Planning | LocalGov

Drive to tackle planning officer shortage ‘crisis’


The Government is supporting a push to address the nationwide shortage of planning enforcement officers.

Councils near Gatwick raise alarm over runway plan


Local authorities near Gatwick have raised concerns over the potential increase in noise and air pollution if the airport brings another runway into use.

Regulator calls for 'substantial' planning intervention


The planning system requires ‘substantial intervention’ by the Government to ensure consistent delivery of new homes, a major study has concluded.

Planning inspectors acted unlawfully over council’s net zero plans


Planning inspectors were wrong to describe West Oxfordshire District Council’s net zero plans for a garden village as ‘too rigorous’, a High Court judge has ruled.

£34m council land sale set for High Court


The High Court will consider whether to review Hertfordshire County Council’s sale of a former airfield to a rail freight company.

‘Brownfield first’ reforms unveiled


Councils in England will be told to prioritise brownfield development and be ‘less bureaucratic’ in their approach to building on previously developed land.

Historic gas lamps receive Grade II listing


Four historic gas lamps in central London are set to receive Grade II-listed status.

Controversial Colston statue to move to museum


The controversial Bristol statue of transatlantic slave trader Edward Colston, which was torn down by protestors in 2020, is set to be moved to a museum.

Further planning reforms on way, says Gove


Empty shops could be quickly converted into homes and developers given fresh incentives to build on brownfield sites under ministers’ latest plans to expedite housebuilding.

Council apologises after Weetabix factory confusion


North Northamptonshire Council apologises after confusion over the location of a Weetabix factory led to the planning department consulting the wrong street.

New legal bid as long-term asylum site plans confirmed


West Lindsey DC has launched a fresh legal challenge after the Home Office confirmed its intention to use RAF Scampton to house asylum seekers.

Officer-member relations ‘fractured’ at Wrexham


Issues in Wrexham County Borough Council’s planning service mean it is hindered in fulfilling its role, an audit has found.

Council slams ‘lack of transparency’ over RAF Wethersfield extension


Braintree District Council has criticised the Home Office after its plans emerged to extend the use of a former airfield for asylum accommodation by three years.

Greta Thunberg joins Hampshire airport protest


Residents, councillors and Extinction Rebellion activists were joined by climate campaigner Greta Thunberg to protest the expansion of a private jet facility at the weekend.

Call for ‘different approach’ to brownfield


A more ‘systematic, interventionist and collaborative’ method could ‘significantly’ increase the regeneration of brownfield sites in Wales, according to a new report.

City Hall to decide on Wimbledon expansion plans


The Mayor of London’s office has called in a controversial planning application to expand Wimbledon’s tennis grounds.

Underfunding of planning teams barrier to growth


Nine out of 10 SME home builders have warned that underfunded local authority planning departments are hindering the construction of new housing.

Local plan review process ‘ineffective’


Reform is urgently required to improve the local plan review process and increase the number of up-to-date plans, according to new research.

North Yorkshire Council greenlights £21m garrison redevelopment


North Yorkshire Council has signed off on a £21m redevelopment project for Catterick Garrison's town centre to offer support for Armed Forces personnel.

Survey reveals support for biodiversity scheme


Most people in Britain support an upcoming requirement for developers to invest in improving local habitats, a survey has revealed.

The separation of planning and landowning powers


Gemma Duncan and William Murrin, Sharpe Pritchard, discuss planning and landowning powers and the implications of a recent High Court judgement.

Thinking ahead: housing delivery in 2024


With 2024 almost certain to be an election year, Colin Brown, head of Planning & Development, Carter Jonas discusses what policies for housing delivery we are likely to see discussed.

Council confirms asylum centre appeal


West Lindsey DC is to appeal against the dismissal of its judicial review over the Home Office’s asylum centre plans.

Review of 2023: a year in planning


Karen Charles, executive director, Boyer (part of Leaders Romans Group), takes a look back at developments in planning policy over the last year.

