13 May 2013
A High Court ruling has dismissed a challenge by a local resident to grant planning permission for Batsworthy Cross wind farm in North Devon, which would provide enough power for 8,700 homes per year. North Devon District Council refused planning permission for the nine 103-metre high turbines, in July 2011, over concerns that the development would have a negative impact on the landscape. However, a planning inspector granted permission for the scheme in October 2012, following the publication of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The inspector explained that the NPPF replaced all of the previous national planning policy guidance and he could not see the costs outweighing the benefits. The local resident said that the inspector did not take into account a number of relevant policies. The High Court judge explained that the inspector had clearly addressed each issue.
26 Apr 2013
The Growth and Infrastructure Bill gained Royal Assent on 25th April 2013. The main aim of the bill is to encourage economic growth, by making developments more viable and speeding up the planning application process. To enable this, it will allow section 106 agreements to be modified or discharged, making it easier for housing obligations to be renegotiated. It will reduce planning application paperwork and remove overlapping regulations. The resultant impact would be the removal of bottlenecks that are stalling 75,000 homes being built. Additionally, developers will now be able to take planning applications to the Planning Inspectorate where councils have consistently caused delays. It will also remove the need for the communities secretary to approve Local Development Orders (LDOs). The act has received some criticism as it also provides measures to extend permitted development rights so that individuals can build single-storey extensions of up to eight metres, without the need for planning permission.
10 Apr 2013
Planning permission has been refused for an underground gas storage facility in Preesall (Lancashire), despite a panel of three commissioners recommending that development consent should be granted. Greg Barker, the Energy Minister, explained that the geological assessment was not detailed enough for a national significant energy project. He explained that the scale of the development and possible impacts were too uncertain to grant planning permission. Halite Energy Group were extremely disappointed with the decision and will analyse the reasons behind it further.
25 Mar 2013
A planning application for 28 wind turbines in west Wales has been given the 'green light', following a Planning Inspectorate report, which recommended the development to the secretary of state in December. Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, agreed with the findings of the report and granted development consent recently. The land between Carmarthen and Lampeter will have twenty eight 145-metre high turbines, despite concern that they will harm the landscape. However, the benefits have been said to outweigh the costs.
28 Feb 2013
It has been revealed that the government has spent just under £260,000 on producing eight strategic environmental assessments (undertaken by AMEC), which analysed the impact of abolishing Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS). This was following a 12-week consultation in 2011. The reports were created for the South East, South West, West Midlands, East of England, East Midlands, North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humber.
07 Feb 2013
DEFRA have announced ninety-three flood defence schemes to protect thousands of homes and businesses throughout the UK. The schemes will be funded by the government's partnership funding model, whereby grants are topped up by private sector contributions and funding from local authorities. Important areas of land for business development and major infrastructure projects will be protected, to promote economic growth.
15 Jan 2013
Cheshire East Council has made proposals to meet its housing and job targets, by building on existing greenbelt land, and creating new areas of greenbelt. The council is proposing to develop 80 hectares of farmland near Handforth, creating 1,800 dwellings. Releasing this amount of greenbelt, all at once, would potentially minimise the overall impact on the landscape. Another two 1000-home dwellings are being proposed near Crewe, whilst new greenbelt land will be designated around Nantwich. These proposals could potentially increase economic growth, whilst protecting the landscape of Cheshire East.
17 Dec 2012
The first council to introduce the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), has seen collections of almost £27,000, in the first year of operation. Newark and Sherwood District Council began the scheme on 1st December 2011, to generate revenue for vital infrastructure, by charging developers for projects. 46 planning applications were liable to pay the CIL and the council expects to receive another £70,000 in outstanding payments. The figures are a good benchmark for other councils to judge how much they need to charge for new developments.
28 Nov 2012
Since the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was introduced, there has been a 30% increase in the number of approvals of housing appeals, according to a survey undertaken by Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners (NLP). The NPPF, which was implemented earlier this year, focused on economic growth over environmental and social considerations. This finding is widely seen to be a positive change, which will speed up the planning system and stimulate the construction industry.
12 Nov 2012
Energy developer, Peel Environmental, have submitted plans for an anaerobic digestion facility on a former mine site in Yorkshire. In addition to the facility, there are plans for a glasshouse, which will utilise some of the heat and electricity, generated by the anaerobic digestion. The scheme will help the City of York Council to meet its green targets, by reducing CO2 emissions by 20,000 tonnes per year and generating up to 1.5MW of heat and up to 2.75MW of electricity. A decision on the scheme will be made next year. Some local environmental groups are against the scheme because the site is on green belt.
