Local Validation List consultation

A local validation list tells people who are submitting planning applications what supporting information will be needed. It also provides advice on the detail and scope of that information.

The National Planning Policy Framework sets out that Local Planning Authorities must publish a local validation list for applications and review it frequently. We are carrying out this consultation because significant time has passed since the previous consultation and because we have made a number of changes.

The list is divided into two sections, the national validation requirements and the local validation requirements. The national requirements are set by government and are the same across all Local Planning Authorities in England. The local validation requirements relate specifically to planning applications submitted to Brent Council. The information required will also be dependent on the scale and nature of the proposal. Applications that do not include the information set out within the local or national that is relevant to the application will not be as a valid submission.

Consultation was undertaken on the Local Validation List for a period of 6 weeks from 4 June to 15 July 2018.

During this period, the consultation was advertised on the Council’s web site. Details of the consultation were also included as footers on all e-mails sent by the officers within the Development Management teams, thus reaching a large number of agents and applicants.

Consultation responses

One consultation response was received during this period, which welcomed the clarity that the Local Validation list provides.

The response highlighted two areas that they considered the Council may want to include or develop further:

The consultation response specified the following:

1) Affordable workspace – Affordable workspace is a growing challenge for start-ups/ SMEs, particularly with respect to industrial space. Obviously this requirement would only applicable to commercial/ mixed use schemes and would be targeted at start-ups/ early stage – and perhaps micro – businesses. This would tie into the reference on the Brent Affordable Workspace web page to pre-application discussions with developers re affordable workspace. Whilst I note that the 2014 DMPs have affordable workspace policies (https://www.brent.gov.uk/media/16406058/draft-development-management-policies-dpd-small-reg-18.pdf), it is noted on pg 39 of the Reg 18 local plan consultation that “The requirement for affordable workspace as part of employment led developments on designated employment sites has not been pursued.” Perhaps the requirement would be pursued more often if it formed part of the Local Validation list?

2) Superfast broadband as part of utilities assessment – Does the Council specify the level of broadband connectivity that will be achieved on a new scheme should be specified by developers as part of the planning application/ utilities assessment? You could perhaps drive transparency and encourage investment by requiring https://wiredscore.com/uk/ certification, or a Technology Performance Certificate https://ksbc.co.uk/#what-we-do (developed in West London with Innovate UK funding), on commercial sites over a certain size?

Consideration of the comments

Affordable workspace

The provision of workspace for small businesses and SMEs is referred to within Planning Policy including London Plan policy 2.17 and Brent Policy DMP14 makes specific reference to the provision of Affordable Workspace. The provision of Affordable Workspace is also referred to within many Site Allocations within Brent Planning Policy. The need to protect Strategic Industrial Locations and Locally Significant Industrial sites for Use Class B1, B2 and B8 purposes is also specifically referred to within Brent Policy CP20.

The reference to Affordable workspace within Brent policy relates primarily to situation where non-employment uses are proposed within employment sites and locations. The policy does not solely refer to the provision of Affordable Workspace, but rather to a number of considerations associated with proposals which involve the provision of non-employment uses within employment sites. As such, it is considered appropriate to include an additional validation requirement relating to proposals which involve non B Use Class uses (or other related Sui Generis uses), but not necessarily relating solely to Affordable Workspace.

In responding to the consultation comment, it is therefore considered appropriate to include an additional validation requirement to the local list which requires the submission of an Employment Land Assessment for full and outline applications where non-employment (B Use Class or other related Sui Generis) uses are proposed within designated Strategic Industrial Locations, Locally Significant Industrial Sites and Local Employment Sites where the release of the site from Employment uses has not been identified through a site allocation. This is required to demonstrate compliance with Brent Policies CP20 and DMP14 and London Plan policy 2.17.

The full text of the additional requirement is as follows:

RequirementWhen required
Employment Land Assessment

Applications for planning permission within which a change of use or the provision of additional floorspace is proposed for purposes that do not fall within Use Classes B1, B2 and B8, or Sui Generis uses that are closely related within a designated Strategic Industrial Location, Locally Significant Industrial Site or within a Local Employment Site.

Local Employment Sites are defined as sites outside of Strategic Industrial Location or Locally Significant Industrial Sites which are within the B Use Class or a closely related Sui Generis Use.

The additional information regarding the validation requirement is as follows:

Employment Land Assessment

For Strategic Industrial Location or Locally Significant Industrial Sites the Assessment shall demonstrate there is no reasonable prospect of an application coming forward on the site for uses in the B Use Class or a closely related Sui Generis Use. Evidence should include, but is not limited to, robust viability testing and market analysis, taking into account the latest Brent Employment Land Demand Study.

For Local Employment Sites the Assessment shall demonstrate either:

a) the Local Employment Site is not viable for continued employment use as it is vacant and a thorough marketing exercise at realistic prices for the area has been sustained over a 24 month period; or
b) redevelopment or re-use of a Local Employment Site for mixed-use development would accommodate the existing employment use, or provide Managed Affordable Workspace to a specification agreed by a Managed Workspace Provider; and wider regeneration benefits would be achieved for the community.

For detailed guidance refer to Development Management Policy 14 and supporting text: www.brent.gov.uk/dmp.

Superfast Broadband

While the Council is supportive of the provision of superfast broadband, the provision of this within development proposals is not required by Planning Policy. As such, this cannot form a validation requirement.

Next steps

The checklist has been revised to account for the additional requirement discussed above and the revised list will be published on the Council’s web site in September 2018.

The local information requirements will be reviewed at least every two years in the future.