Back Yard Back Handers

The idea, set out in the prime minister’s announcement  in relation to the Shale Wealth Fund, of the planning system encompassing direct payouts to households affected by shale oil and gas proposals, is an eye-opener on various levels – particularly given the suggestions that this will not stop at shale. I set out below some … Continue reading “Back Yard Back Handers”

Heritage Law Update: What Goes Around Comes Around?

A brief update on what has been happening in heritage law over recent months.  The section 66(1) & 72(1) tests in the Town and Country Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 First, aptly, some old news.  Section 66(1) requires decision-makers, in “considering whether to grant planning permission for development which affects a listed … Continue reading “Heritage Law Update: What Goes Around Comes Around?”

HS2: The Very Select Committee

The Parliamentary Hybrid Bill procedure will be used for Crossrail 2 and for the second phase of HS2 so it’s right that we look at the process is faring as the Bill for phase 1 of HS2 carries on through its House of Lords Select Committee stage.  When compared to planning inquiries under the Town … Continue reading “HS2: The Very Select Committee”

Sequential Test: Still Testing

The  “town centres first” sequential test in paragraph 24 of the NPPF still leads to much uncertainty as to its practical application. This post briefly summarises (largely just by cutting and pasting the relevant passages) the recent Warners and Aldergate court rulings and the Secretary of State’s Exeter decision letter, all from the last month … Continue reading “Sequential Test: Still Testing”

What has our new Housing & Planning Minister said about planning?

What do we know about Gavin Barwell MP, our new housing and planning minister (and minister for London)? This is his official biography. His own website is interesting, featuring a youtube video where he is objecting to a local Croydon housing proposal on green belt land. I also carried out a quick search on the … Continue reading “What has our new Housing & Planning Minister said about planning?”

Unpacking UseItOrLoseIt

This “use it or lose it” catchphrase has appeared again this past week in the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee’s report, Building More Homes. Paragraphs 129 to 139 of the report’s section on Planning Reform set out the “criticism made of the large house builders…that they hold land suitable and with permission for building, yet build … Continue reading “Unpacking UseItOrLoseIt”

Time To Review The “C” Use Classes?

Isn’t it time to update the Use Classes Order, in particular its categorisation of residential and quasi-residential uses? Until replaced in 1987 following a 1985 review, the 1972 Order reflected another age. Those lists of specific special industrial uses (blood boiling, bone burning, maggot breeding…) have been jettisoned. Since 1987 use class A1 has no longer … Continue reading “Time To Review The “C” Use Classes?”

How To Predict, How To Advise

Don’t believe anyone today who confidently predicts what any particular political outcome will be. There are currently too many variables. What does this mean for planners, and planning lawyers, whose roles largely entail predicting and helping  to influence the future? Practical outcomes flow from our advice. Our collective success rate is usually fair to middling … Continue reading “How To Predict, How To Advise”

Valuing Starter Homes

The sound-bites from chapter 1 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 make it sound so simple. Starter homes will have be sold at a discount of at least 20% to market value, with a price cap of £450,000 in London and £250,000 elsewhere. That much is baked into the Act (subject to change via … Continue reading “Valuing Starter Homes”