Councils told to revise local plan timetables


The housing secretary has instructed seven local authorities to revise their timetables for delivering their local plans.

Gove threatens to strip councils of planning powers


Michael Gove has threatened to strip local authorities of their responsibilities for planning if they ‘drag their feet’ when coming up with housing plans.

Council told to stick with ‘unsuitable’ local plan


The Government has told Erewash Borough Council to stick with its emerging local plan, which has been branded ‘out-of-date and unsuitable’ by the authority.

PM promises to limit council tree felling


Residents will have to be consulted before local authorities remove trees in their areas, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced.

Autumn Statement: Planning system to prioritise EV charging


The Autumn Statement gave a major boost to the electric vehicle (EV) market with £2bn of investment and a pledge to reform the planning system.

Autumn Statement: Councils to be able to recover planning costs


Councils will be able to recover the costs of business planning applications in return for being required to meet faster timelines, Chancellor says.

High Court approves M&S judicial review


The High Court has approved an application for a judicial review from M&S after Michael Gove blocked plans to redevelop the retailers Oxford Street store.

Watchdog proposes planning reforms


The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has drawn up proposed reforms to the planning system.

Streamlining of local plans presents the solution to addressing housing need


David Churchill, partner at Carter Jonas (London), argues that a well-informed, collaborative approach to housing delivery has the potential to reform our attitudes and approach to housebuilding.

‘Stark inconsistency’ across London on Build to Rent


Planning policy across London boroughs ‘could do far more’ to provide a comprehensive basis for the delivery of Built to Rent (BtR) schemes, a report has argued.

Public services ‘in a dire state’


No public services are performing better than before the pandemic and satisfaction with councils has dropped, a report has found.

Oflog moves to expand remit


The new Office for Local Government (Oflog) watchdog has proposed to widen its scope to five new service areas.

Levelling up Bill to become law


Royal Assent is scheduled to take place later today, when the Bill will officially become an Act of Parliament.

Tory backbenchers pile pressure on Government


The Government has withstood pressure from its own MPs to allow councils to hold remote meetings.

EXCLUSIVE: Home Office accused of misleading council over asylum plans


The Home Office faces accusations in the High Court it misled a council over controversial plans for an asylum centre at a former military base.

State of rivers ‘hangs in the balance’ amid pollution climbdown


The Government has reportedly abandoned its plans to scrap nutrient neutrality rules.

Getting ready for Biodiversity Net Gain


Dr Robin McArthur, chair of the Joe's Blooms Advisory Board, discusses Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) and what local authorities should do to prepare.

Council defeated over brownfield housing site


Developers have successfully appealed to the Government after Coventry’s planning committee rejected plans to build 690 homes.

Council beats Spurs in High Court challenge


Haringey Council has won a High Court challenge by Tottenham Hotspur over a regeneration scheme near the football club’s stadium.

Government ‘dodges scrutiny’ in levelling up Bill amendment


Both rural campaigners and planners have raised concerns that communities were sidelined in yesterday’s amendments to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.

Controversial crematorium plan quashed


Plans to develop what would have been one of England’s largest crematoriums in Cornwall have been quashed by the High Court.

Labour to tackle 'antiquated planning system'


Labour has pledged to overhaul the planning system in a bid to ease the progress of infrastructure projects.

Threat to councils' planning powers lifted


Nine councils have avoided being stripped of their planning decision-making powers after drastically improving their performance figures.

Greening Up: why, where and how


Nicholas Boys Smith, director of Create Streets, sets out how local councils can improve the level of urban greenery and why they should.

Place directors under ‘immense pressure’ publish strategic objectives


Place directors have called for action on planning, infrastructure and the environment, including a financial regime enabling councils to build more affordable and ‘climate-ready’ homes.

Gove attacks four-day week 'nonsense' in conference speech


Local government secretary Michael Gove delivered a speech to the Conservative Party Conference light on new policies and laden with election slogans.

