Airspace development - the way up for affordable housing?


Deborah Rowntree explores how airspace development can revolutionise affordable housing.

Planners ‘must do more’ to protect people from pollution


The Government's health advisers say planning authorities must make sure new building projects protect people from air pollution.

UK Franchise calls for high street reform in 2019


Mathnasium urges landlords and planning departments to modernise planning policy.

Planning appeals could be slashed by five months


Decisions on planning appeal inquiries could be made five months faster under proposals published today.

Planning system ‘underperforming’, auditors say


The Government’s planning system is ‘underperforming’ and struggling to deliver on its aim of building 300,000 homes a year, auditors have found.

Austerity undermines planners ability to ‘serve public interest’, report says


Central Government cuts have eroded the ability of local planners to think strategically about planning and to ‘serve the public interest’, research has revealed.

A quarter of councils yet to submit a Local Plan


A quarter of local authorities have yet to submit a Local Plan six years after being required to act, new research has revealed.

Council limits permitted development rights to protect office space


Islington Council has saved hundreds of thousands of square metres worth of office space from being converted into expensive homes.

The top ten things for local government to be aware of in 2019


2019 looks set to be a year of interesting challenges and opportunities for local government. Tiffany Cloynes and Clare Hardy offer their predictions for the year ahead.

Councils approve planning applications at ‘fastest rate’ in a decade


Local authorities are approving planning applications at their fastest rate in over a decade, a homelessness charity has revealed.

Council debates banning drones


Coventry City Council is considering banning the use of drones on council land due to concerns over privacy and noise pollution.

Birmingham approves 1,400 homes for Commonwealth Games


Birmingham City Council has approved the planning application for the accommodation for Commonwealth athletes.

Reading ‘disappointed’ after Wokingham rejects £20m scheme


Wokingham councillors have rejected plans for a £20m riverside travel route connecting two boroughs due to its ‘sensitive location’.

Developers may be forced to make 'biodiversity net gain'


Developers will have to improve habitats for wildlife under new rules proposed by environment secretary Michael Gove.

Permitted development rules are exacerbating affordable housing crisis, councils warn


Government rules to allow developers to convert offices into housing without planning permission has led to communities missing out on 10,000 affordable homes in the past three years, council leaders have warned

Former minister calls for end to ‘toxic’ permitted development


The planning system is failing to address public concerns in its current state, a former housing minister has said.

More than 2,000 villages denied affordable homes warn campaigners


More than 2,000 villages are being prevented from allowing new affordable homes to be built because they are classified as 'unsustainable', according to campaigners.

New commission to ‘champion’ beauty in building


A new commission has been launched by the Government to champion’ design and style in the building of new homes.

Budget 2018: Letwin calls for new approach to large sites


Local authorities with high housing demand should be given the freedom to allocate land as single large sites and have the clear statutory powers to control the development of such sites, an independent review has concluded.

Councils given access to satellite images for planning


Local authorities are to receive free access to thousands of high-resolution satellite images of Britain which will help in areas such as planning and development.

Housing development to result in loss of Birmingham-sized area of countryside


Campaigners are warning that a proposal to build one million houses between Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge would result in the loss of an area of countryside larger than Birmingham.

‘Deep flaws’ in planning system driving car-dependency


The planning system is leaving new housing developments without adequate walking, cycling and public transport connections, transport organisation warns.

Khan launches £10m fund to ‘boost’ planning teams


The mayor of London today launched a multi-million pound fund aimed at boosting the housing and planning teams in the capital’s local authorities.

Builders warn new mapping tool fails to tell 'full brownfield story'


Building companies have cast doubt on research showing a million new homes could be built on undeveloped brownfield sites.

Councils failing to plan for 'last mile' logistics, survey finds


Only a small minority of local authorities have plans to support the 'last mile' stage of online shopping deliveries, according to a new report.

Councils must ‘act now’ to tackle carbon emissions


Councils must ensure all plans have carbon-reduction targets, charity says after report warns global warming will lead to ‘unprecedented changes' in society.