25 Oct 2012
The energy company, Centrica, has stopped plans to build two biomass power stations in England, despite reaching the pre-examination stage of the Planning Inspectorate’s national infrastructure planning process. Centrica planned to build on two sites in Roosecote in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, and at Glanford Brigg in North Lincolnshire. However, new government legislation has favoured converting existing coal-fired power stations, rather than building new ones, which created an element of uncertainty. Both of Centrica's projects would have created over 100 jobs in total and over 1000 jobs during the construction phase.
10 Oct 2012
Cheshire East Council will take legal action to challenge the decision made by a planning inspector, to build 200 homes on a site, near Congleton. The planning inspector argued that the Council does not have a five-year supply of available land for new developments. The council initially rejected the proposal due the unsustainable nature of the development, which would pose a threat to the environment and harm the character of the landscape. The Council argued that there are other sites available that will have less negative impacts on the environment, which adhere to the development plan.
24 Sept 2012
Planning permission has been granted for a new US Embassy complex, in Wandsworth, South London. The proposed development will include; a postmodern, 11-storey high, cube-shaped building; three single storey security buildings, and will be the centrepiece for Nine Elms, in the South Bank regeneration area. Water features and landscaped gardens will also be part of the development, and will be open to the general public. The Nine Elms area of London is set to be a significant magnet for new investment, in the future. The US Embassy will hope to pull in further investment.
06 Sept 2012
Plans to ease permitted development rights, for a period of three years, have been announced, in a written ministerial statement. At present, planning permission is required if a property is extended by more than three metres. Under new plans, people will be able to extend their dwellings/business properties by up to eight metres for a detached building and up to six metres for other types of building, providing the area is non-protected. The aim is to stimulate economic activity, by boosting the building industry, especially in their local area. Additionally, it will reduce the burden on local councils by freeing up resources.
20 Aug 2012
A scheme to build 200 houses, on a greenfield site, near Jodrell Bank Observatory (Cheshire), has been given the go-ahead by a planning inspector. Cheshire East Council had refused planning permission for the scheme, but the planning inspector explained that the council did not have an adequate 5-year supply of housing and this scheme would contribute to providing it. Whilst the scheme may harm the character and appearance of the local area, the planning inspector said that it would not harm the more distant views of landforms in the Congleton area. The Council argued that the decision by the planning inspector was premature because they do not have a draft core strategy and site allocations development plan document.
05 Aug 2012
Oxford City Council has been criticised for the proposal of a levy, whereby developers must pay towards affordable homes, if they want permission to be granted for student accommodaton. Lawyers, working on behalf of the universities, in Oxford, have explained that the proposal in the council's Development Plan Document (DPD) is unlawful because it is an unauthorised tax on building student accommodation. The levy is similar to that of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and should not be applicable. Some have explained that the proposal aims to reduce the amount of student accommodation and increase the amount of family homes. However, it does not assess how this will affect the universities' long term vitality.
21 July 2012
The proposals for a 15 mile 'supersewer', under Central London, have been finalised, following two years of public consultation. The nationally significant infrastructure project will prevent raw sewage from entering the Thames during periods of high rainfall. The plans have gone on public deposit for 12 weeks, before being submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in 2013. The aim is to begin construction in 2015/16. Locals are worried that the scheme will create substantial disruption. Thames Water have said that they will minimise disruption wherever possible, such as using the Thames to transport raw materials.
05 July 2012
Plans to build the UK's largest solar farm have been approved by South Hams District Council. TGC Renewables are set to create five interconnected fields, containing almost 28,000 solar panels, over a 15.4 hectare area, in South Brent (South Devon). There has been criticism that the scheme will have a negative impact on the visual character of the area. However, South Hams District Council explained that the costs and benefits have been carefully weighed up. TGC Renewables explained that they are responding to demand for renewable energy, by the farming communities in the area, and it will create enough energy to power 2500 homes.
21 June 2012
A controversial out-of-town retail scheme, which has been given the 'green light' by City of York Council, will not be called in by the communities secretary, Eric Pickles. City of York Council explained that the proposed scheme would have "strategic significance", but developers currently working on the City-centre site (Castle Piccadilly) argued that the plans would be devastating for city centre businesses and they threatened to pull investment. Pickles argued that local councils and communities should be given more power to make their own decisions. Therefore, he would not be calling in the application. The City-centre developers will work with the council, to ensure that their development is not compromised.
