Crossrail 2, Where Are You?

We’ve got some work to do now.  George Osborne’s March 2016 budget indicated that the then Government would be “investing in the infrastructure that will deliver economic growth for the next generation” by a number of measures, including “securing London’s future infrastructure by giving the green light for Crossrail 2 to proceed. The government will … Continue reading “Crossrail 2, Where Are You?”

Viability & Affordable Housing: Update

This is a supplement to my 28 May 2017 Affordable Housing Tax blog post, since when: Politics, people The avoidable tragedy on 14 June of Grenfell and its aftermath – with its residents needing to be rehoused and concerns as to the fire safety of many other council housing blocks – has surely focused attention … Continue reading “Viability & Affordable Housing: Update”

Elsewhere In Kensington

Last weekend’s blog post was written in different times.  As predicted given May’s weak majority, Sajid Javid stayed in position as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. The announcement of Alok Sharma as housing and planning minister on 13 June was frankly a disappointment. No doubt he is a capable politician, but the … Continue reading “Elsewhere In Kensington”

Nightmare On Marsham Street: What Now?

So much for fixing the broken housing market. Those poor DCLG civil servants. Here we are again in wholly uncertain territory – anathema to planning, anathema to business. In the aftermath of the Brexit vote I wrote a blog post on how we can possibly give any useful advice in these sorts of situations, How … Continue reading “Nightmare On Marsham Street: What Now?”

The Tomorrow People: Planners & Technology

This blog post scratches at the future of planning, which is a ridiculous topic in some ways. After all, whether the political priority of the day is to predict and provide, or to intervene and influence, the whole of planning is about the future (albeit learned from the past, and carried out in the inevitable … Continue reading “The Tomorrow People: Planners & Technology”

Affordable Housing Tax

In requiring the developers of private housing schemes to contribute to the provision of affordable housing, the planning system has become a tax collection system, and an inefficient, opaque one at that.  The OECD classifies  taxes as follows: “… compulsory, unrequited payments to general government. Taxes are unrequited in the sense that benefits provided by … Continue reading “Affordable Housing Tax”

Money For Nothing? CPO Compensation Reform, Land Value Capture

To what extent might the state choose to tax land owners, through reducing their compensation entitlement, in order to facilitate the provision of housing or infrastructure, rather than subsidise that provision through more general tax raising? How can the state capture land value gains created by its own infrastructure provision, or due to its own … Continue reading “Money For Nothing? CPO Compensation Reform, Land Value Capture”

Newmarket: Horses, Houses, Politics, Planning

Let’s please constrain the circumstances in which the Secretary of State can intervene in planning decision-making. Who is going to carry on investing in housing land promotion when, frankly, the outcome of betting on the horses can be more predictable? The day before the Supreme Court’s ruling in Suffolk Coastal (where the Supreme Court justices … Continue reading “Newmarket: Horses, Houses, Politics, Planning”

NPPF Paras 49 & 14: So What Is The Supreme Court Really Saying?

The Supreme Court’s judgment in Suffolk Coastal District Council v Hopkins Homes and Richborough Estates v Cheshire East Borough Council, handed down on 10 May 2017, has been keenly anticipated but what does it mean for the development industry?  The issue  The issue at stake is subtle but crucial for promoters of residential development in … Continue reading “NPPF Paras 49 & 14: So What Is The Supreme Court Really Saying?”

Slow Train Coming: Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges In The South East

The planning system doesn’t just fail to provide homes. There are clear lessons to be learned from the unstructured and inadequate approach that successive governments have applied to securing appropriate strategic rail freight interchange developments (SRFIs, in the jargon) to serve London and the south east. That approach has now wasted decades without a spade … Continue reading “Slow Train Coming: Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges In The South East”