Planning and placemaking capacity struggle


Two out of three council planning and placemaking professionals believe their team does not have the capacity to meet their strategic objectives, poll reveals.

Council orders demolition of ‘mutant’ apartment blocks


In an unprecedented move, Greenwich Council has ordered the demolition of two residential towers because of ‘significant deviations’ from planning permission.

Biodiversity Net Gain laws delayed


The Government has confirmed it is delaying the introduction of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) laws until next year.

Further stop notice at RAF Scampton


West Lindsey District Council has again told the Home Office to cease work at RAF Scampton.

Liverpool looks to significantly improve services


Liverpool City Council has set out a four-year plan to significantly improve the quality of services in the face of ‘complex’ issues.

Environmental regulations holding back housebuilding


Laws such as those requiring nutrient neutrality in housing developments have resulted in ‘effective moratoria on housebuilding,’ Lords committee says.

Don’t build up or out


Daniel Leon, director at Square Feet Architects, looks at how clever architecture can help mitigate the housing crisis.

Government fails to block levelling up Bill amendments


The Government suffered a flurry of last-minute defeats as the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill completed its journey through the House of Lords.

Spelthorne in local plan stand-off with ministers


Spelthorne BC has stepped back from withdrawing its local plan after the housing minister ordered councillors to avoid the move.

Government defeated over planning fees


Councils would be able to vary fees for planning applications under amendments to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.

Lords block plans to scrap nutrient neutrality rules


The Government’s attempt to scrap nutrient neutrality rules has been defeated in the House of Lords.

Councils ‘sitting on’ £3bn from developer contributions


Councils in England and Wales are reportedly 'sitting on' £3bn allocated for new community infrastructure.

Councils ‘spending £5m a week to subsidise planning services’


Subsidising planning services is costing authorities almost £5m a week as they await a proposed fee increase to help cover the cost of processing applications, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).

Tackling anti-GRT racism at the local level


Dr Helen O'Nions, Nottingham Law School, looks at the role of local government in preventing discrimination against travelling communities.

Increasing number of high-rises causing ‘longstanding harm’


A heritage charity has called for a rethink on the proliferation of high-rise buildings across Manchester.

Why the planning system is failing our pubs


Greg Mulholland and James Watson, Campaign for Pubs, argue that the case of the Crooked House Pub should prompt a rethink of the planning system.

Council halts Home Office work on RAF Scampton


West Lindsey District Council has ordered the Home Office to stop work to convert a former military base into accommodation for asylum seekers.

Mandatory housing targets rejected


An amendment to the levelling up Bill for mandatory housebuilding targets has been rejected by the House of Lords.

Planners unprepared for new biodiversity requirements


Planning authorities are struggling to prepare for the introduction of biodiversity net gain (BNG) requirements, says the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Homeowners await verdict on properties without planning permission


Residents of a 263-home estate that was constructed without proper planning permission await Cheshire East Council’s decision on the future of their homes.

More local wind powers under relaxed rules


The Government has amended planning policy, giving English regions more routes to put forward onshore wind projects.

Lords inflict defeats on levelling up Bill


The Government faces a race against time to get its flagship levelling up Bill into law after peers inflicted a string of defeats.

EXCLUSIVE: Mayors press for trailblazer devolution powers


Mayors are pressing for devolved powers currently reserved for their trailblazer counterparts in ongoing talks with the Government.

Charity calls on planners to help older people move homes


Planning authorities should be more responsive to local and personal circumstances to help older people who are ‘trapped’ in their current homes, according to a new report.

Gove to ease nutrient neutrality requirements


Ministers have announced they will ease divisive development rules on water pollution blamed for low housebuilding rates in rural areas.

Council orders demolition of Brexit agreement hotel


Runnymede Borough Council has ordered Conservative party donor Surinder Arora to demolish all or part of the Fairmont Windsor Park Hotel.

