Read about the background to this development:-
Affordable housing scheme
Posts tagged South Hams
Read about the background to this development:-
The Planning Service’s Improvement Plan Update Report met with approval at South Hams District Council yesterday. The Executive approved the adoption of a Local Validation Checklist and a Planning Charter that shows how the Council will improve performance and responsiveness for applicants involved within the Planning process.
The Council’s recent Planning Improvement Plan, part of the Corporate Strategy, ‘Better Lives for All’ aims to improve the service and applicants’ expectations.
To kick-start the plans following a helpful six-week public consultation in September 2021, a Local Validation List has been updated which will make the service much easier for applicants.
Now those applying for planning applications, will follow a simple checklist to find out which application forms, and supporting documents, they need to submit for the work they want to carry out and when they need to submit them. Easy!
Not only will this take some of the frustration out of the planning process and make sure that applications are accepted first time, it will also make the service much faster and reduce delays when additional information has to be requested.
The Planning Team are also very keen to promote the use of their pre-application advice service, which can provide applicants with certainty over which information they need to provide in advance of applications being submitted.
The checklist will also help the Planning team to gain information from applicants about how they are reducing their carbon footprint, achieving a 10% biodiversity net gain, better provision of open spaces, sport and recreation and protecting the countryside and heritage assets. It will also go towards meeting the Council’s goal for Climate Change and Biodiversity.
Along with the Local Validation List, the newly approved Planning Charter sets out how the Planning Service will work with developers and the community on applications.
The Charter makes clear what those using the service can expect to receive from their service. What their vision is with respect to customer service and realistic expectations for timescales, but also what is at the heart of the service the Planning Team provide.
In return, they also ask for some commitments of their own. They ask for consideration of their staff, for developed quality and sustainable designs and that applicants follow policies and guidance.
The full charter will be available for public viewing from Friday 1 April.
Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council, said: “This is a positive step forward in making the planning process a simpler process for everyone. The improved performance will mean better clarity, accuracy and responsiveness from householders asking for a one-time application, small business applicants, right up to large-scale house builders and developers.
“We know there is much we have to do to ensure we get it right and we are working hard on our improvements to do just that. However, the Charter is a joint agreement between both sides so everyone can do the best they can for each other. For that to happen, we need applicants to play their part too, to make sure that the process runs smoothly.”
To read the Executive report, go to: www.southhams.gov.uk/Executive
14 January 2022
South Hams District Council has fought a long and arduous campaign, to urge the Government to close a tax loophole which allows second home owners to avoid paying any business rates or council tax on their properties. Today, 14 January 2022, the Government announced changes that close this loophole whilst protecting genuine holiday lets and benefitting popular holiday destinations such as the South Hams.
Currently, people who own second homes in England can avoid paying council tax and access small business rates relief by declaring an intention to let the property out to holidaymakers. The change, which will come into effect from April 2023, will see second homeowners forced to pay council tax if they cannot show they are genuinely renting out their properties on a commercial basis.
The Council is thrilled that the Government has listened to its concerns. In 2020, the Leader of the Council, Cllr Judy Pearce, gave evidence to the Treasury Select Committee on this issue. The Council’s local MP, Anthony Mangnall MP, strongly supported the Council’s campaign and raised the issue direct with the Government.
The announcement today from the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Rt Hon Michael Gove, comes on the back of South Hams District Council declaring a housing crisis in September 2021. This was backed by a 12 point action plan, with closing the business rates loophole being one of those areas to address. As well as ensuring that second home owners pay fairly for services, it is hoped that the new change may also see more short-term holiday let properties switch to long-term rental. This would help to ease the chronic shortage of long-term rental accommodation at an affordable rate, making it easier for local families to remain in the communities they love.
Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council said: “This is excellent news as a result of a sustained campaign by South Hams District Council, Anthony Mangnall MP, and myself to get this loophole in the business rates system closed. This is important for community cohesion.
“Second home owners should be paying into the local community unless they are genuinely running a letting business. Services such as highways, the fire service and the police, which can equally well be used or needed by holiday makers, will benefit, as will the general income of the District and County Councils. We welcome all visitors, but hard-pressed local residents should not have to subsidise services for them.”
Under the new rules, holiday lets must be rented out for a minimum of 70 days a year to qualify for business rates. Holiday let owners will have to provide evidence such as the website or brochure used to advertise the property, letting details and receipts. Properties will also have to be available to be rented out for 140 days a year to qualify for this relief.
The Council currently has just under 1,800 business rated properties that are self-catering holiday lets.
At a time when there are severe funding problems with all tiers of Local Government (particularly adult social care) and our emergency services are under increasing pressures, South Hams District Council spearheaded a campaign to make the point that the current system is fundamentally unfair. Small business rate relief was implemented to support our small business, village halls and local shops. The rules have been taken advantage of, to allow people to not pay for the local services they are using.
Anthony Mangnall MP added: “After two years of campaigning with Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council, it is welcome news that the Government has taken this step. South Devon has one of the highest concentration of second homes in the country. This announced change will help to stop people utilising an unforeseen loophole while also ensuring that they pay their fair share. Both the Chancellor and Michael Gove have listened carefully to our needs and I hope this will be the first step of many to help improve accommodation issues in the South West and beyond.”
See link for details:- https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKSWDEVON/bulletins/305b0be
7 January 2022
South Hams hospitality and leisure businesses impacted by the latest Omicron COVID-19 wave can now apply for financial support.
In December, the government announced a one-off grant payment for hospitality and leisure businesses including restaurants and pubs. It is worth up to £6,000 and is designed to help those who have struggled in what should have been the most profitable time of the year.
