A blog about planning, planning law and planning policy

Disclaimer

The information on this blog is not intended to be advice, legal or otherwise. You should not rely on it and I do not accept liability in connection with it. If you do have a planning law question on which you would like advice, seek legal advice from a suitably qualified solicitor. Specific advice should be sought for specific problems.

Improving PiPs before they squeak

Hello. It has been a year since I last posted and some may have been wondering where I have been. Nothing sinister, but amongst other things I was applying to become an Examining Inspector, that is, one of the Planning Inspectors dealing with applications for permission for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (or NSIPs) under the […]

10 Downing Street postpones the runway decision

Heathrow third runway

The BBC and The Times are today carrying stories that 10 Downing Street is again postponing a decision on whether to proceed with a new runway at Heathrow. People will remember that early in the Coalition Government Sir Howard Davies was asked to lead The Airports Commission, charged with reporting in the […]

It’s a SNIP. And why judicial review is a vital check on government

Rookery South Energy from Waste Facility was the first case to go through the infrastructure planning system introduced by the Planning Act 2008, and it was my privilege to represent two of the parties, the local authorities. It is however also proving to be the slowest – perhaps it is inevitable that the first flushes […]

Problems with the incorporation of the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive into our law

 

I was prompted by an article about this to consider the SEA directive more fully[1]. The SEA Directive is rather broadly written. It requires environmental assessment of “plans and “programmes” which are likely to have significant environmental effects. But the problem is deciding what is a “plan or programme”.

The definition says they include […]

New planning bill

The Growth and Infrastructure Bill was introduced in Parliament yesterday. It is effectively a new planning bill making the changes some of which have been trailed already this autumn). It is relatively short, at 28 sections. I will blog on individual provisions at greater length in due course, but to note now:

1 It allows […]

Extending the scope of the Infrastructure Planning System

When the Planning Act 2008 was in preparation, it was always envisaged that it could be extended to other forms of development. Well the ministerial statement last week specifically contemplates that to speed up the system. Eric Pickles said:

“…we now intend to review the thresholds for some of the existing categories in the regime, […]