05 June 2012
The public have been invited to express their opinions, on a possible new Nuclear Research and Disposal Facility (NRDF), below Romney Marsh in Kent. It would provide a long-term storage area for UK radioactive waste. Shepway District Council have explained that the proposal would create 550 permanent jobs for 100 years and many more jobs in the short term. Kent County Council are opposed to the idea and would take it to referendum if Shepway District Council pursued the idea. However, there may be problems with geological suitability, flood risks and possible wildlife impact. Shepway District Council have said that they would need community support before the idea is developed further.
21 May 2012
Chancellor, George Osbourne, recently argued that environmental regulation poses huge costs to businesses and the economy as a whole and should be relaxed. However, the government have been advised, by backbench MPs, that removing green regulations, to promote growth, could harm the environment, public health and the economy. The WWF explain that environmental regulation may be saving UK businesses, especially through renewable energy initiatives. The coalition has a green strategy in place, but critics argue that it relies heavily on optional involvement and there needs to be a long-term strategy for green growth.
07 May 2012
Bio-energy, produced from sustainable sources, could meet up to 11% of the UK's electricity and heating demand by 2020. However, there are a number of barriers to successful uptake; such as public opposition to incineration plants or inadequate space for boilers. Whilst the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) aims to increase community schemes for renewable energy uptake, the localism agenda has created uncertainty for developers, who fear that local opposition will stop them gaining planning permission. A reduction in future support for bio-energy development has caused uncertainty.
25 April 2012
Since the implementation of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), there has been little guidance, concerning climate change policies, at the local level. The Climate Change Coalition, formed by the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) and Friends of the Earth, have produced environmental planning guidance to support the NPPF. The aim is for local authorities to refer to this guidance in their plans. It is important that climate change is tackled at the local level, especially since the NPPF has shifted power to communities. Decentralised energy projects may improve the environment, increase economic growth and allow communities to become more resilient.
09 April 2012
There has been growing concern that the government's recent planning reforms will result in a greater number of appeals, in the short term. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which was published recently, aims to reduce top-down and increase bottom-up involvement in the planning process, whilst encouraging development. Additionally, it has been suggested by a number of chartered town planners that the NPPF will not reduce delays caused by the planning system, will not reduce planning costs and will not increase the number of planning applications. The government expect that it will increase economic growth in the long run.
26 March 2012
The government has been refused a chance to appeal, at the Supreme Court, against a decison that it acted unlawfully, when deciding to reduce the Feed in Tariff (FIT) subsidy for small-scale solar photovoltaic energy projects. The government planned to reduce the subsidy from 43.3p to 21p per kWhr, to ensure that the FIT budget would be sustainable. Friends of the Earth and two solar energy companies were responsible for challenging this decision, on the grounds that it would harm the solar energy industry and the environment. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are now concerned that the FIT scheme will cost the consumer much more than anticipated.
14 March 2012
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) announced that there will be government funding for 12 Nature Improvement Areas (NIAs). These areas, e.g. Northern Devon and the Marlborough Downs, will be enhanced and protected, creating sustainable ecological networks and new habitats. Conservation groups have explained that these areas need to be given appropriate recognition in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). However, there are fears that the final version of the NPPF will weaken protection of the wider countryside, resulting in scrappy and gradual, unsustainable developments in these newly designated NIAs.
02 March 2012
Eric Pickles, the communities secretary, has been ordered to reconsider his decision, that prohibited 280 homes being built on a greenfield site, in Sandbach (Cheshire). Pickles argued that building on the greenfield site would negatively affect current work on Cheshire East's Local Development Framework (LDF). Pickles also added that it would stop developers investigating alternative, brownfield sites, in the area. The developer, Fox Land and Property, took the case to High Court, explaining that Pickles' decision was unlawful. The judge explained that Pickles' decision was inconsistent with other greenfield schemes that he had granted permission to.
16 February 2012
The proposed high-speed rail link (HS2) between London and Birmingham has faced further legal threats from environmental action groups, and residents' associations (represented by the HS2 Action Alliance), along its route. The scheme is scheduled to cost the taxpayer £33 billion and cause significant environmental damage, but drastically reduce travelling times. HS2 Action Alliance explained that the Department for Transport (DfT) failed to undertake a full strategic Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) before the proposals were made public, via consultation. Although people affected by the scheme may be offered a compensation package, there are still concerns that large portions of countryside will be irreversibly damaged.
