A blog about planning, planning law and planning policy


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.

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Planning changes – all the time.

This is a new blog about planning law and planning, at a time of extensive change in the planning system. It aims to comment on planning law and the system. I shall be putting up my thinking and reactions to changes. I will also use it for news about planning. To begin with, I thought I would set down what seem to me to be the major issues of the moment.

The Localism Bill is the major legislative change. It is not causing a lot of controversy, but there are parts, such as the provisions on concealed breaches of planning control which are of great concern. I have been lobbying about those on behalf of the Law Society. I am delighted that the Government has accepted the force of our arguments and made amendments, though more are needed.

The National Trust and CPRE are spearheading a campaign this summer against the presumption in favour of sustainable development and the National Planning Policy Framework. I will blog more about that in due course.

Alongside that we see confusion about green belt protection, and the difference between green belt and greenfield.

The battle for hearts and minds to make development more attractive is being hard fought, and the Government finds its proposals for New Homes Bonus, Community Infrastructure Levy and business rate retention are being characterised as bribery.

Funding of local planning authorities is also a serious issue, but not one which is finding much air time. There are a lot of changes in law and policy, coupled with a constant flow of legal cases, many counter-intuitive or simply unhelpful. Can local authorities absorb this? It’s important because failure leads to more legal challenges and the quashing of permissions.

There is a lot to do to make our planning system work well. I will be blogging about it.

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