Planning

Councils urged to update their Local Plans

20/01/2021

A small number of councils are failing to keep their Local Plans up-to-date, the housing minister has warned.

Controversial statues to require planning permission before removal

18/01/2021

Individuals who want to remove any historic statue will now require listed building consent or planning permission, Robert Jenrick has announced.

Coalition publishes new vision for planning reforms

15/01/2021

The Government has been urged to rethink its ‘damaging’ reforms to the planning system and put people, climate and nature at its heart by a coalition of 18 organisations.

Could safe pedestrianisation secure a greener more prosperous future after COVID?

13/01/2021

Deborah Ainscough discusses the potential benefits of temporary pedestrianisation for local authorities and the safety considerations for pedestrianisation planning.

Report finds data problems in Brownfield Land Registers

12/01/2021

More than 348,000 homes could be built on unregistered brownfield land, an investigation has revealed.

Top 100: Our most popular local government stories of 2020

16/12/2020

Although the dispute over council pay caused the most stir in the local government sector this year, the impact of dealing with the pandemic obviously dominated the headlines as well.

Jenrick announces revised plan for housing algorithum

16/12/2020

The Government has announced a raft of new measures in an attempt to provide much-needed homes in urban areas and on brownfield sites.

Developers yet to apply for planning permission for over a million homes, councils find

11/12/2020

Developers have failed to seek planning permission for more than a million homes on land earmarked for development by councils, according to new research.

Thousands of councillors call for rethink on planning reforms

10/12/2020

Over 2,000 councillors have called on the Government to rethink its planning proposals, warning the changes will lead to an ‘unacceptable loss’ of local democracy and scrutiny.

Jenrick outlines fast track planning service for public buildings

04/12/2020

Councils will have a legal duty to make decisions on new schools and hospitals within 10 weeks under reforms to the planning system.

London boroughs accused of ‘optimism bias’ on housing targets

04/12/2020

London could face a 86,000 shortfall of new homes over the next decade due to 'over optimistic projections', new research has argued.

Shops to open longer in run up to Christmas

01/12/2020

Retailers will be able to extend their daily opening hours from Monday to Saturday in the run up to Christmas and through January, the communities secretary has announced.

Garden communities – context and complexities

27/11/2020

David Churchill warns the Local Plan process could potentially cripple the delivering of ambitious long-term development projects.

Future affordable housing must deliver big on space

25/11/2020

Local authorities are under pressure to deliver more affordable housing but while the focus is largely on quantity, this shouldn’t come at the expense of quality, writes Jonathan Pearson.

Planning reforms could be a ‘set-back’ for affordable homes, survey warns

11/11/2020

The majority of social landlords (85%) have warned the Government’s planning reforms will lead to less social and affordable housing, according to the results of a new survey.

Homes England funding rule undermines ‘levelling-up agenda’

02/11/2020

A disproportionate amount of Government funding for housing is being given to the UK’s most affluent areas, a property consultancy firm has calculated.

Councils urged to approve more self-build homes

30/10/2020

Councils should grant enough planning permission to meet local demand for self-build, the Government has said today.

Why digitising the planning process is a gamechanger

26/10/2020

There is a strong need for digital technology in planning to make it more efficient, speed up the process and de-risk decisions, argues Alex Tosetti.

Taking planning and building control to the cloud

22/10/2020

Elena White explains how Isle of Anglesey County Council has been utilising the cloud to transform its planning and building control applications.

Calls for collaboration to fill the ‘strategic planning void’

21/10/2020

Closer collaboration between councils, health bodies and businesses could ‘reinvigorate strategic planning’ a new report has argued.

Capacity for 1.3 million homes on brownfield land, campaigners reveal

21/10/2020

There is enough brownfield land to deliver 1.3 million new homes, new analysis has revealed.

Welsh councils given new powers to buy empty homes

16/10/2020

Councils in Wales will be allowed to compulsory purchase empty houses and vacant land under new planning rules.

Housebuilders call to raise threshold for affordable homes

15/10/2020

Raising the affordable homes threshold would help boost smaller developments, the National Federation of Builders (NFB) has argued.

Automatic planning

13/10/2020

The new reforms mean local authorities need to mobilise, but is this what’s really required? Paul Beaney reports.

