Chair, Tony Juniper CBE, said:

I welcome the Environment Secretary’s announcement today, which follows a great deal of work between Defra and Natural England to tackle an exceptionally complex situation.

I am immensely grateful for the efforts of my colleagues at Natural England in putting in place alternatives for users affected by the recent changes to general licences.

Our aim has always been to ensure that there is a robust licensing system in place which takes into account the needs of people and wildlife. We look forward to working closely with Defra on a review of general licences later this year to help achieve this.

Natural England revoked three general licences (GL04, 05 and 06) in April following a legal challenge and subsequent legal advice which concluded that the three licences were unlawful. For many users, Defra’s new licences will be the appropriate option. Beyond these, Natural England recently issued three general licences GL26, GL28 and GL31 to cover some of the species and purposes covered by the original licences that were revoked. These remain in place, since they allow for specified activity on European protected sites which are not covered by Defra’s new licences.

Natural England also introduced an interim system for issuing individual licences whilst the replacement general licences were being developed. Users who have received one of these individual licences can continue to operate under them should they wish. Whichever licence a user chooses to rely on, they will need to ensure they comply with the conditions and requirements of that licence. Natural England will be contacting all applicants who have made one of these individual licence applications where a licence has not yet been issued to determine whether they need to continue to with any part of their application.

New licences
General licence to kill or take certain species of wild birds to conserve wild birds and flora or fauna (GL34)

Species covered: Carrion Crow, jackdaw, jay, magpie, rook, Canada goose, Egyptian goose, monk parakeet, ring-necked parakeet, sacred ibis and Indian house-crow

General licence to kill or take certain species of wild birds to preserve public health or public safety (GL35)

Species covered: Carrion crow, jackdaw, magpie, feral pigeon, rook, Canada goose and monk parakeet

General licence to kill or take certain species of wild birds to prevent serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber, fisheries or inland waters (GL36)

Species covered: Carrion crow, jackdaw, magpie, feral pigeon, rook, woodpigeon, Canada goose, Egyptian goose, monk parakeet and ring-necked parakeet

Gulls

Users can continue to apply to Natural England for an individual licence for control of herring gulls, and now for lesser black-backed gulls. Due to their poorer conservation status, these species have not been included in the new general licences. In terms of control of nests and eggs, their breeding season for this year is largely complete, so Natural England is developing a new class licence for these species to be ready in good time for next year’s breeding season.

Protected sites

European protected sites are subject to specific EU law requirements given their particular importance to conservation. These include a process for ensuring that any impacts on the site are properly considered before any plan or project can be undertaken, known as a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA). There are a number of ways in which people can continue to carry out control on European protected sites – which include Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs) – as well as Ramsar sites. For instance, they can apply to Natural England for an individual licence if they are not already covered by an existing individual licence or the specific circumstances provided for by Natural England’s three recent general licences (carrion crow, Canada goose and woodpigeon). Users who already have an individual licence issued since 25 April 2019 can continue to operate under that should they wish.

At this stage the three new general licences will not apply to European protected sites, or to land within 300 metres of those sites. Defra will continue to work closely with conservationists, farmers, landowners, pest controllers, gamekeepers and all interested stakeholders in order to develop solutions that may be available for activity on protected sites.

As in the previous system, users will need to ensure they have consent from Natural England for any activity on Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

Growing Thirst For Northern Ireland Whiskey Overseas

Northern Ireland’s distilleries are contributing to the global Irish Whiskey renaissance

Dunville Whisky Range

Dunville Whisky Range

Distilleries in Northern Ireland are sparking a renaissance of Irish Whiskey – now the fastest growing premium spirit category in the world, with exports set to double to 12 million 9-litre cases by 2020 according to the Irish Whiskey Association.

Northern Ireland Whiskey distillers are contributing to this growth, as exports of the premium spirit from ports including Belfast, Londonderry, Warrenpoint and Coleraine to non-EU countries were worth £25.6 million in 2018 alone.

South Africa is the fastest growing non-EU market for Irish Whiskey, with exports valued at £17.6 million in 2018 – an increase of 27.8% from the previous year. Other markets driving this global demand include Australia, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, Taiwan and the United States.

One company boosting the Northern Ireland Whiskey industry is The Old Bushmills Distillery, also said to be the world’s oldest licensed distillery. Located on the north east coast of County Antrim, the business has been refining Whiskey distillation for centuries and recently announced a £50m expansion to double production over the next 5 years.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said:

I met with Old Bushmills Distillery at the Balmoral Show last month and was impressed by the company’s exporting ambitions. I am pleased to see more distilleries contributing to economic prosperity for Northern Ireland and helping the UK maintain its global reputation for high-quality food and drink.

The UK now has an international economic department – the Department for International Trade – helping British business succeed overseas in ways that never happened before, so I urge more businesses in Northern Ireland to take advantage of the global demand for their products and services.

Less than ten years ago, Northern Ireland was home to just one distillery but now boasts a range of distillers producing award-winning Whiskey, including The Echlinville Distillery, based near Kircubbin, the home of the historic Dunville malt and blended Irish Whiskey. In 2019, its Dunville’s Three Crowns Peated Whiskey won Best Irish Blend at the World Whiskey Awards.

Another company contributing to the growth of Irish Whiskey exports is Derry based Quiet Man, a family-owned business inspired by old traditions of bartending. The Quiet Man is one of Northern Ireland’s new generation of Whiskey distillers, selling its single malt and blended Irish Whiskey worldwide.

Michael Bell, Executive Director of Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association, said:

Northern Ireland has always had a great reputation for world class distilleries. A recent surge in global demand, along with increased investment and innovation within the sector, has seen it flourish and grow on a global scale. This presents exciting opportunities for our local producers. Bushmills’ expansion plans are a very positive development for the local economy and will enable the company to take advantage of the rocketing demand for Irish Whiskey worldwide.

Northern Ireland’s food and drink companies export around 80% of their products, so cementing good trading relationships with our key export markets in the future really is crucial for the sector. We continue to engage with government on behalf of our members to ensure that this vital industry is given the best chance to grow and prosper in future.

Distilleries in Northern Ireland are not only creating jobs and delivering economic growth through exports, but also the rise of Whiskey tourism. Old Bushmills, Echlinville, Rademon Estate and Boatyard Distilleries currently attract more than 120,000 visitors every year and are on course to hit the 200,000 mark in the near future.

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