Report to HCPRE members on the PLAN team's work

HCPRE’s involvement in planning submissions - Review: 2011-2019 Patrick Goode

(20 November 2020)

The review is based on the database compiled by Beth Savagar, to whom I am very grateful.

I did not analyse the years 2011-2012, because the coverage and approach was quite different from the years 2013-2019: the submissions focussed on Ledbury and district (a radius of about 10 miles) and the objections were mostly on visual grounds, rather than a detailed assessment of whether planning guidance had been adhered to.

The following table shows the categories of planning type for which submissions were made.

PLAN team's work

  1. Repeat applications / appeals / unclear cases are not included.
  2. This category includes houses for agricultural workers, but barn conversions are included under Houses.

Details of planning types

  1. Agriculture: 16 objections to broiler units/egg laying units, 13 objections to polytunnels.
  2. Houses/housing: the ByPass campaign does not feature in this set of figures, while it was clearly a major preoccupation for the Executive.
  3. Other includes: 2 solar arrays, 7 wind turbines; but no other ‘others’ fall into discrete categories.

Success rate

Based on a random sample of 20, weighted to the above planning types (Agriculture / Houses / Housing only), the ‘success rate’ (applications withdrawn /objection sustained) was 50%, and in several cases (7/20) there were over 100 objections, but there were also 6 in which there were fewer than 20. 

Strictly speaking, we could only say that HCPRE played a determining part, if it were the only objector, and/or its grounds for objection were material in deciding the outcome. However, at least one of the selected cases with over a hundred representations was clearly influenced by HCPRE intervention – the Gladman application at Bartestree, where Richard Williams spoke at the appeal.

My conclusions from the figures 

I suggest that it is clear that when the resources are available (2013-2017), the branch was able to comment effectively (as far as can be judged from ‘Success rate’, above) on a significant number of applications.  It is true that mere numbers can be very misleading, as a submission counted as 1 may have taken up a great deal of the PLAN Team’s effort (for example Ocle Pychard), but it is clear that the overall decline in our resources has severely limited our ability to comment on planning applications.

The P.L.A.N. Team’s letters of objection are impressive in their grasp of detail of planning guidance/law, and we must aim to continue this high standard. 

Please join us!

The P.L.A.N. Team aims to continue its successful work in scanning current applications, and would be delighted if you would like to help in any way.  If so, please contact: 

Patrick Goode

HCPRE Branch Secretary / Member of the PLAN team

01531 632 235