Effectiveness of Core Strategy on planning requests

The request was successful.

Dear Stockport Borough Council,

Since the adoption of the Core Strategy in March 2011, could you advise the following:

1. On how many occasions has a planning application been approved despite not meeting the Core Strategy guidelines ?

2. Will the examination hearings linked from http://www.stockport.gov.uk/services/env... to http://www.stockport.gov.uk/services/env... be made available in the near future ? It currently returns a "404" error.

3. On the occasions (if any) where a planning application has been approved despite not meeting Core Strategy guidelines, what criteria were not met, and what were the circumstances to it being approved nevertheless ?

Many thanks,

Neil Corrie

FOI Officer, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Corrie,

 

Thank you for your request for information below which has been given
reference FOI 4876. Please quote this on any correspondence regarding your
request.

 

Stockport Council will respond to your request within 20 working days. If
there will be a charge for disbursements e.g. photocopying in order to
provide the information, we will inform you as soon as possible to see if
you wish to proceed; however such charges are usually waived if they
amount to less than £10.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Corporate Information Services

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

 

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FOI Officer, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Corrie,

 

I am writing in response to your request for information below (ref 4876).

 

The response to your request has been prepared by the relevant Council
service and is as follows:

 

1.     This information is made available to the public on the Council's
website in the form of reports/decision notices relating to individual
applications. On the planning pages, you are able to search the planning
database to find this information, which will be linked to individual
applications:

[1]http://www.stockport.gov.uk/services/env...

2.     The pages you have linked to do work; however the second link is
incorrect. The information is on the Council website at the following
link:
[2]http://www.stockport.gov.uk/services/env...

3.     This information is made available to the public on the Council's
website in the form of reports/decision notices relating to individual
applications. On the planning pages, you are able to search the planning
database to find this information, which will be linked to individual
applications.

 

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request for
information, you are entitled to ask for an internal review; however you
must do so within 40 working days of the date of this response. Any
internal review will be carried out by a senior member of staff who was
not involved with your original request. To ask for an internal review,
contact [3][email address] in the first instance.

 

If you are unhappy with the outcome of any internal review, you are
entitled to complain to the Information Commissioner. To do so, contact:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

[4]www.ico.gov.uk

 

01625 545 745

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Corporate Information Services

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

 

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Dear FOI Officer,

The links provided do not work unfortunately, giving error. Could you please review?

erver Error in '/' Application.

The resource cannot be found.

Description: HTTP 404. The resource you are looking for (or one of its dependencies) could have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable. Please review the following URL and make sure that it is spelled correctly.

Requested URL: /services/environment/planningbuilding/planningapplications

Version Information: Microsoft .NET Framework Version:2.0.50727.3053; ASP.NET Version:2.0.50727.3053

Yours sincerely,

Neil Corrie

FOI Officer, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Corrie,

 

The first link did work when this was sent to you originally as this was
checked before the response was sent to you; however the link below will
now take you to the Council’s planning database:

 

[1]http://planning.stockport.gov.uk/Plannin...

 

The second link in the email below is correct and can be opened directly
from the link; therefore it is unclear why you cannot access this from
your end.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Corporate Information Services

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

 

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Sheila Oliver (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Dear Mr Corrie

The toxic waste dump school at North Reddish was completely against the Unitary Development Plan at the time, which designated the land both a local open space and the site for a replacement school for North Reddish Juniors only, not the massive ueberschool which they have built.

SMBC regularly commits planning abuses in my experience. At Offerton Precinct (you will note it is still dangerous and derelict) they said the proposed small convenience store which could have been built by now along with replacement premises for existing local businesses who were all on board, would impact on the District Centre of Marple circa 3 miles away, whereas the big possibly Tesco they were approving would not. They make it up as they go along for whatever reason (and I could guess), and unless you have a fortune to take them to judicial review you can whistle for a clear, fair, honest and open planning system.

Dear FOI Officer,

I don't quite understand how to find such information.

Are you saying that you are not able to answer original question : how many times has core strategy guideline been overruled ?

Yours sincerely,

Neil Corrie

FOI Officer, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr Corrie,

 

In response to your email below (Ref 4876) the relevant Council service
has prepared a further response to your request:

 

The original question was: “On how many occasions has a planning
application been approved despite not meeting the Core Strategy
guidelines”.

 

To clarify the answer given before, the information sought is available on
the Council’s website (at the website link given previously).  Reviewing
details of all the planning applications received since the Core Strategy
policies came into force on 1^st April 2011 would enable Mr Corrie to
establish which (and, therefore, how many) have been granted contrary to
policy.  However, undertaking that scrutiny would be a very time consuming
process so, to be of greater assistance, we have undertaken some automated
analysis of the database which sits behind the online system.

 

The straightforward answer is 2; however it should be noted that planning
applications submitted since 1^st April 2011 are not just considered
against Core Strategy policies – consideration is also given to compliance
with ‘saved’ UDP Review policies i.e. policies from the previous
development plan which the Core Strategy has not replaced (these will be
replaced in due course by policies in the Allocations DPD that is
currently being prepared and which will sit alongside and be in conformity
with the Core Strategy).

 

Planning applications which are considered to be contrary to policies have
to be advertised as a “departure from the development plan”.  Note that in
some cases the applicant might submit further information or amend their
plans so as to bring an application advertised as a departure in-line with
policy requirements; the figures below do not take this into account.

 

·         1,851 planning applications were registered by the Council
between 1^st April 2011 and 31^st December 2011 (note that this is all
types of application including applications for listed building consent,
conservation area consent and consents for work to trees subject to a tree
preservation order, not just regular planning consents for new buildings
or changes of use etc.).

·         Approximately 8% of applications determined during this period
were refused.

·         16 of the applications registered during this period (less than
0.9%) were advertised as a departure.

·         Planning permission was granted to 6 applications which were
advertised as a departure between 1^st April 2011 and 31^st December 2011
(less than a 0.33% of all applications registered)

·         Of these, 4 were considered to be a departure from ‘saved’ UDP
Review policies (reference numbers DC/047144, DC/047995, DC/048225 and
DC/048377) and 2 were considered to be a departure from Core Strategy
policies (DC/047272 and DC/048232).  However, some may have been
considered contrary to policies of both the Core Strategy and the UDP
Review but they cannot be recorded against both in the system – more
details will be contained in the reasons for approval given on the
decision notice (available on the website at the link given previously).

 

The figures show that there are actually very few planning applications
submitted which are departures from policy.  In many cases the proposal is
acceptable in principle but the detail is contrary to policy; in such
cases the Council normally seeks to work with the applicant to amend the
proposals so that they are subsequently considered to accord with policy
and can be granted permission.  In other situations, where there are more
significant issues arising with an application, it is not unusual for the
applicant to withdraw the application – this, essentially, buys them more
time as they are able to resubmit a new application within 6 months
without having to pay a new fee.

 

Mr Corrie may wish to note that the Council is required to publish an
Annual Monitoring Report (AMR).  The AMR sets out performance of policies
against a number of key monitoring indicators.  The AMR is published each
autumn for the previous municipal year – the most recent version
(available at [1]http://stockport-consult.limehouse.co.uk...)
reports on the period from 1^st April 2010 to 31^st March 2011 and,
therefore, does not yet include monitoring of Core Strategy policies – it
will, however, be included in the next iteration of the AMR (which, in
line with the Localism Act, will be renamed the ‘Authority’s Monitoring
Report’).

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Corporate Information Services

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

 

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