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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Who should take the strategic decisions?

I chaired the White Paper Conference Company’s planning conference on Wednesday when we were privileged to hear from a number of high profile and experienced speakers, including Steve Quartermain, Chief Planner at DCLG. But perhaps the issue with the greatest challenge was revealed in the last paper, from Catriona Riddell. The question she had been […]

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 […]

We want a say

Visiting my local market town on Saturday I stopped to look at a large map of the town – about twelve feet by twelve feet – spread out on the pavement as part of the election campaign for Thursday’s local elections. It particularly attracted my attention because was obviously about planning and was headed “Your […]

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 […]

NPPF published

So the NPPF was finally issued yesterday. At 59 pages, even the most hardened critic must welcome it. At last we can say goodbye to the pages of repetition of law and policy in the old PPS series. There is a helpful and explicit list of what has been abolished at the end, beginning with […]

NPPF and the presumption – the text of the Chancellor’s speech

This is what is in the chancellor’s speech

“Next week my Right Honourable Friends the Communities Secretary and the Planning Minister will publish the results of our overhaul of planning regulation.

We’re replacing 1,000 pages of guidance with just 50 pages.

We’re introducing a presumption in favour of sustainable development;

While protecting our most precious […]

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 , […]

Development plans

The foundations for a new approach to development are claimed to have been laid in 2011, with the introduction of neighbourhood planning by the Localism Act. So it was interesting, when I was tidying up some papers and books in my office yesterday, to come across “Development Plans – a manual on form and content” […]