Community involvement in local planning - why Local Plans hold the answer

12/10/2020

Alex Yedigaroff argues the planning white paper presents a great opportunity for local authorities to promote the importance of Local Plans to their communities.

The impacts of planning reform on employment land

08/10/2020

Where will the recent and proposed reforms to the planning system take us? Stuart Hardisty reports.

Planning reforms risk delivery of affordable homes, council chiefs warn

07/10/2020

Communities could have missed out on 30,000 affordable homes in the past five years if proposed Government planning reforms were in place, local leaders warn.

Jenrick: Permitted Development Right homes must meet space standards

01/10/2020

All new homes in England delivered through any Permitted Development Right (PDR) must meet space standards, the housing secretary Robert Jenrick yesterday announced.

Planning proposals will 'disempower' councils

28/09/2020

The Lib Dems have used their autumn conference to warn that the Government’s planning proposals will ‘disempower’ councils.

Tens of thousands of homes built after ‘bypassing’ planning system

23/09/2020

The Government’s approach to regulating the quality of new homes is ‘broken’, campaigners say as a new study argues that tens of thousands of homes have legally avoided the planning system.

Councils warn of 'housebuilding fiasco'

15/09/2020

New government housing targets will lead to a north-south divide in England, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned.

Four in ten homes granted planning permission go unbuilt, research shows

04/09/2020

The backlog of unbuilt homes that have been granted planning permission has grown by 100,00 in the last year, new research has revealed.

Mayor of Liverpool quashes zip wire plan

03/09/2020

The mayor of Liverpool has intervened to stop a plan to build a zip wire that would have ended at Liverpool Central Library.

MPs call for evidence to support ‘suburban renaissance’

18/08/2020

The cross-party Suburban Taskforce has today launched a public ‘Call for Evidence’ to help chart a course towards what it describes as a ‘suburban renaissance’ across the country.

Funding boost for neighbourhood planning groups

10/08/2020

Grants to neighbourhood planning groups in urban and deprived areas has nearly doubled, the Government has announced.

Reforms to fast-track local plans

06/08/2020

Councils will face sanctions unless they draw-up local plans within 30 months under government proposals to overhaul the planning system.

Councils urged to tackle corruption in the planning process

03/08/2020

Councils across England need to improve the way they manage the risk of corruption in the planning process, Transparency International UK has warned.

Following Orders: five actions necessary for DCOs

29/07/2020

Matthew Spry and Nicki Mableson  argue that approving large housing schemes under a Development Consent Order will need clear guidance.

Majority of councils lack expertise to deal with flood risk, survey reveals

28/07/2020

Local authorities are facing a critical shortage of the expertise needed to plan for climate change, a new survey has found.

New design toolkit to create 'healthy housing'

24/07/2020

New design guidance to ensure housing developments create healthier communities has been launched.

Will ‘Build Build Build’ help construct council housing?

20/07/2020

Will ' Project Speed' helps councils to build more housing? Paul Butterworth reports.

Planning system is failing housing for the elderly, report finds

14/07/2020

The vast majority of housing-with-care planning applications are speculative, new research has revealed.

Planning reforms to boost renewable energy

14/07/2020

Planning rules have been relaxed to make it easier to build large batteries to store renewable energy from solar and wind farms.

Planning changes to protect theatres and music venues

13/07/2020

New planning rules to protect theatres, concert halls and live music performance venues from being demolished or redeveloped will come into effect next week.

It’s time to get building

10/07/2020

Arshad Bhatti explains how airspace can help hit affordable housing targets.

Planning reforms present 'dangers' for disabled peopled, Lord Holmes warns

07/07/2020

The relaxation of planning rules poses 'serious dangers' for disabled people, Lord Holmes has warned.

MPs refuse to back down on Westferry

01/07/2020

MPs have refused to accept the Prime Minister’s attempts to close down questions over Robert Jenrick’s decision on the Westferry Printworks planning application.

Approval for Huawei’s £1bn research centre

26/06/2020

Approval has been given to Huawei's new research and development centre in Swaston, Cambridge.

Planning rules relaxed to support outdoor dining

26/06/2020

The Government has temporarily lifted planning rules to allow pubs, restaurants and cafes to serve customers outdoors.

Council criticised over loss of bat habitat

25/06/2020

Warwick District Council failed to consider bat habitats when approving a new development, an ombudsman has found.

