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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Hilary Benn – “local communities should decide”

A somewhat surprising alliance between the Daily Telegraph and Labour’s shadow secretary for Communities and Local Government – Hilary Benn – has emerged this morning, with an article by Hilary Benn headlined “The Coalition have got it wrong over planning”.

So let us recall what the Coalition (or rather the Conservative policies adopted by […]

Judicial review – time limits reduced in planning cases

The Secretary of State for Justice

The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling yesterday announced that the time limit for commencing a planning judicial review will be reduced from three months to six weeks. The plan is to make the change this summer. There will be other changes. In […]

Invalid Planning Agreements – Secretary of State’s decision quashed because the s.106 wasn’t a s.106.

A planning agreement has been found invalid and the planning permission it supported has been quashed in the recent case of Westminster City Council v. Secretary of State (27th March 2013). It is a salutary case.

The SofS granted permission on appeal. There was a deed submitted and claimed to contain planning obligations. They were:


Reforming listed building control

A listed building in Worthing

The Department for Culture Media and Sport is consulting on changes to listed building control aimed at better use of local government resources. The problem is that there are not enough conservation officers for the volume of work. So the aim is to reduce the number of applications. […]

NPPF – coming into effect when published next week

The Chancellor has just sat down. He was expected to say that the NPPF was being issued this week, or according to some reports, today. Instead he announced it would be issued by DCLG next week and that it would include the presumption in favour of sustainable development. And then he said that the policy […]

Development plans and electricity transmission lines

There is an interesting decision about this reported today. Samuel Smith Old Brewery challenged a decision of the Secretary of State for Energy to give consent for new power lines at Ferrybridge. The procedure for this was under the Electricity Act 1989. If the Secretary of State gives permission for lines under that Act , […]

Picture postcard Britain

Where would you expect to see these cottages?

On a chocolate box perhaps, or on the wall in a tea-room? I got my new passport back today. For a number of reasons I have not been looking forward to renewing my passport. The first is that it has an electronic chip with information in […]

Where is Greg Rusedski on the housing ladder?

I have been looking at the picture of the first time buyer in the post below since I put it up and thinking he looks like Greg Rusedski. Where is Greg on the housing ladder? I think we should be told.


Laying the Foundations: A Housing Strategy for England

The Government launched this strategy today, part of its proposals to stimulate growth, recognising the role played by new housing. I met with some architects last week and as we discussed the Government’s Plan for Growth, they practically fell about laughing when I took them through the policy of giving greater power to local communities […]

Localism Bill just awaits Royal Assent

So on Monday the Localism Bill was finally approved by the Commons, accepting all the amendments made in the Lords. That includes the abandonment of the requirement to hold referendums on any and everything, though they are still in place for neighbourhood development orders and specific planning provisions.

The amendment sought by the Law Society […]