Landowners make £13bn profit every year just for getting planning permission, says report


Housing campaigners are demanding action over huge profits being made by developers just by gaining planning permission for land they have bought.

Councils often fail to explain planning decisions, LGO says


Local authorities frequently fail to explain the reasons behind planning decisions, Ombudsman says as he publishes guidance for planners.

Councils should benefit from land value ‘uplift’, MPs say


Increases in land value that result from policy decisions should be shared with councils and should not just go into the pockets of developers, MPs say.

Westminster CC forced to play phone box ‘whack-a-mole’


Westminster City Council has called for greater powers to reject planning applications for new phone boxes.

Over 6,000 houses nearly blocked due to councillor objections


Over 6,000 new homes will now be built after councillors’ objections were overturned on appeal, planning consultants have found.

Permission granted for ‘fracking’ site despite council’s opposition


A planning application to explore underground shale gas reserves in Derbyshire has been given a green light despite objections from the county council.

Councils urged to create new garden towns


Councils are being urged to apply for a place on the government's garden communities programme.

Plan submitted for 2,500 new homes in York city centre


York Central Partnership has submitted plans to transform one of the UK's largest city centre brownfield sites, creating 6,500 new jobs and up to 2,500 new homes.

London council to hold ballot on estate regeneration plans


Kingston Council in south west London is to ask residents if they agree to plans for regeneration of their estate.

London mayor accused of ‘failing to reflect’ Whitehall housing policies


Housing secretary James Brokenshire has accused London mayor Sadiq Khan of failing to reflect Government housing policy in his development strategy.

Revised planning framework ‘hugely disappointing’, council chiefs say


Whitehall has ‘not listened’ to the concerns of local authorities when it comes to national housing targets, council leaders say.

Whitehall to consult on allowing ‘fracking’ without planning permission


The Government yesterday launched a consultation on plans to allow drilling for shale gas to go ahead without planning permission.

NPPF: Where now for planning?


Sam Dewar, who believes planning has become too impersonal and systematic, considers what’s likely to be included in changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Council appoints UK’s first newt officer


The country’s first ever newt officer has been chosen by Central Bedfordshire Council to help protect great crested newts from developments.

Councils call for changes to affordable housing definition


Councils have criticised proposed changes to government planning policy after ‘social rent’ homes were dropped from the definition of affordable housing.

Releasing the Green Belt?


A recent planning decision has seen a Green Belt site in East London being deemed suitable for affordable housing development. Jesse Honey explores what implications this case could have for local authorities across the country.

Cuts are stopping councils from tackling unauthorised traveller sites, say planners


Councils are prevented from dealing with unauthorised traveller sites because of the cost and complexity involved, according to planning experts.

New Town Development Corporations: an extra tool in the box


Adrian Turner welcomes the launch of New Town Development Corporations, but outlines how some councils are already delivering housing at scale and pace.

Planning functions ‘downgraded’ by councils, planners warn


The planning function has been ‘downgraded’ in over 80% of local authorities, town planners say.

Call for counties to have greater role in planning


County councils should have a larger role in planning to help meet the housing crisis, according to the findings of two reports published today.

Local authorities and retail


Tiffany Cloynes explores the points councils should consider when bidding for new retail schemes.

Planning contributes over £2.35bn to Welsh society, research finds


The planning system contributed at least £2.35bn to Welsh society last year, according to town planners.

Green spaces are being lost to housing at ‘alarming rate’, campaigners say


The Government’s ‘market-driven rhetoric’ is leading to the countryside being lost to housing at an ‘alarming rate’, campaigners warn.

Council chiefs warn of ‘housebuilding free-for-all’


Proposed changes to national planning guidelines would lead to a 'housebuilding free-for-all’, local government leaders have warned.

Whitehall launches controversial new ‘fracking’ package


The Government has launched a raft of new measures, including a £1.6m fund, to help local authorities deal with shale gas drilling applications.

Guide launched to help councils cope with climate change through planning


Planning experts have joined forces to offer councils practical advice on how to cope with climate change.

