Planning and Environmental ;

Planning and Environmental ;

Mega Construction Ltd has applied to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) for planning permission for a large commercial development that will provide office accommodation for start-up businesses.  The application relates to a green field site on the outskirts of the town of Molton, England. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that:

“Planning policies should be positive, promote competitive town centre environments and set out policies for the management and growth of centres over the plan period.”

It also states that local authorities should allocate a range of suitable sites to meet the scale and type of development needed in town centres, including commercial development.

The Local Development Plan has identified a number of sites within the town centre for business development.  However, Mega Construction Ltd argues in their application that:

•    The size of the development makes it inappropriate for a town centre location; and anyway they should not be required to consider alternative sites for this commercial development.
•    The new complex will support the creation of much needed jobs for the local community and provide a significant boost to the local economy.

Nevertheless, local people are concerned about the loss of the green field site for recreational purposes.  The fields are currently used regularly by the local community for walking their dogs, playing ball games etc.  The local community is also concerned that the new complex will create a precedent for further development of this type in the area.

The LPA has suggested that if it were to grant planning permission it would want to provide a condition that 10% of the office accommodation is rented to ‘local residents’ in order to secure jobs for local people. Furthermore, the LPA has stated that it will require the developer to provide a 30 acre green field site for local residents to use for recreational purposes, as well as payment of the recently introduced Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

Advise Mega Construction Ltd as to the legal framework that governs decision making on planning applications by the LPA; and the how likely it is that the planning permission will be granted. You should include specific reference in your answer to the legality of the planning condition proposed and the requirement for the company to provide a 30 acre green field site for local residents to use for recreational purposes in addition to the payment of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

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