Bungalows are back on planning agenda
Councils are being urged to build a new generation of bungalows as part of a planning revolution to create bespoke homes for people aged over 65. The Times covered the announcement by Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for local government, which said that new rules will stipulate that local councils should match new development to the type of accommodation needed locally to cater for the ageing population.
Planners will have to ensure that they have enough properties of the right type — including clusters of bungalows that can be let only to older people. Pensioners will be encouraged to downsize, freeing up family homes.
Councils will have to plan for this in order to cater for the increasing numbers of elderly people.
In a response to a Daily Mail report that weekly rubbish collections will need to be scrapped to meet EU regulations, local government Minister Brandon Lewis wrote to the paper, saying:
• Contrary to your report (Daily Mail, 17 August 2013), it is not the case that weekly rubbish collections will need to be scrapped to meet European Union regulations.
• In March, the government won a High Court case, confirming that councils can continue to provide ‘comingled collections’. Councils are not required by any diktat to make householders separate rubbish into 5 separate bins.
• Nor is it the case, as suggested in the report, that the government has dropped its support for weekly rubbish collections. As the Daily Mail highlighted on 21 November, our £250 million Weekly Collections Support Scheme has safeguarded the weekly collections for 6 million households, and we are supporting innovation in weekly schemes, from better recycling technology to rewards for going green.
Annual report of Babergh’s Planning Committee 2012/13 – some key statistics
• Paper N51 to Strategy Committee, 12th September, highlights some key statistics.
• 1147 applications were received and 1116 were determined, nearly 86% of which were approved, more than 88% being delegated decisions by officers.
• Fee generation applications and other related income generated £412,327.
• The New Homes Bonus, which has replaced the former award of Housing and planning Delivery Grant, was £578,616 for 2012/13.
• Building Control received 926 applications and undertook 6,969 inspections. There was a total income from this service of £327,960 (down from £379,296 last year.)
• Three formal complaints were lodged and pursued, with others resolved informally.
• Babergh has nearly 3000 listed buildings of which 273 are Grade 1 or Grade 2*. There are also 28 conservation areas. Further resources are being recruited to deal with the assessment and determination of heritage applications.
Babergh and Mid Suffolk plan for budget cuts
As councils across the country face continuing budget cuts councillors from both councils have been working over the summer months to radically alter the way both councils deliver services. We want to ensure that frontline services are affected as little as possible and this is not an easy task. We will update you as we hear more news.