Housing developments should be more ‘transport-oriented’, planners say


Planners have called on the Government to focus more on transport-oriented housing developments as study reveals only half of new housing is built within 2km of a train station.

Planning permissions for over 350,000 new homes granted in 2017


Developers are on track to deliver the Government's objective of building one million new homes by 2020, according to their industry body.

Local authorities should produce ‘wildlife recovery maps’, campaigners say


Councils should be required by law to provide maps of local areas that are important for wildlife to help increase the extent and quality of natural habitats, charity says.

Planning and Ecology


How can local authorities realize the environmental benefits required by new government legislation? Karen Colebourn reports.

Rural business ‘stifled’ by planning system, warn landowners


Delays by local authority planning departments are viewed as a ‘barrier’ to economic growth and development in rural areas, survey reveals.

Data reveals 45% increase in completed build-to-rent homes


Local authorities and developers have earmarked sites that can deliver more than 17,500 new build-to-rent homes, latest data has revealed.

Planning permission delays have ‘limited impact’ on housing supply


Attaching automatic planning permission to housing land allocated in local plans would have ‘limited impact’ on increasing the supply of homes, new research reveals.

Government to review council powers over illegal traveller sites


The Government is to review how local authorities can deal with unauthorised caravan sites and developments more effectively.

Three councils face intervention over local plans


Three councils are facing government intervention over their failure to produce a local plan.

Planning laws should be reformed to protect commercial space, think tank says


Major cities in the North and Midlands are growing rapidly, but the Government needs to take action to protect the commercial space driving this growth, think tank says.

Conversion reforms will ‘heap’ pressure on local areas, council chiefs warn


Local authority leaders have warned forthcoming plans to change the laws governing the conversion of agricultural buildings will ‘heap more pressure’ on local infrastructure.

Government launches £23m neighbourhood plan


The Government yesterday launched a £23m fund to help local residents plan their own communities.

Shining political spotlight on New Towns


Kate Henderson explains why a new cross-party group on New Towns has been set up and what it aims to achieve.

Planning reforms to boost rural homes


The Government has announced changes to permitted development rights to allow more agricultural buildings to be turned into new homes.

Spotlight on the NPPF


How has the sector responded to the reforms to the planning system? Mark Whitehead reports.

Housing: Time for councils to stand up and deliver


Karen Cooksley argues that councils will need to start preparing now in order to implement the government's housing policies.

The planning shakeup - what it means


Theresa May has launched an overhaul of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Mark Whitehead asks what it all means.

What does the NPPF mean for our town centres?


Dr Steven Norris explores how the revised planning rules could help strengthen the government's 'town centre first approach.

Planning guidance for shire councils ‘toothless instrument’


A coalition of organisations has written to Sajid Javid to urge him to strengthen cooperation on housing and infrastructure between local government tiers.

Developers exploit ‘loophole’ to squeeze affordable housing in rural areas


Housing developers are exploiting a legal loophole to deny rural residents access to affordable housing, campaigners say.

PM unveils 'major overhaul' of planning rules


Local authorities have renewed demands for greater powers to build new homes following a shakeup in planning rules.

Whitehall must reform ‘viability tests’, campaigners say


Government must amend the definition of ‘affordable housing’ and change its approach to viability testing in its updated planning framework, campaigners say.

Nearly 70 councils share funding to unlock stalled housing


The Government has named the first wave of councils to be given cash to help speed up planning decisions.

Westminster deputy leader admits accepting over 500 gifts


Westminster CC's deputy leader has referred himself to the authority’s monitoring officer after revelations he had been entertained 514 times in three years.

Government releases £45m to ‘combat barriers’ to development


The Government today released £45m to help local authorities build over 7,000 homes on council-owned land.

Developers sitting on more than 420,000 homes with planning permission


The backlog of homes that have been given planning permission but are still waiting to be built has increased by almost 16% in the last year, new analysis has revealed today.

Couple fined £4,000 for disguising home as a garage


A couple in Leicestershire have been forced to pay over £4,000 for breaching planning regulations at their home.