Council told to withdraw 6,000 homes plan


Tandridge District Council’s Local Plan is ‘unsound’ and should be withdrawn, a planning inspector has told the Surrey local authority.

Plans unveiled to transform courthouse into offices


Preston City Council has put in plans that would see a Grade II Listed former magistrates court become a workplace hub.

Tories call for tax cuts to boost housing


A group of Conservative MPs has called for tax cuts for areas where new housing is built.

Historic Crooked House bricks to remain on site


The foundations of the historic Crooked House pub and the building’s bricks will remain on site as hazardous materials are removed, the council has confirmed.

Oxford to build hundreds of affordable homes


Oxford City Council has approved plans to develop 294 affordable homes, along with new retail spaces and community facilities.

Crooked House pub demolition must be ‘catalyst’ for reform


The Crooked House pub demolition should lead to planning reforms to make it easier to stop ‘unscrupulous owners’ from redeveloping pubs, campaigners say.

What planning authorities can learn from Garden Cities


The Garden City idea can help planning authorities reimagine the UK’s towns and cities in an innovative and holistic manner, says Charlotte Llewellyn, TCPA.

Investigation launched into demolition of ‘Britain's wonkiest pub’


An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the demolition of the historic Crooked House pub has been launched, the local authority has said.

DCN hits back against call for planning to shift to upper-tier


The District Councils’ Network (DCN) has rejected a call by former local government secretary Greg Clark for planning to shift to upper-tier authorities.

UPRNs are the embodiment of data provenance. Are you ready?


Fiona Barron, Land Data, and Steven Brandwood, Engagement, GeoPlace, discuss the importance of keeping the UPRN conversation going at the local level.

Council green-lights WWII memorial


Portsmouth CC has granted planning permission for a memorial to honour more than 830 sailors who died in the sinking of the HMS Royal Oak during World War II.

Church requests clarification over ‘confusing’ planning decision


The Bishop of Gloucester has written to Michael Gove asking for clarification on the ‘utterly confusing’ decision to overturn planning decision for 350 homes.

Councillors told to refuse university’s ‘contentious’ asylum housing plans


Officers at High Peak BC have recommended that councillors refuse the University of Derby’s plans to house asylum seekers in vacant student accommodation.

Balancing safety and innovation after Grenfell


Jonathan Pearson, director at Residentially, looks at how developers and councils can work together to drive innovation and improvement in housing.

Harlow Council seeks injunction over missing community facilities


Harlow Council said it has applied for an injunction against the three housebuilders of a new development who have failed to provide community facilities.

Inquiry on housing for people with disabilities launched


MPs have launched an inquiry into how far the planning system is helping to deliver homes that are suitable for disabled people.

Nutrient neutrality row goes to No10


Council leaders have used a Downing Street summit to urge No10 to break the deadlock in a dispute over nutrient neutrality.

Gove warned not to expand permitted development rights


Local authority leaders have urged the Government not to expand permitted development rights due to the risk of creating ‘poor quality' residential areas.

Gove blocks M&S plans to rebuild Marble Arch store


Michael Gove has ruled that Marks & Spencer cannot demolish and redevelop its flagship central London store.

Government concessions over infrastructure levy


The Government has offered concessions on its planned infrastructure levy in the face of opposition from the House of Lords.

Whitehall impeding local plans’ potential for climate action


A lack of clarity on Government policy is undermining the ability of local planners to mitigate and adapt to the climate emergency, a new report has found.

Housebuilding at risk from planning reforms


Dropping local housing targets is endangering the Government’s commitment to build 300,000 homes per year, a new report has found.

Wigan approves £135m multi-media centre.


Wigan Council's planning committee has approved a £135m multi-media centre to boost the town centre.

More than 1,250 clean energy projects await construction


There are 1,262 clean energy schemes that are awaiting construction despite having planning permission, the LGA has said.

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