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Local Authority round-up 14/07/23

Our Local Authority round up provides brief summaries of topical information on a weekly basis, to keep you aware of the changes and updates relevant to you.


Funding for councils under the active travel social prescribing scheme

Active Travel England has published funding allocations for 11 local authorities taking part in a £13.9 million trial which will enable health workers to prescribe walking and cycling to patients. The funding will be used by the councils to launch a range of projects that will evaluate the impact of active travel on an individual’s physical and mental health, such as through reduced demand for healthcare appointments and reliance on medication due to more physical activity. Active Travel Commissioner Chris Boardman said “Many studies have shown active travel has massive health benefits. Enabling everyone in England to travel under their own steam will help reduce conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, whilst at the same time, improving mental wellbeing. We aim to use these trials to build on the existing evidence to show how bringing transport, active travel and health together can help build a healthier nation in an easy and sustainable way.”

For more information please click here.


DfE publishes updated home to school travel and transport guidance

The Department for Education (DfE) has published updated statutory guidance, Travel to school for children of compulsory school age: Statutory guidance for local authorities. The guidance applies in England. The guidance was last amended in 2014. The updated version replaces this and follows the consultation which the DfE issued in July 2019. In its accompanying response to the consultation, the DfE has stated that no changes have been made to the relevant primary legislation since the 2014 version was published, but the update is intended to help local authorities ensure that their home to school travel policies are lawful and easy to understand. The guidance contains sections concerning:

  • Local authorities’ statutory duty in relation to eligible children, and their discretionary power to arrange for travel to school for other children.
  • The suitability of travel arrangements.
  • Local school travel policies.

For more information please click here.

Planning and housing

Changes to permitted development rights in England

On 3 July 2023, the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2023 (SI 2023/747) (2023 Order) was made and comes into force on 26 July 2023. The 2023 Order makes a number of amendments to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (SI 2015/596) (GPDO 2015) including the introduction of two new permitted development rights (PDRs). The first allows for temporary recreational campsites whereby developments may use any land as a recreational campsite for not more than 60 days in total in any calendar year and the provision on such land of not more than 50 pitches and any moveable structure reasonably necessary for the purposes of the permitted use. It also permits the erection, construction, maintenance, improvement or alteration of a gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure in connection with a prison. It also makes amendments to three existing PDRs as follows:

  • Article 3 of the 2023 Order amends Class B (temporary use of land) of Part 4 (temporary buildings and uses) of Schedule 2 to the GPDO 2015 which allows land to be temporarily used for any purpose, subject to certain exclusions, for up to 28 days per calendar year, to disapply the use of land for a recreational campsite other than in connection with a festival.
  • Under Class A of Part 12 (development by local authorities) of Schedule 2 to the GPDO 2015, local authorities or urban development corporations can undertake a range of development, including the installation of electric vehicle charging points as well as information kiosks, public water fountains and public shelters. To provide further flexibility to support the installation of electric vehicle charging points, Article 5 of the 2023 Order amends this PDR to:
    • Explicitly allow bodies to undertake the works on behalf of the local authority.
    • Add National Park Authorities and the Broads Authority to the definition of local authority.
  • Article 3 of the 2023 Order amends the PDR in respect of land for film-making purposes by increasing the maximum period of time that land or a building can be used for the purpose of commercial film-making from nine months to 12 months in any 27 month period, doubling the maximum area of land that the PDR applies to from 1.5 hectares to 3 hectares and increasing the maximum height of any temporary structure, works, plant or machinery provided under the PDR from 15 metres to 20 metres.

For more information please click here.

Upcoming webinars

Webinar series: Data Protection

Register your interest for our on-going webinar series on ‘Data Protection’ for in-house lawyers, DPOs and senior management in private and public sector organisations. The series will run throughout 2023 providing attendees with up to date information on key Data Protection topics. The short one hour sessions will be delivered by our experts with allocated time for you to ask any questions you may have. The next in our series ‘Marketing and data protection’ will take place on 12 September 2023.

For more information or to book your place, please click here.

If you have any questions about the issues raised in this update, please do not hesitate to get in touch.


Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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