Devo West Mids

Connecting the dots as to the Government’s policy announcements is never easy for all of us on the outside, trying to work out what they may turn out to mean in practice.  An evidence session today with the West Midlands Land Commission was a good excuse for me to get to grips, belatedly, with what … Continue reading “Devo West Mids”

There Goes The Neighbourhood? Recent Challenges To NDPs

There is still significant legal debate as to what is the proper scope of neighbourhood development plans. This has resulted in a series of cases in which the parish council or neighbourhood forum that has promoted the relevant NDP sits on the sidelines (due to lack of resources) as the borough or district council which … Continue reading “There Goes The Neighbourhood? Recent Challenges To NDPs”

Building Homes By CPO

This blog post supplements a 27 October 2016 Planning Futures event  hosted by City University on the role of compulsory purchase in solving the planning crisis. Any discussion like this needs to be in the context of wider legislative and policy initiatives in relation to the operation of the planning system, of seeking to ensure … Continue reading “Building Homes By CPO”

Noise Annoys

We’ve surely got to find better solutions to the conflicts arising between residents (in both new and existing homes) and noise generating or noise sensitive uses. Otherwise we will kill those activities that make cities what they are and an important element what attracts people to live in them in the first place: nightclubs; cinemas; … Continue reading “Noise Annoys”

Airports & Courts

The Government’s long awaited decision on airport expansion in the south east, following its interim 10 December 2015 statement, finally seems imminent. A Guardian 9 October 2016 story speculates that the decision will be taken at a cabinet meeting on 17 October (presumably meaning an announcement the following day) and that Heathrow will be favoured, in which … Continue reading “Airports & Courts”

(EIA + SEA) – EU = ?

Deadlines, deadlines.  The EU’s 2014 amending directive on environmental impact assessment  has to be transposed by member states into domestic law by 16 May 2017.  Given that Theresa May has announced that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty will be invoked by the UK government by the end of March 2017, which would see us … Continue reading “(EIA + SEA) – EU = ?”

4 Possible Improvements To The Planning System Using Black Box Thinking

If you’ve read Matthew Syed’s Black Box Thinking  , which you probably have, you’ll know that the theme is that people, teams and systems perform at their best when they learn continuously from mistakes and failures. The more complex the system, the more important it is that there is an open loop rather than closed … Continue reading “4 Possible Improvements To The Planning System Using Black Box Thinking”

The Latest on Viability Disclosure

Each September LD Events’ annual Viability and Planning conference comes around. My regular slot at the event covers ”transparency in the viability process – access to information” and it’s always interesting how the climate has changed over the previous 12 months. This blog post provides links to some of the key decisions and policy developments, supplementing … Continue reading “The Latest on Viability Disclosure”

Regeneration X: Failed CPOs

The Secretary of State’s decision letter  dated 16 September 2016 in relation to the Aylesbury Estate CPO has major implications for all regeneration schemes, including the approach that LPAs should take to planning applications. However, in my view it was not unsurprising in the light of other recent decisions.  The whole of the decision letter … Continue reading “Regeneration X: Failed CPOs”

Avoiding Dover-type reasons JRs

Planning committees that resolve to approve planning applications against officers’ recommendations need to be careful not to fall foul of a JR if their reasoning is inadequate. The risks are particularly high in EIA cases and where there are other sensitive elements. Although Laws LJ described it as an “unusual case”, R (CPRE Kent) v … Continue reading “Avoiding Dover-type reasons JRs”