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.


Going our own way… but in what direction?

February 11th, 2016

An e-mail from a planner in England enquiring about the rules in Wales in respect of permitted development has brought to the fore just how different the planning system operating presently in Wales now is from that operating in England. While we all operate a 1APP system for application forms, the similarities seem to end […]
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Retail policy in Wales… moving forward to the 20th Century

November 26th, 2015

WG has recently held a consultation into proposed changes to Chapter 10 of Planning Policy Wales and Technical Advice Note 4, relating to retail development in Wales. In recent times the retail sector in Wales has all but stopped. The number of retail schemes in Wales that have been cancelled or abandoned provides evidence of […]
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So, what’s the use?

August 12th, 2013

We planners like things to be orderly. Forget shades of grey – the majority of planners (and particularly those in local authorities) seem to see things as black or white. To such people, then, the use classes order (UCO) is veritable manna from Heaven. With one stroke, just about any activity can be classified into […]
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Let’s hide.. It’s The Bill…

July 17th, 2013

The First Minister for Wales, Carwyn Jones AM has announced that the Planning Reform Bill will be published before the summer of 2014. The announcement was brief: β€œIt will deliver a step change in our planning reform agenda and build on the established planning system. It will do this by setting out new roles and […]
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Is sewage infrastructure blocking the flow of new housing delivery?

July 10th, 2013

The pro-development approach of the NPPF has helped to bring about rapid new growth in housing development in some parts of England. This resurgence is involving sites, more often than not, in locations that are not allocated for housing, or indeed any development. This can, in some places, put new pressures on infrastructure and the […]
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Development Plans – Is it time they joined the dodo?

March 11th, 2013

The development plan has been the cornerstone of planning decisions for as long as most people can remember. As students we were always taught that the development plan and planning decisions were inseparable – a mantra reinforced by successive changes to legislation that have placed development plans as the starting point for all decisions. Yet […]
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We are on the highway to Hell – but will there be sufficient parking when we get there?

December 21st, 2012

Planners have faced a lot of criticism recently for holding up development and failing to recognise the realities of the economic crisis on the property sector. Some of this criticism is well founded. There are still far too many local authority dinosaurs out there. The reality is however that much of the delay and frustration […]
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Time for a bit of strategic thinking…

December 4th, 2012

As the planning system in England tends to the wounds caused by the brawling between CALA homes and the egregious Mr Pickles over the role and form of regional planning, there is growing unrest on the Welsh side of the border over the lack of strategic direction on areas such as housing growth. Nowhere is […]
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Travel back in time with the Planning Portal…

November 24th, 2012

A few years ago, a young upstart on the graduate entry programme told the mandarins in Whitehall about this wonderful new fangled thing called the world wide internet super highway and how it could change the world. Most of the boffins just harrumphed loudly and then settled back to sipping sherry and reading the Financial […]
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PPW5 – It’s all about the jobs… at last!

November 7th, 2012

It is a rather rare event in this blog that I dish out praise to the Welsh Government. (WG). That is not because I have any particular axe to grind with the current administration. It is simply that WG has, to my mind, been painfully slow in responding to the economic crisis that has hit […]
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