01 February 2012
Since the Feed in Tariff (FIT) scheme was introduced, in April 2010, there have been concerns that the government would lower subsidies for solar photovoltaic energy production. In October 2011, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced that there would be a reduction from 43.3p to 21p per kilowatt hour from 3rd March. Many felt that this decision would be a huge backward step for households wishing to become carbon neutral, solar panel suppliers and the environment as a whole. Various bodies challenged the DECC at the High Court, with success, before Christmas. However, DECC have recently put in a counter-appeal against this decision.
13 January 2012
A proposal by the Manchester Airport Group (MAG), to create a new business city, which will create thousands of new jobs, has been revealed. The plans have been developed over a number of years and include mixed use developments, such as hotel, office, retail and advanced manufacturing space. The aim is to attract international business and investment. Airport City, as it will be called, will be the centrepiece of the Manchester Enterprise Zone, which was implemented in March 2011. Many businesses have shown interest in the scheme and it could bring much needed growth to the region.
19 December 2011
The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a relatively new tariff that can be charged against various types of development, to fund local infrastructure. At present, when an existing planning permission is changed or removed, through a section 73, a new CIL is triggered. Therefore, there has been the worry that the CIL will be charged to some developers more than once (who decide to make changes to the development). It could also create unnecessary re-opening of section 106 agreements that have already been actioned. This could result in increased uncertainty, longer decision making and a slowdown in the number of developments.
04 December 2011
The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a scheme, that was announced in March 2011, to provide financial support for businesses and individuals, to generate heat from renewable sources, such as biomass, solar thermal and heat pumps. It is due to be rolled out in two phases; the first aimed at supporting big industrial and commercial generators; and the second phase - for households. Unfortunately funding has recently been cut for large-scale biomass projects, which will reduce the number of schemes over the next few months. However, the reduced level of funding will still result in significantly higher uptake than without the RHI.
20 November 2011
The Localism Bill received long-awaited Royal assent last week. The abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS) and the implementation of neighbourhood plans will be the next step in the process, coming into force in April 2012. Much time will be spent over the next few months assessing the needs of local communities, looking at planning issues, such as housing and job shortages. It is unknown to what extent power will be shifted to local communities, as the presumption in favour of sustainable development (contained in the draft NPPF) may overrule any decisions. Watch this space...
05 November 2011
The Localism Agenda aims to give people more control over the places where they live and work. Recently, there has been a growing fear of the possible inability of residents to produce documents that will become legal planning policies. Some planners have explained that it takes years of training and experience to be able to produce sound planning policies. There have also been concerns that planning lawyers will make a quick buck by "de-coding" information produced by residents. It is important that planners support communities and help make the whole process smoother, but this will be increasingly difficult given the lack of resources, as a result of the recession.
23 October 2011
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has announced that it intends to release another piece of its estate so that the government can build up to 12,500 extra homes. The plans will provide a boost to the economy (which has been struggling as a result of the global recession). Unfortunately it will not be a quick process, as the MOD will require relocation of several facilities. However, the MOD intends to release additional land in the future.
07 October 2011
The draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has continued to cause debate in the planning world. The National Trust has expressed deep concerns that the framework will cause unsustainable growth where local plans are missing or incomplete. Around 48% of councils will not have an up-to-date core strategy in time for the full NPPF implementation. The Coalition has firstly argued that the countryside will not be at risk from urban sprawl and secondly that it will give councils "transitional arrangements" to update their local plans. It is important that economic growth is balanced with environmental protection. Please use our forum to discuss this issue.
25 September 2011
The Feed in Tariff (FIT) scheme, which was introduced in April 2010, has seen a rapid increase in large-scale solar installations, following news that funding will be cut, to protect revenue for small-scale developments. The scheme was started to provide financial incentive for businesses, schools, individuals and communities who installed renewable energy (RE) technologies to generate their own electricity. The number of large scale applications is expected to drop, but a proposed relaxation of permitted development (PD) rights for domestic wind turbines may increase small-scale uptake and contribute to reaching the 2020 carbon reduction targets.
08 September 2011
All English councils have the same fixed fees for planning applications. However, the amount of revenue generated from these fees varies widely depending on the types of development and each specific area. It has been argued that some councils have not been covering the full costs of processing applications, which has forced job cuts (Westminster City Council have made six positions redundant). The government does intend to allow variable planning fees in the future, but it has taken much longer than anticipated, to set it in stone. This is creating uncertainty and turbulence for some councils throughout the country.