The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant is being administered by South Hams District Council. The Council has now directly contacted local businesses by email, which, based on previous grant applications, might be eligible for this financial help. The Council is urging local hospitality and leisure businesses that meet the criteria set out below to check their email and junk mail folders and follow the instructions to claim the government grant.
Who is eligible?
Eligible businesses must appear on the business rates ratings list on 30 December 2021 in order to qualify.
The Grant is a one-off payment to business rated businesses that fall into the following sectors:
Including (but not limited to) pubs, restaurants (excluding takeaways), cafés, etc.
Including (but not limited to) tourist attractions, event venues, museums, galleries, theatres, etc. Gyms, personal care, and retail businesses are not included.
Including (but not limited to) holiday parks, hotels, campsites, etc.
How much is the grant award?
Payment is based on the rateable value (RV) for each eligible business premises as follows:
Rateable Value on 30 December 2021
Exactly £15k or below
Over £15k and less than £51k
Exactly £51K or over
Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council said: “We know that our local hospitality and leisure businesses were counting on a busy trading period in the run-up to Christmas after what has been a year of ups and downs. Unfortunately, the Omicron variant threw up more challenges, like cancelled bookings, which have hit many of our businesses hard.
“Our business grants team has worked swiftly to set up the processes we need in place to get the money to the right businesses as quickly as possible. We have contacted eligible businesses directly by email on 6 January with instructions and links to apply for this grant. The email will list everything you will need to tell us for your application. Please read it carefully and in full before completing your application. Giving us correct information allows us to process and pay applications much faster.
“If you think you are eligible but have not yet heard from us, please double check our eligibility criteria on our website www.southhams.gov.uk/businesscovid19 If you still believe you are eligible, please contact us via the website page.
“I hope this positive start to 2022 will help our local businesses to push forward and thrive this year.”
The Council is urging businesses to contact them via their website www.southhams.gov.uk/businesscovid19 if you think your business is eligible but:
You have not previously applied for any COVID-19 business support grants from the Council
You think the Council may have the wrong contact details for your business (based on previous grant applications)
The deadline for applications to be received is 28 February 2022. This deadline has been set by the Government and the Council is unable to accept any applications after this date. All grant payments will be made by 31 March 2022 and as soon as possible after a completed application form has been received and all national fraud checks have been completed, in accordance with the Government guidance.
SEE LINK FOR DETAILS:- https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKSWDEVON/bulletins/30041ec
Issued: 14 October 2021
To avoid further significant disruption to South Hams District Council’s refuse and recycling service, the Executive Committee have today reluctantly agreed to continue the suspension of the garden waste collections until spring 2022.
Council officers have explored a wide range of options to find possible ways to restore the garden waste service to all residents. Unfortunately, due to driver shortages, the Council and their contractor, FCC Environment, are unable to reinstate the service until Spring 2022; otherwise, this could significantly impact the waste, recycling and clinical collections that the Council legally has to provide.
Officers have also approached other organisations to help with a one-off collection ahead of the winter but this has not been possible because of the operational challenges others are also facing as well as the national driver shortages.
The Council are extremely regretful that the suspension at short notice caused disruption for their residents who may have had outstanding green waste to be collected. A shortage of drivers in August due to the national HGV driver issues and staff sickness meant the Council, together with FCC Environment, had to make the tough decision to prioritise the general refuse and recycling and clinical collections.
South Hams is not alone with experiencing significant delays due to the HGV driver shortages, experienced both nationally and across all business sectors. Locally, there have been challenges, which were highlighted by FCC Environment to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday 13 October.
FCC Environment explained that they currently have 27% of unfilled HGV/LGV vacancies, which continue to affect refuse and recycling collections. Council officers are looking at greener ways to support residents to recycle their garden waste and will report back to Executive in December.
South Hams District Council remains the only council in Devon to provide a completely free of charge. The collection of garden waste is a non-statutory service, which means it is not one that the Council has to provide.
Cllr Keith Baldry, Executive Member for Environment, said: “We haven’t had a great set of options available to choose from, and we have chosen the best of the group.
“I greatly regret that we have to suspend the garden waste service but the alternatives available would mean further disruption for our communities with impacts to their waste and recycling collections, which we’re doing our very best to improve upon.
“Officers have worked tirelessly, doing everything in their power to try and find a resolution and I’d like to thank and congratulate them for their hard work. They’ve been contacting neighbouring local authorities and private waste companies to see if they can provide us with help to collect a one-off garden waste collection. Unfortunately, all came back with a resounding no, due to their own driver shortages and backlogs.
“I regret that we did not have time to write to all residents in August when we first suspended our service. We learnt from our mistake and this time, we will be writing a letter to every resident explaining the situation and offering our apologies.
“I’d like to thank you, our residents, for your continued patience, we know it has been difficult, but please bear with us. I am proud of the relatively high recycling rates in South Hams and I want them to get better, not worse. In the meantime, please continue to home compost or take your garden waste to recycling centres.”
So, how do you get rid of your green waste?
Compost your garden waste – here are some www.recycledevon.org/in-the-garden/how-to-compost tips. Please don’t put garden waste in the grey waste bin.
Use recycle centres – All three recycling centres located in the South Hams are operated by Devon County Council and take garden waste. Full details, including opening hours, can be found at: www.devon.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling/centre
Use a licensed waste collector who will responsibly take away your garden, or household, waste items. Please check first with the Environment Agency to see if they are registered: https://environment.data.gov.uk/public-register/view/search-waste-carriers-brokers
Please do not burn your garden waste. The Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service firmly advises against having bonfires, given the risks of fires spreading, the likely nuisance for neighbours and the potential diversion of emergency services. You can find out more here: www.dsfire.gov.uk/YourSafety/SafetyInTheHome/Bonfires
You can find out more from the Executive meeting here: www.southhams.gov.uk/Executive
– Ends –