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Waverley Borough Council Planning Validation Checklist changed AGAIN!

Common sense looks to have failed once again at Waverley Borough Council Planning Department as they bring in yet more red-tape and what seems to be unnecessary financial penalties or delays which will result in a further stranglehold on development at a time when Central government are trying to look like they want to push development to help drag the country back to its knees.

Check the above link for the 13th April 2013 dated Local Validation Checklist. This came to light after we were told that they now require a Biodiversity Checklist to be submitted in EVERY instance “to save them having to do their own assessment themselves” (this less than 6 months after Planning Fees were raised!). This is now required on ALL application, Householder extensions included, we have been told.

On closer inspection though we would suggest that this needs challenging before you accept it. The Local Validation Checklist has a “when required” section and a “where Required” section. The “where required” section states that a “Biodiversity survey and report including completion of Waverley Borough Council Biodiversity Checklist” is required for sites “On or near SSSI or SNCI (this would be within 500m  up to  2KM depending on the impact). Applications for development in the countryside that will affect areas designated for their biodiversity interests are likely to need to include assessments of impacts and proposals for long-term maintenance and management.” 

Check how close your nearest SSSI and SNCI is before spending a client’s money on potentially unnecessary surveys and ensure you get the planners acknowledgement of this.