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.


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: “It 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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Planner bashing – It’s a game anyone can play!

October 11th, 2012

The planning profession is once again up in arms as the Prime Minister is accused of joining the ranks of senior politicians both in Westminster and in the devolved nations having a dig at planners. I say ‘the profession’, it appears to be mainly those professionals working in local authorities who are the most irked, […]
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Feeling needy, Mr Pickles?

August 29th, 2012

When PPS4 was issued in 2009 one of its key purposes was to abolish the requirement for applicants to demonstrate a ‘need’ for new retail floorspace. The abolition of this test was in response to criticism in the Barker Report that singled the need test out as a blunt and dysfunctional tool that, as the […]
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Unaffordable housing

July 11th, 2012

What is affordable housing? To some, it is “key worker” housing, providing homes for the nurses, doctors, teachers and other hard working public employees who play their part in the community and contribute to the richness of the fabric of that community. To others, it is something entirely different – it is “social housing” to […]
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