20 August 2011
Peel Energy, the owners of Scout Moor Windfarm (located on the West-Pennine moors) are proposing to install more turbines to the North and East of the current site. The windfarm is currently the largest in England and the sixth largest in the UK. It will launch a consultation on plans later this year and investigations will take place to judge the affect on biodiversity if the turbines were built. Once this has been undertaken, Peel Energy will understand how many turbines they will be able to erect. An application will then be submitted to the Major Infrastructure Planning Unit.
30 July 2011
The draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has recently been published. Its aim is to promote sustainable development and favour town centre projects (over out of town projects). There has been widespread criticism of the NPPF claiming that the draft is full of gaps and loopholes. However, the draft is a step in the right direction towards a spatial planning framework, which the RTPI has been striving for over the last decade. However, the RTPI are concerned that the Framework will not secure balanced economic and housing growth across England. There is also the worry that it would steer local policies in the wrong direction.
13 July 2011
The government may be one step closer to reaching its 2020 targets for renewable energy generation following the announcement that £30 million would be injected into the offshore wind industry over the next four years. This funding will be spent on innovation and technological advancements. This is part of a renewable energy roadmap that will also provide support to wave and tidal power technology. The roadmap will resolve disputes between planners and developers and support long-term Feed in Tariff (FIT) projects.
01 July 2011
Despite guidance from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) explaining that generally only one enterprise zone would be allowed per Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), three LEPs are bidding for second enterprise zones even though they have already been allocated one. However, it is thought that only LEPs with exceptional circumstances, such as unusually complex geography and economic conditions would be considered for a second enterprise zone.
16 June 2011
As part of the government's overhaul of the planning system, it has stated that there should be more focus on sustainable development. If a local plan is silent or absent then the standard decision should be "yes" as long as the development complies with national policy and is sustainable.
Greg Clark, decentralisation and planning minister, explained that "this change to planning policy will speed up development, while placing a strong emphasis on the protection of the environment and local communities". Some argue this is not a new idea and will focus more on the economy than the environment.
28 May 2011
Any local financial considerations will be made material to planning applications following a recent change to the Localism Bill. It will enable local communities to understand how much money a particular scheme brings to an area through the Community Infrastructure Levy and the New Homes Bonus. However, it may steer away from good planning and sustainable development by focusing too much on the economy. It could also reduce public confidence in the planning system.
06 May 2011
North-East England could house the largest wind farm in the country if plans go ahead to build one east of Newton Aycliffe. The Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) would be required to be involved if the farm exceeded the 50MW threshold, as set in the 2008 Planning Act. It will require a thorough cost-benefit analysis and environmental impact assessment, as there are already a number of windfarms in the wider area.
15 April 2011
New jobs could be created in Lancashire if a Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) goes ahead, which has had formal backing by the Coalition government. The LEP would cover Lancashire County Council and Blackpool Council, with possible expansion to Blackburn with Darwen Council. Numerous local businesses have shown interest in joining the LEP. Backing by the government at this stage could allow enough time to put together a successful bid for the next round of applications.
05 April 2011
The government will be undertaking a voluntary assessment of any environmental effects caused by the removal of Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS). How this will be undertaken is still unknown and it would be a mammoth task. It will occur during movement of the Localism Bill through Parliament and, once the assessment has taken place, each RSS will be revoked.
23 March 2011
BUDGET - a large proportion of today's budget focuses on the planning system. One of the main changes will be to encourage development by saying "yes" to more proposals. RTPI president, Richard Summers, explained that if this is the case, England will become a country "of tin sheds, Lego land housing and US style shopping malls”. This may reduce focus on important issues, such as sustainable development and climate change. However, it may provide much needed economic stimulation.
12 March 2011
The Coalition government has criticised the planning system, saying that, in it's present state, it is a barrier to economic growth. Richard Summers, president of RTPI, argued against the Coalition's statement, explaining that planners are often convenient targets for ministers and that the slowdown in the property market is the main cause of inactivity, not the planning system.
26 February 2011
Funds raised through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) may be used to pay for affordable housing. An idea such as this has been frowned upon in the past. However, it is difficult to argue that affordable housing is not part of an area's infrastructure. If introduced, it could provide a much needed boost, but may result, in some cases, in double charging. This could have a negative effect on developers planning new projects.
