An irreverent look at some of the hot topics in planning. All commentary is given in good faith but does not constitute advice! For specific help on planning matters, please contact us.


The rise of the shed

March 15th, 2021

Everyone loves a garden shed. A plain, low cost multi-purpose space that that can meet pretty much whatever needs you throw at it. Storage? Bring it on. A workshop? Of course. A refuge from screaming kids during lockdown, equipped with a bar and pinball machine? Quite possibly. Thanks to the unlikely triumvirate of Brexit, Covid […]
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The Welsh planning system – Playing the fiddle while the Welsh economy burns?

February 23rd, 2021

It has been apparent for some time that while the Government in England has been attempting to support the development industry and encourage new housing by making the planning system less onerous, the Welsh Government has taken an entirely different approach in the arena of planning. Adopting the strategy of Nero, they appear to have […]
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Conspiracy theories

December 17th, 2020

At a time when conspiracy theories abound, let me start another one: Local planning authorities are actively hiding their development plans and guidance documents in the deepest recesses of their websites to induce madness amongst the development sector. It’s true. Everyone is saying it. Well I am, anyway, after my week so far. On Monday […]
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The new Class E Use: Beware the dangers of swinging a scythe with blurred vision….

July 23rd, 2020

Sir Humphrey has been busy!  Dominic Cummings’ fingerprints are all over the latest change to the Use Classes Order (UCO) in England.  In one stroke, all uses previously considered “town centre” uses, so those within Use Classes A1, A2, A3 and B1 but also indoor sport, recreation and fitness, health facilities and creche facilities now […]
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Crossing the threshold

January 9th, 2019

It is well established in national planning policy, through both the original NPPF and now NPPF2 (at paragraph 89) that development plans must indicate a proportionate, locally-set threshold for assessment of the impact of new retail development and if it does not, then the national threshold of 2,500 sq m applies. The National Planning Practice […]
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I’d like to accord with the Development Plan – but what is it?

September 28th, 2018

Local authority planners, have oft been criticised for being out of touch with the communities they are supposed to be planning. This criticism is well founded in some regards. Take development plans. In the good old days, unless you were metropolitan enough to have an unitary borough, each area had a strategic (structure) plan and […]
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No need, no go.

July 12th, 2018

Has Welsh Government’s love of the anachronistic retail “need” test finally killed the retail development market in Wales? The struggling retail development and investment market in Wales has been dealt another blow this week in the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Waterstone Estates Limited v Welsh Ministers and Neath Port Talbot County Borough […]
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CIL – Time for a re-think?

January 11th, 2017

When CIL was launched in 2010 it was fanfared as the substitute for Section 106 agreements. Councils would be both incentivised by the possibility of great riches to fund infrastructure and limited in the way they could use Section 106 agreements for such matters. Developers in return would have a clear understanding of the size […]
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Development Management Changes #2 -Validation and amendments

April 12th, 2016

Following the recent changes to the Development Management system in Wales, there is now a requirement for LPA’s to notify applicants of any reasons why their application is considered invalid. The applicant can appeal against this non-validation of an application to Welsh Government (via PINS). The appeal must be submitted within 2 weeks of the […]
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Development management changes in Wales #1 – Time to make an exhibition of yourselves!

February 25th, 2016

On 16th March a range of significant changes to development management procedures come into force in Wales. These form one component of a wider raft of changes introduced by the Welsh Government in the Planning Wales Act (2015), all with the apparent overarching objective of encouraging growth in Wales, through delivery of a more effective […]
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