Calls for a flexible zoning system to end housing crisis

23/06/2020

A flexible zoning system would help build more homes in the UK and end the housing crisis, a new report has argued.

Whitehall extends planning permission deadlines

22/06/2020

The Government has extended planning permission deadlines to ensure hundreds of construction projects do not run out of time during the pandemic.

Council planning powers under threat

08/06/2020

Planning powers could be shifted from local authorities to development corporations as part of an economic stimulus package to be announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson later this month.

Council apologises for 'oversight' on processing 5G mast planning applications

28/05/2020

Sheffield City Council has apologised after failing to process planning applications for three 5G masts in time.

Westferry Printworks scheme quashed after Jenrick accused of 'bias'

27/05/2020

The Government has agreed to revoke planning permission for the former Westferry Printworks on the Isle of Dogs after being accused of bias towards the developer.

Rejection for two out of three garden communities in Essex

21/05/2020

Proposals for two new garden communities put forward by three district councils have been rejected by the Planning Inspectorate.

Securing the best sites for future development

15/05/2020

Katja Stille explains why a more strategic approach is needed for site allocation.

Councillors show support for remote planning consultations

23/04/2020

Nearly two-thirds of councillors are concerned about the impact Covid-19 will have on planning applications, a new survey has revealed.

Councils report tensions over Public Right of Way

22/04/2020

A new survey has found 90% of councils have reported increasing tensions between landowners and the public over right of way.

Planning for planning reform

14/04/2020

Karen Cooksley outlines the three proposals for planning reform that will have the most impact on local authorities and why they require further scrutiny.

Video conferencing first at council meeting

02/04/2020

A council used software to help decide key planning applications in what is believed to be the first meeting of its kind in the country.

Building beautiful

31/03/2020

Edward Nash argues the challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

Councils to be fully funded for coronavirus costs

18/03/2020

Councils in England will be fully funded for implementing measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, the chancellor has confirmed.

Inspector rejects planning appeal over obesity concerns

13/03/2020

A government planning inspector has supported a council’s policy of restricting new hot food takeaways in areas of high obesity by rejecting a planning appeal made by KFC.

Jenrick outlines new proposals to reform planning process

12/03/2020

Developers will be able to demolish vacant buildings and turn them into new homes more quickly, under new proposals published today.

Jenrick orders council to go ahead with 28,500 homes despite local objections

05/03/2020

An Oxfordshire council has said it is ‘disappointed’ by the Government’s decision to order the local authority to build thousands of new homes.

Study reveals eight-year ‘time lag’ in delivery of large housing sites

26/02/2020

Large housing sites of 2,000-or-more take on average eight years to deliver their first home from submitting the initial planning application, study reveals.

Environment Agency chief executive calls for more flood resilience

25/02/2020

A new ‘twin track’ approach focused on better flood protection and resilience is needed to deal with the climate emergency, the chief executive of the Environment Agency says.

Time for planning appeals 'halved' since Rosewell Review

19/02/2020

The time taken to make decisions on planning appeals has halved since the publication of the Rosewel Review a year ago.

Councils demand extra planning powers

19/02/2020

Councils have called on the Government to use its White Paper to give them powers to take action on unbuilt land that has planning permission.

Cambridgeshire's new modular neighbourhood gets the green light

14/02/2020

Plans to build a new Fenland village and take forward the second phase of a new town in Cambridgeshire have been approved.

Council criticises proposed Holocaust memorial on environmental grounds

12/02/2020

Plans for a Holocaust memorial next to the Houses of Parliament contravenes planning rules on size, design and location, city council says.

Council stops Bristol Airport expansion

11/02/2020

North Somerset Council has rejected a planning application to expand Bristol Airport due to concerns over its impact on the environment.

Permitted development ‘doesn’t work’ and needs an overhaul, architects say

10/02/2020

Permitted development requirements should be extended to ensure new buildings contribute to the wellbeing of residents, an architectural firm has said.

Council ‘disappointed’ by decision to grant traveller camp planning permission

06/02/2020

East Herts Council has said that it is ‘extremely disappointed’ by the decision of a planning inspector to grant permission for travellers to remain on land where they set up an unauthorised camp.

Councils to fast track 'beautiful buildings'

30/01/2020

Councils will be encouraged to speed up the planning process for ‘beautiful buildings’ through a new ‘Fast Track for Beauty’ rule.

