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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I always knew I had chosen a worthy subject in which to practice.

Baroness Hanham

Opening the second House of Lords’ debate on the NPPF Baroness Hanham said:

“The views of noble Lords are always worth having and planning is of fundamental importance to our society. It is the bedrock of our country.”

Steady on there. What about Magna Carta, or Parliamentary democracy? How ever did we […]

National Trust issues its 10 point wish list

I offer the following comments (in italic) on the list issued today.

The National Trust’s ten asks of the NPPF are:

1. Confirmation that the planning system should not be used as a blunt tool to ‘proactively drive development’.

Planning is a sophisticated tool, and it is able to drive economic development proactively. That was […]

Greg Clark, Dame Fiona Reynolds and Adam Marshall debate the NPPF

This morning saw a very interesting debate at the offices of Berwin Leighton Paisner, organised by the British Property Federation. I am grateful to BLP for allowing me to be there.

What were the significant points?

Greg Clark – the intent is to put power into the hands of local communities who […]

George Dobry puts the record straight on the presumption

At last. It takes The Times to publish a letter putting the record straight on the presumption. It is not from me – The Telegraph has failed so far to publish any of the half-dozen or so letters I have written to it – but from George Dobry QC, the very distinguished planning barrister, and […]

The text of the 1923 circular which created the presumption in favour of development

I have been pointing out for some time that the presumption is not new, and dates from 1923. This point was made by Michael Harrison QC (who became a distinguished High Court judge) in a 1992 article in the Journal of Planning and Environmental Law, and by Professor Michael Purdue in his analysis (also published […]

Government recognises the age of the presumption in favour of development

Yesterday the Government issued its “Myth-buster” on the National Planning Policy Framework.

Readers of this blog and other articles by me will know that I have been pointing out for some time that the presumption in favour of development is nothing new and can be traced back to 1923 (see for example my article on […]

What does the National Trust believe about planning?

There is an interesting but tendentious article in The Times yesterday about the National Trust’s own residential developments at Erdigg near Wrexham and at Cliveden (near Slough, in the green belt).

The NT gets a rather unfair treatment as the article suggests both developments are in the green belt and also does not point […]

NPPF – a need for reasoned debate.

Twenty-three former presidents of the RTPI have written to the Telegraph today calling for reasoned debate on the draft NPPF and offering the resources of the RTPI to mediate what they call the openly-hostile debate. That is very helpful.

The National Trust can perhaps claim to have got the ball rolling with its petition […]

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 […]