This week’s updates are:

1. Report identifies homes shortfall
2. Extra borrowing powers for councils to build 10,000 affordable homes – Thanks to Mark Montgomery, Hertfordshire for this.
3. LGiU policy briefing re NPPG - Thanks to Sharon Henley, Northamptonshire for this.
4. The National Heritage List for England – Thanks to Mark Harrison at English Heritage.
5. HCA Newsletter – Thanks to Mark Montgomery, Hertfordshire for this.
6. MPs to study planning policy framework
7. Fall in vacant homes
8. Checkpoint security screening of people and their belongings: guide
9. DHF continues to raise awareness of powered gate safety
10. Criminality in the Park Homes Industry.

Visit the 'Secured By Design' web site for CPDA contact details, design guides, licence holders & application forms: www.securedbydesign.com

1. Report identifies homes shortfall
By 2018 the South of England will face a combined shortfall of at least 160,000 homes a new report from international real estate adviser, Savills has claimed. The report argues that local planning authorities aren’t planning enough new homes to meet the growing housing need. Access the report.

2. Extra borrowing powers for councils to build 10,000 affordable homes – Thanks to Mark Montgomery, Hertfordshire for this.
New borrowing powers will enable councils to build up to 10,000 affordable homes, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander announced 7 April 2014. Councils can bid for a share of £300 million of extra borrowing, which will be made available through an increase in their housing revenue account borrowing cap, and invested in new affordable housing over 2 years from 2015. Ministers also confirmed that the rules about council land sales would change, so more surplus and redundant land and property can be released to build homes for local communities. Councils applying for extra borrowing powers will need to demonstrate maximum value for money, by including funds from disposal of surplus assets, particularly high-value vacant stock, and by bringing forward their own land for new affordable housing. More at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-borrowing-powers-for-councils-to-build-10000-affordable-homes

3. LGiU policy briefing re NPPG - Thanks to Sharon Henley, Northamptonshire for this.
Is available at: http://www.lgiu.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Planning-Practice-Guidance-goes-live.pdf (Takes a while to load)

4. The National Heritage List for England – Thanks to Mark Harrison at English Heritage.
I had occasion to be interested in a heritage site this last week and needed to know its status, etc. Mark assisted and gave me the below information and link.
The National Heritage List for England is the only official and up to date database of all nationally designated heritage assets including: Listed Buildings, Scheduled Monuments, Protected Wreck Sites, Registered Parks and Gardens, Registered Battlefields, World Heritage Sites, Applications for Certificates of Immunity (COIs), Current Building Preservation Notices (BPNs). World Heritage Sites are recorded on the List, but these sites are separately inscribed by UNESCO.
More and a map search at: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/professional/protection/process/national-heritage-list-for-england/

5. HCA Newsletter – Thanks to Mark Montgomery, Hertfordshire for this.
The newsletter for 9th April is available at: http://email.homesandcommunities.co.uk/communique/static/2719/17859825
From the Newsletter on the right side under “2015-18 AHP FAQ “ and then under Q.11 for 2015 to 2018, it reads:

Q11 Does HCA still require bidders to achieve the physical aspects of Secured by Design? Can Local Authorities ask for full certification?

A11 For the 2015-18 AHP, HCA will no longer require partners to achieve the physical aspects of Secured by Design as this was embedded within the Code for Sustainable Homes.

Bidders should put forward bids based on Publically Available Specification (PAS) 24 doors and British Standard 7950 windows.

Current 2011-15 AHP schemes will still have to meet standards agreed at firm scheme stage and any local authority planning conditions.

6. MPs to study planning policy framework
Parliament has launched an inquiry into the operation of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). This initiative has come from the all-party Commons Communities and Local Government Committee. MPs will scrutinise the operation of the NPPF during its first two years, concentrating on the NPPF’s impact on planning for housing, town centres and energy infrastructure. The announcement came as the committee published a report it commissioned from Cambridge University’s Centre for Housing and Planning Research to identify pinch points in the planning system affecting housing. It focused on analysing the published data and interviews with planners and with large and small house builders. The findings included the following: large house builders generally thought the NPPF had been a positive change. They are, however, opposed to further changes in policy, calling instead for a focus on good practice. An adopted local plan and a five-year land supply were essential for effective planning. The lack of a local plan made a local planning authority vulnerable to appeals. In some authorities there was an expectation that applications would go to appeal because elected members did not want to make planning decisions or because local opposition to new development was strong. Many factors could contribute to delays. This included consultation with stakeholders, the attitude of some councillors, and a lack of resources and skills. Environmental matters in particular could be a considerable source of delay. The planning process was effective when there was a positive culture within local authorities and a pro-development attitude from chief executives, planning officers and elected members. The researchers also concluded that planning performance targets did not tell the whole story and could be misleading. Find out more about the inquiry. & Download the Cambridge University report.

7. Fall in vacant homes
The number of vacant properties in England has hit a 10-year low, Government figures show. According to the latest data, as of October 2013 there were 635,127 empty homes across the country, down by around a fifth since 2009 and the lowest level since 2004. Read the Department for Communities and Local Government news release.

8. Checkpoint security screening of people and their belongings: guide
PAS 127:2014 is a guide to checkpoint security screening of people and their belongings within your organization. The PAS contains everything you need to help identify and implement checkpoint security screening measures that address the issues your organization faces. This booklet provides an introduction to PAS 127:2014 and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining, reading, and acting on PAS 127:2014 itself. Available at: https://www.cpni.gov.uk/Documents/Publications/2014/2014-03-26-PAS127_mini.pdf

9. DHF continues to raise awareness of powered gate safety
Article at: http://www.dhfonline.org.uk/news.aspx?NewsArticleId=76

10. Criminality in the Park Homes Industry.
A guide to dealing with residents who are bullied by the owners of the sites, is attached.

The End