12 Days of Christmas

As the year is finally drawing to a close we've been reflecting on the vast range of permissions DHA has secured in 2019. Read More

Thoughts on the housing market for 2020

With the Conservative government announcing in October 2019 that it was extending the Help to Buy equity loan scheme past the current deadline of 2021 to 2023, John Collins, a director at DHA, examines what it means for the industry. Read More

Getting Things Done

Recent events in the news regarding Brexit, the UK economy and indeed the world economy, as well as increasing world-wide concerns over climate change, plastic in our rivers and oceans and melting ice shelfs have got me thinking about my profession and the industry within which I have worked for some 34 years - I have been reminded of something I was told in my first ever planning job. Read More

Going Green

On Friday we had the arrival of our first electric company car along with our charging point available for all our staff to use. Read More

Kent Property Market Report 2019

As Kent’s largest independent planning consultancy, DHA were asked to write a planning update for this year's KPMR focusing on housing delivery and Local Plan progress throughout the county. Read More

South East Transport Strategy

In response to the need for a more unified approach to transport infrastructure improvements throughout the South East, Transport for the South East (TfSE) recently published the consultation draft of its Transport Strategy for the next 30 years. Transport Director, Simon Moon, attended a recent consultation event in Canterbury and gives his views on the matter. Read More

Multi-million pound funding to unlock housing delivery in north Kent

The Government last week announced the release of over £200 million for vital infrastructure upgrades which will unlock thousands of new homes across North Kent. Read More

Autumn Newsletter 2019

The latest news from DHA Read More

DHA Director takes chair at Developers East Sussex

Developers East Sussex, the organisation seeking to help deliver high quality infrastructure, commercial and residential development across the county, has a new Chair following the appointment of DHA’s Jonathan Buckwell. Read More

Unanimous residential approval secured in Tenterden

DHA has secured outline planning permission for a new residential development in St Michaels, Tenterden, following unanimous approval from Ashford Borough Council. Read More

Planning consent powers major plant

Work on a new energy efficient power plant for a major Kent company is now under way following a decision by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the work of the planning team at DHA. Read More

Barn conversions under Class Q ‘fallback’ position secure new build homes

Two recent DHA projects have shown the opportunities presented by Class Q consents and the ‘fallback’ position. Read More

What happens to S106 money?

In all my discussions with local community groups, Parish Councils and local residents one of the single biggest complaints about the planning system is that there doesn't seem to be any direct accountability between S106 payments, which are collected by local planning authorities, and how they translate into tangible benefits for the local communities. Read More

Planning reforms announced to extend buildings upwards by up to two storeys

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, announced at the Conservative Party Conference yesterday that Local Planning Authorities will be able to raise application fees in order to accelerate decision-making. There may also be an automatic rebate to applicants where deadlines are missed by councils. Read More

Planning bears fruit for Kent Strawberry producer

A European first for the strawberry industry is already delivering on its promise of increased yields of higher quality fruit for a Kent producer. Read More

Severe ‘Whether’ Warning

Is this a severe warning whether a key transport paragraph of the National Planning Policy Framework will ever be fully understood, or does a recent research paper represent a bright and sunny future for the transport planning industry? Transport Director, Simon Moon, gives his view. Read More

New Chair of Developers East Sussex announced

Developers East Sussex, the organisation seeking to make a difference by helping to deliver high quality commercial and residential development across the county as well as infrastructure, has a new Chair following the appointment of Jonathan Buckwell. Read More

Government updates planning rules to secure biodiversity improvements

The Government has announced changes to the planning system which will require developers to improve their environmental performance and follows greater public awareness of the impact of climate change. Read More

The logic of logistics

Do we need more logistics and warehousing space in Kent and Medway to serve the area’s growing population? DHA Director Matthew Blythin examines the planning case. Read More

The importance of demonstrating Biodiversity Net Gains in development projects

The revised NPPF published in July 2018 and amended in February 2019 reinforces the emphasis on achieving biodiversity net gain for development projects with reference to being able to demonstrate “measurable net gains”. Natural England are understood to be pushing the Government to seek to stipulate that measurable biodiversity net gain should become a mandatory requirement. Read More

Planning consent powers DS Smith in Kent

Classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, permission has been given to DS Smith to construct a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant to power its recycled paper mill. Read More

New CIL Regulations proposed to come into force from 1st September 2019

Earlier this month, changes to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) regulations were laid before parliament, with the intention that these will come into force on the 1st September 2019. The key amendments to be aware of are summarised below: Read More

Maximising land value but managing risk!

The time and expense of successfully achieving planning permissions has been steadily rising for years due to the increased detail now required by local authorities. Land owners are facing higher costs without a guarantee that any application will be successful. So apart from choosing a highly dependable and cost effective planning consultant, what can land owners do to limit their exposure to risk whilst still optimising the full potential of their land? Read More

Early engagement delivers positive apartments decision

The value of early engagement with planners has been shown after DHA secured permission for the owner of Pennings and Juniper Cottage at Saltwood, near Hythe, to replace the homes with seven apartments. Read More

Blooming success for nursery application

The combination of a Planning Performance Agreement (PPA), a comprehensive landscaping scheme and community engagement helped DHA secure detailed planning permission for 121 new homes for Linden Homes South East. Read More

Smart design secures decision

Having been allocated as a site for five homes for more than a decade, but not having come forward on the grounds of viability, DHA was called in to help secure permission for an amended scheme for London-based client, Bencewell Properties. Read More

DHA's Roundtable Forum on Affordable Housing

Major players from Kent’s RPs, house builders, developers, local authorities and planners were brought together as part of DHA’s ongoing programme of development roundtables. Read More

Cray Wanderers FC

DHA are working with the football club to secure permission for the team to finally have a home of their own. Read More

New amendments to the GPDO

The Town and Country Planning (Permitted Development, Advertisement and Compensation Amendments) (England) Regulations 2019 [2019 No. 907] were made by the Government on 2nd May and will subsequently take effect on 25th May 2019. Read More

Blog: Porchlight in the spotlight

DHA's David Bedford reflects on the brilliant work carried out by Porchlight, a homeless charity based in Kent, and DHA's efforts in supporting this great cause. Read More

Travel Plan performance under scrutiny

Travel plans are designed to reduce journeys and are fundamental to delivering sustainable development, however their performance is being increasingly monitored. Read More

Proposed changes to Planning Regime welcomed

Two reports into the country’s planning system, which concluded that changes need to be made if the Government is to hit its ambitious target of 300,000 news homes a year, have been welcomed by DHA. Read More

CIL - Do you know the procedures?

Alex Hicken, Managing Director of DHA, and Kate Jardine of Thomson Snell & Passmore consider the implications of the recent consultation on the CIL regulations, and what it might mean for self-builders and local authorities. Read More

Retirement - can we tackle the problem of sustaining village communities?

With recent research showing that more than 2,000 villages in England are classified as unsustainable for growth, Matthew Woodhead, Director at DHA, asks: what can be done to reverse the situation and are we missing a trick when it comes to bringing forward new homes for these communities? Read More