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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The Red Tape Challenge tackles planning

Good news I feel with yesterday’s announcement that the Government’s Red Tape challenge is now to look at planning. Planning minister Nick Boles said “Unnecessary technical regulations that are no longer needed will be removed”. That sounds like a clear pledge.

This follows the welcome simplification of design and access statements and the reduction in […]

Judicial review changes

David Cameron today launched an attack on judicial review and excessive procedural requirements. He bemoans excessive EU legislation, saying “Consultations, impact assessments, audits, reviews, stakeholder management, securing professional buy-in, complying with EU procurement rules, assessing sector feedback this is not how we became one of the most powerful, prosperous nations on earth”.

Now I have […]

Affordable housing in the Growth and Infrastructure Bill

I promised to comment further on aspects of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill. The first part I want to look at is the parts on affordable housing. They allow for the variation of affordable housing requirements if the development is “not economically viable”.

The provisions allow for more than one application to be made and […]

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 […]

Reforming the law on planning agreements – what can we learn from Wales?

I have posted and written on a number of occasions about the deficiencies and legal difficulties caused by the current wording of s.106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. So it is particularly encouraging to see that they are being taken up in Wales.

The Welsh Government recently commissioned an independent advisory group […]

Economic downturn and planning obligations – does this reveal Government doublethink?

DCLG has come out with two initiatives on planning obligations in the past week or so. It is consulting on allowing early amendment of pre April 2010 section 106 agreements negotiated in happier economic times and is holding a workshop to support its national research on value and impact of planning obligations.

These two initiatives […]

Defective section 106 agreements

I was struck by a question posted on a planning Q&A site the other day from a parish council seeking help over unpaid money under a s.106 agreement. The problem seems to be that the payment was due at occupation of the first tranche of affordable housing. It has been occupied but the payment not […]

Encouraging the modification of section 106 agreements – revisiting the Gummer version

The Autumn Statement also contains a proposal to allow planning obligations to be reconsidered, where the development to which they relate has stalled. It would only apply to pre-April 2010 agreements. If this sounds familiar, you are right, it isn’t new; the Budget encouraged planning authorities to look kindly on requests. So what has changed?


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 […]

First ever IPC decision issued

Commissioner Paul Hudson of the IPC

The IPC issued its decision on Rookery South last week, two days ahead of the deadline. This is the very first project to go to the IPC. It is for a 65MW energy from waste plant at Stewartby, Bedfordshire. I had the privilege of representing the host […]