New guidelines are failing to boost number of homes, research finds

24/01/2020

Measures designed to boost housebuilding by councils have actually had the opposite effect, according to planning consultants’ Lichfields.

Councils 'coming up short' in helping self-builders, say campaigners

22/01/2020

Campaigners have accused some councils of using 'dirty tricks' to stop people from building their own home.

Council abandons joint housing plan after inspectors question its ‘soundness’

20/01/2020

A third west of England council has voted to withdraw from a joint regional plan for housing and growth.

Think tank warns red tape is ‘strangling’ the high street

17/01/2020

National planning guidelines and local plans are failing to revitalise the high street, a new report by a think tank has warned.

Former housing minister warns of ‘a new generation of slum housing’

16/01/2020

A former housing minister has warned that national planning policy needs ‘a radical rethink’ in order to promote the wellbeing of communities.

Council approves £1m transit traveller site

16/01/2020

Wolverhampton Council has approved plans for a new transit site for the traveller and gypsy community.

Rutland approves its first ever McDonald’s

15/01/2020

Rutland will no longer be the only county in England not to have a McDonald’s, after councillors approved plans for new restaurant on the outskirts of Oakham.

Over 1,000 ancient woodlands at risk from ‘built development’, charity says

15/01/2020

The number of ancient woods under threat in the UK from built development has topped the thousand mark for the first time in two decades, charity warns.

Council chiefs call for permitted development right to be ‘scrapped’

13/01/2020

Local authority leaders have warned that communities are potentially losing out on thousands of affordable homes due to office conversions which bypass local planning offices.

Council ‘vows’ to defend local plan

09/01/2020

Sevenoaks District Council has vowed not to withdraw its draft local plan despite continued pressure from the planning inspector who they accuse of ‘ignoring evidence’.

Council aims to make York city centre ‘car free’

02/01/2020

York city centre could become a ‘car free’ zone as part of a council effort to make the city carbon neutral by 2030.

Welsh government bans combustible cladding

23/12/2019

Welsh government has banned the use of combustible cladding on high rise buildings following the Hackitt review into fire safety after the Grenfell tragedy.

Maximising the benefits of One Public Estate

18/12/2019

Donna Heath says a new approach to construction could help boost the outcomes of the Government’s One Public Estate programme.

Garden Communities set to deliver over 400,000 homes

09/12/2019

Garden city developments are set to deliver over 400,000 new homes, the equivalent to a city the size of Birmingham, new research has revealed.

£131m sea defences given the go-ahead

05/12/2019

Permission for sea defences in Portsmouth has been granted in what has been described as an ‘important milestone’ for the city's flood protection measures.

Planning system is ‘failing’ children’s rights, says report

29/11/2019

The planning system is neglecting the rights and needs of children, a new report has warned today.

Sunderland receives £100m ‘vote of confidence'

22/11/2019

Sunderland City Council’s city centre masterplan has received a massive boost from a £100m deal with Legal & General.

Survey warns housing developments are 'built too quickly'

21/11/2019

Planners and developers are failing to consider the infrastructure needed to support new house building, according to a report produced with the help of architects.

Planners call for stronger direction to tackle climate change

18/11/2019

Stronger direction from the Government and more resources are needed to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, according to town planners.

Council approves Santander’s £75m campus

21/10/2019

Sefton Council has formally approved plans for a multi-million pound investment to create a state-of-the-art campus in Bootle.

Only 10% of recent homes built on the Green Belt are 'affordable'

14/10/2019

Only one in ten homes built on land released from the Green Belt over the past decade are considered ‘affordable’, a new report has found.

Ashford BC’s local plan ‘legally sound’, court rules

11/10/2019

The High Court has rejected a case brought against Ashford Borough Council’s local plan, which the court concluded was legally ‘sound’.

Oxford to lose out on millions due to planning rule changes

03/10/2019

Oxford City Council has warned that the city could lose out on hundreds of new council houses due to changes in the national framework which guides planning policy.

Councils vs network operators?

01/10/2019

The Electronic Communications Code reduces red tape, but in doing so it cuts the potential revenue property owners stand to make and risks pitting local authorities against operators. Zoe Wright reports.

Pushing for real reform image

Pushing for real reform

The pandemic was a game changer for the central/local government relationship, says Joanne Roney, who has started her two-year stint as president of Solace.
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