12 February 2011
The DEFRA proposals to transfer/sell a large proportion of woodland has come up against substantial backlash. A petition of approximately 500,000 people has been signed to urge ministers to re-think proposals. There are fears that the country's tourism sector will be negatively affected and conservation schemes would be lost.
29 January 2011
The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), which is a transparent method of generating revenue for infrastructure, by charging developers for different types of development was retained in the Localism Bill. It will be adapted to ensure that Neighbourhoods receive a larger percentage of the revenue. It has been argued that this will create more complex and time-consuming administrative procedures.
18 January 2011
The Environment Agency's budget will be reduced from £829 million to £652 million by 2014/2015. The flood budget will be reduced considerably, which may cause delays in strategic planning.
07 January 2011
A £4 million fund for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) will be implemented to cover the next four years. However, it won't be enough to fund day-to-day running costs of the public-private partnerships.
22 December 2010
Localism Bill - Some of the new features of the Localism Bill (such as Referenda and Rights to Challenge and Buy) may prove to be powerful tools for local communities. However, they may require huge amounts of time and resources. Rural communities may benefit more from the Right to Build feature.
13 December 2010
The Localism Agenda is due to be unveiled today at 3.30pm. The government explain that it will remove the top-down control of communities, shifting power to local councils and empowering people in their own neighbourhoods. Others believe that it will cause a wave of NIMBYism and slow down house building and economic growth. See the plans here
03 December 2010
The High Court has found that the coalition government's revocation of Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS) was unlawful. Planners should give regard to them whilst the hearing unfolds. Eric Pickles, communities secretary said that the removal was a material consideration.
26 November 2010
Eric Pickles, communities secretary, explained that the evidence that the abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies has caused councils to make huge cuts to housing targets, is "based on iffy evidence and very unconvincing"
19 November 2010
The CALA lawyers who were successful in challenging the abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS) have began further legal proceedings to challenge the government's statements that the abolition will not cause drastic changes.
12 November 2010
The proposed high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham will cut through some of the country's most beautiful countryside. Some fear it will be disasterous to the Chilterns.
05 November 2010
The recent government's White Paper on local growth confirmed that there will be a level below the Local Development Plan called Neighbourhood Plans
20 October 2010
The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) will be wound up following funding cuts. Some argue that design quality will be significantly reduced.
13 October 2010
Proposals to merge planning departments have recently emerged. Some argue that it will harm the quality of public services and cause conflict between departments. However, if Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) can be involved in the transition, then the black hole, caused by the removal of RSSs, may be filled
02 October 2010
Milton Keynes Council is planning to slash its proposed housing provision by nearly a third following the abolition of regional spatial strategies (RSSs). Read the full article here
17 September 2010
As the regional spatial strategies have been abolished, planners want a clear vision for the future of strategic spatial planning in the UK that involves bottom up techniques as well as top down.
05 August 2010
RTPI website - A uniquely wide-ranging group of 29 national bodies have written to the Communities and Local Government Secretary, Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, to urge national and local government to work with them to ensure that strategic planning – planning at the ‘larger-than-local level’ - is embedded in any reform of the planning system under the new agenda for localism. See the article here
30 July 2010
In the Con-Dem government's localism bill, rural community organisations will be able to proceed without a specific planning application as long as there is overwhelming support in a local referendum. See the article here
15 July 2010
The coalition Government has published a timetable for implementing its decentralising and localism agenda which indicates that the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) may survive until April 2012. See article here
12 July 2010
Grant Shapps, housing minister, has cut government funding for eco-towns by 50%.
02 July 1010
Some planners and developers fear that urgent decisions that are needed on major applications will be delayed if the expertise of the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) is lost, following restructuring. See the article here
28 June 1010
John Healey, the shadow minister for housing and planning, said the previous government's planning policies were too top-down. See the article here
18 June 2010
As a result of the abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies, the Housing and Planning Delivery Grant (HPDG) will also be discontinued. This may cause development standards to drop.
13 June 2010
Planning: Shaping the Future 28-30 June 2010 - Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Westminster, London. Topics include, global perspectives on cities and climate change. Visit the official website
11 June 2010
System paralysis will occur as a result of the removal of regional spatial strategies. See the article here
The government has announced landmark plans to declassify gardens as brownfield land and has also scrapped minimum density targets for housing. See the article here
10 June 2010
The new coalition government have been advised to relax planning rules over brownfield and greenfield developments to boost cities such as Milton Keynes and Brighton. See the article here