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New Planning Procedures start from 1st November 11 October 2005

    The Department of Local Government and the Environment has announced the details of the new procedures for processing planning applications which come into operation on the 1st November 2005.

    In May 2005 Tynwald approved the Appointed Day Order to introduce the remaining parts of the 1999 Town and Country Planning Act. That Order comes into effect on the 1st November and at that time the Development Procedure Order 2005, which covers the processing of planning applications and related matters, and a range of other Orders and Regulations, comes into effect.

    The Department has consulted widely on the preparation of this secondary legislation and, as a result, a modified Permitted Development Order and Advertisements Regulations have been made by the Minister and are to be considered at the October sitting of Tynwald.

    These wide-ranging changes are the outcome of a thorough review of the Island’s Town and Country Planning systems which was set out in the 1999 Act. Part 1 of the Act covering the new Development Plan (which is made up of the Strategic Plan and a number of Area Plans) was introduced in 2000. It is the remaining parts of the Act which are now to be brought into force. The details of these changes have been consulted on widely under the title of “Modernising the Planning System”, initially in Autumn 2002 and in detail at the end of last year.

    The principal changes to the Development Control procedures are as follows:

    • Notification of planning applications – in addition to the weekly press list, applicants will be required to display a site notice;

    • The period for comments on applications is extended from 14 to 21 days;

    • Applicants will be required to submit 4 copies of their application to enable a separate copy to be kept available for public inspection;

    • The Planning Committee will meet in public and its agenda will be published in advance of the meeting;

    • Copies of the agenda, reports and minutes will be available for public inspection;

    • The review stage will be discontinued;

    • Appeals against a decision of the Committee will still be referred to an independent person for report and recommendation to the Minister, who will then determine the appeal.

    The other major changes relate to the Permitted Development Order and the Control of Advertisement Regulations which are to be considered at the October sitting of Tynwald.

    In line with the public consultation, the Permitted Development Order extends and updates the various classes of development which can be undertaken without the need to make a planning application. These currently cover such matters as garages, greenhouses, fences and walls, and other minor works. These have been extended to include modest house extensions and conservatories which are unlikely to affect neighbours or public amenity. It has to be noted that all of these are subject to restrictions or conditions and the public is advised to consult the Planning Section before undertaking works.

    The new Advertisement Regulations set out the different types of advertisements: those which require approval and those small scale ones which can be displayed without consent. The Regulations define areas of special control (such as Conservation Areas) where only a much more limited range of advertisements, such as Statutory Notices, can be displayed.

    In addition to the above, various supporting Orders and Regulations have been made to complete the introduction of the 1999 Act. These include:-

    The Registered Building Regulations 2005;

    The Town and Country (Certificates of Lawful Use or Development) Regulations 2005;

    The Planning and Waste Disposal (Concurrent Proceedings) Regulations 2005;

    The Town and Country Planning (Registers) Regulations 2005;

    copies of which are available on the Department’s website at www.gov.im/dlge.

    Minister for Local Government and the Environment, John Rimington, MHK, said:-

    “These changes are the culmination of the most fundamental review of the Island’s planning system over the last twenty years. They take on board the principles of openness and accountability in the way in which the Department deals with the control of development on the Island on behalf of the community and the wider public interest. We have consulted widely in preparing the secondary legislation that underpins the changes in the 1999 Town and Country Planning Act.
    As with all such major changes, it will be important to monitor their effect and, if necessary, adjust or modify them”.

    Mrs. Clare Christian, MLC, the Department Member with responsibility for Planning and Building Control and Chairman of the Planning Committee, added:-

    “These changes are the result of extensive consultation and careful consideration by the Members and staff of the Department and the members of the Planning Committee over a number of years. Our intention is to provide a planning system for the Island which is fit for the purpose for the 21st Century, and provide an open and accountable system operating in the public interest.
    I also wish to record my personal thanks to the hard work and commitment of the past and present members of the Planning Committee and the Planning staff”.

    11th October 2005

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