New planning rules to encourage developers to build ‘upwards’


Housing secretary Sajid Javid yesterday confirmed Government backing for planning rules that will make it easier to extend buildings in inner cities in a bid to build a ‘new generation of town houses’.

Inquiry into planning guidance for fracking launched


MPs have launched an inquiry into the planning guidance for fracking provided to local authorities.

Councils call for crackdown on ‘Trojan’ telephone boxes


Council chiefs are calling on the Government to scrap ‘out-of-date’ legislation which enables companies to install telephone boxes without planning permission.

Homes for Rent – the operational spirit


Dominic Martin explains why is it so important for residential developments considered on a rental model basis to include operational considerations at the heart of the design process.

Tens of thousands of new homes ‘fall by the wayside’ in capital, research reveals


Nearly half of the new homes in London that were due to be delivered last year were not built, new research reveals.

Councils call for permitted development rules to be scrapped


Nearly one in ten homes built over the last two years was converted from an office, new analysis has revealed today.

Whitehall announces panel to investigate slow rate of house building


The Government has unveiled the panel of experts who will review the gap between the number of planning permissions being granted and the houses being built in areas of high demand.

Devon councils consider sharing some planning functions


Plymouth City Council and Torbay Council are considering joining forces to deliver planning services.

Why planning policy should be a part of the welfare state


Localis' Jack Airey looks at how green belts can be made to serve the public interest through the creation of 'yellowfield registers' by councils.

Finding land for development


Stefan Webb explains how data platforms can improve the speed, quality and cost of planning.

Council brownfield registers missing off small plots warns report


Councils are 'routinely ignoring' small plots of brownfield land that could be used to build homes, according to environmental campaigners.

Brownfield land is unable to meet housing need, research finds


The amount of brownfield land available will not be enough to meet housing need, a new report has argued.

Planning departments to miss out on £70m due to Government delay


Council planning departments will miss out on £70m if the Government does not bring forward measures to increase planning fees, council chiefs say.

Khan says draft London Plan ‘rips up’ existing planning rules


London Mayor Sadiq Khan says he has 'ripped up existing planning rules' to boost the number of new homes in the capital.

Budget 2017: Housing Revenue Account cap lifted for some


The Housing Revenue Account cap will be lifted for councils in ‘high-demand areas’ and stamp duty will be scrapped for most first-time buyers, chancellor Philip Hammond announced in his Budget speech today.

Planners call for housing policy to be based on economic foresight


The government’s proposal for a new methodology to assess housing need will fail to deliver a mix of housing tenures and types, planners have warned.

Beauty spots at risk from 'misguided' housing policy


The government has been accused of selling off areas of outstanding natural beauty after it was revealed that thousands of houses have been given the go-ahead in the protected open spaces.

Report calls for land market reform


Councils should be allowed to buy land at prices closer to its existing use value in order to unlock new social housing and generate extra income, a new report has argued.

Yorkshire national park urges developers to build in the Dales


A national park in Yorkshire is encouraging developers to build new homes on their land in an attempt to tackle a housing shortage in the Dales.

Majority of Javid's decisions on housing appeals are in Tory seats, research finds


The ‘vast majority’ of ministerial decisions on housing appeals have been in Conservative seats and a significant proportion of them have been refused against the inspector’s advice, a law firm reveals.

Strategic planning ‘necessary’ for large housing developments, planners say


Large-scale housing developments have the potential to lower prices, but only if they are planned carefully, report shows.

Unjust enrichment?  image

Unjust enrichment?

Housing authorities should take care when relying upon valuations that will feed into section 125 notices, says Amy Rogers, of the disputes team at Cripps.
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Children's Services Social Worker - ASYE Programme

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Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The March issue of Local Government News explores alternative funding channels that are available to councils beyond the Public Works Loan Board, what hurdles merging councils face in coming together, and how local government is handling GDPR.

This issue also has a special highways and street lighting section exploring how councils can use lighting to embark on their smart city journey and using IoT technology to weather the storm.

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