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Grass Roots Online header

Grass Roots Online Issue 32

The Civic Trust - better places for people

The Killian Pretty review
The Killian Pretty review of ways in which decisions on planning applications may be made faster and more responsive has been published. The review recommends that nearly 40% of minor non-residential, mainly commercial, planning applications, such as for small scale alterations and extensions, should be taken out of the planning system altogether or subject to a much quicker process. It also recommends improving the pre-application phase, particularly for major developments, with a much greater focus on getting developers, councils and consultees, including local communities, to sort out key issues that could cause lengthy delays later in the process. It proposes a new customer focus for council planning performance based on the quality of service provided throughout the whole process, not just on its speed.
Help create a knowledge base of Civic Trust fact sheets!
One of our ambitions is to produce more summaries of national legislation, regulations, guidance, PPGs, etc., in a way which will give Civic Societies, in concise form, the information you need to engage as effectively as possible with the planning system. The proliferation and complexity of planning law and guidance, and the rapid rate of change being pushed forward by Government, means that new and updated information of importance to their ability to engage effectively is needed, and it is difficult for us to provide this service at present. The Civic Trust want to establish a virtual team of Civic Societies who are keen to offer advice and share expertise, and in doing so help The Civic Trust develop a series of fact sheets that will help you engage as effectively as possible with the planning system.

If you would be interested in supporting us in this initiative, please click here.
A Civic Trust Membership for Christmas
A Civic Trust Membership makes a great gift for birthdays, retirement, Christmas or any other special occasion.

A special gift pack can be sent directly to you or we can send your gift to the recipient complete with your personal message. Existing members get 20% discount on all new annual memberships purchased as a gift.
Basement extensions - Householder development consents review
The report recommends the creation of a new basement extensions class which includes limitations based on length, breadth and depth. For the first time basement lightwells will be defined as "permitted development". The limitations proposed would ensure that the possible adverse environmental impacts of basement extensions can be properly controlled.
A unique opportunity to hear Civic Trust Chairman Philip Kolvin
A unique opportunity to hear Philip Kolvin, Chairman of the Civic Trust and leading licensing barrister speak. Philip will be presenting ways in which Civic Societies can get involved at an early stage in the local licensing process. This will be an interactive event with opportunity to ask questions and expand your knowledge of this high profile issue.

Please click here
"Energy Act now in force"

The Planning and Energy Act 2008 came into force on 13/11/2008. This short piece of legislation enables local authorities to include in development plans reasonable requirements for a proportion of energy used in new developments to be from local renewable sources. Similarly, policies may also stipulate that a proportion of energy be low carbon energy. The Act also enables polices to require that development is to comply with energy efficiency standards which are in excess of those in building regulations. This legislation started life in 2007 as a private members bill designed to enshrine the 'Merton Rule'

Please click here

Civic Trust launches My Card in Camborne
The Civic Trust is piloting a new scheme in Camborne, Cornwall, which allows shoppers to save money and donate to their favourite local charities at the same time.

Please click here
Shortlist announced for Sheffield Design Awards
SIX examples of outstanding architecture have been shortlisted for the first Sheffield Design Awards.

The competition, which aims to highlight the most impressive buildings in the city, was organised by Sheffield Civic Trust and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Yorkshire.
If your society would like advice on creating your own Design Award please click here
The Sustainable Communities Act
The Act received Royal Assent on 23 October 2007. The aim of the Act, as stated by Hazel Blears for DCLG, is to promote the sustainability of local communities.
Guides to the Act can be seen here and the views of a Councillor on the LGA can be seen at here
Civic Societies Team
The Civic Trust
T: 0151 231 6908


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