Planning

UK Franchise calls for high street reform in 2019

19/02/2019

Mathnasium urges landlords and planning departments to modernise planning policy.

Planning appeals could be slashed by five months

12/02/2019

Decisions on planning appeal inquiries could be made five months faster under proposals published today.

Planning system ‘underperforming’, auditors say

08/02/2019

The Government’s planning system is ‘underperforming’ and struggling to deliver on its aim of building 300,000 homes a year, auditors have found.

Austerity undermines planners ability to ‘serve public interest’, report says

04/02/2019

Central Government cuts have eroded the ability of local planners to think strategically about planning and to ‘serve the public interest’, research has revealed.

A quarter of councils yet to submit a Local Plan

24/01/2019

A quarter of local authorities have yet to submit a Local Plan six years after being required to act, new research has revealed.

Council limits permitted development rights to protect office space

21/01/2019

Islington Council has saved hundreds of thousands of square metres worth of office space from being converted into expensive homes.

The top ten things for local government to be aware of in 2019

11/01/2019

2019 looks set to be a year of interesting challenges and opportunities for local government. Tiffany Cloynes and Clare Hardy offer their predictions for the year ahead.

Councils approve planning applications at ‘fastest rate’ in a decade

04/01/2019

Local authorities are approving planning applications at their fastest rate in over a decade, a homelessness charity has revealed.

Council debates banning drones

04/01/2019

Coventry City Council is considering banning the use of drones on council land due to concerns over privacy and noise pollution.

Birmingham approves 1,400 homes for Commonwealth Games

21/12/2018

Birmingham City Council has approved the planning application for the accommodation for Commonwealth athletes.

Reading ‘disappointed’ after Wokingham rejects £20m scheme

14/12/2018

Wokingham councillors have rejected plans for a £20m riverside travel route connecting two boroughs due to its ‘sensitive location’.

Developers may be forced to make 'biodiversity net gain'

03/12/2018

Developers will have to improve habitats for wildlife under new rules proposed by environment secretary Michael Gove.

Permitted development rules are exacerbating affordable housing crisis, councils warn

27/11/2018

Government rules to allow developers to convert offices into housing without planning permission has led to communities missing out on 10,000 affordable homes in the past three years, council leaders have warned

Former minister calls for end to ‘toxic’ permitted development

19/11/2018

The planning system is failing to address public concerns in its current state, a former housing minister has said.

More than 2,000 villages denied affordable homes warn campaigners

19/11/2018

More than 2,000 villages are being prevented from allowing new affordable homes to be built because they are classified as 'unsustainable', according to campaigners.

New commission to ‘champion’ beauty in building

05/11/2018

A new commission has been launched by the Government to champion’ design and style in the building of new homes.

Budget 2018: Letwin calls for new approach to large sites

29/10/2018

Local authorities with high housing demand should be given the freedom to allocate land as single large sites and have the clear statutory powers to control the development of such sites, an independent review has concluded.

Councils given access to satellite images for planning

26/10/2018

Local authorities are to receive free access to thousands of high-resolution satellite images of Britain which will help in areas such as planning and development.

Housing development to result in loss of Birmingham-sized area of countryside

26/10/2018

Campaigners are warning that a proposal to build one million houses between Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge would result in the loss of an area of countryside larger than Birmingham.

‘Deep flaws’ in planning system driving car-dependency

24/10/2018

The planning system is leaving new housing developments without adequate walking, cycling and public transport connections, transport organisation warns.

Khan launches £10m fund to ‘boost’ planning teams

19/10/2018

The mayor of London today launched a multi-million pound fund aimed at boosting the housing and planning teams in the capital’s local authorities.

Builders warn new mapping tool fails to tell 'full brownfield story'

18/10/2018

Building companies have cast doubt on research showing a million new homes could be built on undeveloped brownfield sites.

Councils failing to plan for 'last mile' logistics, survey finds

18/10/2018

Only a small minority of local authorities have plans to support the 'last mile' stage of online shopping deliveries, according to a new report.

Councils must ‘act now’ to tackle carbon emissions

09/10/2018

Councils must ensure all plans have carbon-reduction targets, charity says after report warns global warming will lead to ‘unprecedented changes' in society.

Landowners make £13bn profit every year just for getting planning permission, says report

19/09/2018

Housing campaigners are demanding action over huge profits being made by developers just by gaining planning permission for land they have bought.

Councils often fail to explain planning decisions, LGO says

13/09/2018

Local authorities frequently fail to explain the reasons behind planning decisions, Ombudsman says as he publishes guidance for planners.

Councils should benefit from land value ‘uplift’, MPs say

13/09/2018

Increases in land value that result from policy decisions should be shared with councils and should not just go into the pockets of developers, MPs say.

Westminster CC forced to play phone box ‘whack-a-mole’

07/09/2018

Westminster City Council has called for greater powers to reject planning applications for new phone boxes.

Over 6,000 houses nearly blocked due to councillor objections

23/08/2018

Over 6,000 new homes will now be built after councillors’ objections were overturned on appeal, planning consultants have found.

Permission granted for ‘fracking’ site despite council’s opposition

17/08/2018

A planning application to explore underground shale gas reserves in Derbyshire has been given a green light despite objections from the county council.

Councils urged to create new garden towns

15/08/2018

Councils are being urged to apply for a place on the government's garden communities programme.

Plan submitted for 2,500 new homes in York city centre

15/08/2018

York Central Partnership has submitted plans to transform one of the UK's largest city centre brownfield sites, creating 6,500 new jobs and up to 2,500 new homes.

London council to hold ballot on estate regeneration plans

01/08/2018

Kingston Council in south west London is to ask residents if they agree to plans for regeneration of their estate.

London mayor accused of ‘failing to reflect’ Whitehall housing policies

31/07/2018

Housing secretary James Brokenshire has accused London mayor Sadiq Khan of failing to reflect Government housing policy in his development strategy.

Revised planning framework ‘hugely disappointing’, council chiefs say

25/07/2018

Whitehall has ‘not listened’ to the concerns of local authorities when it comes to national housing targets, council leaders say.

Whitehall to consult on allowing ‘fracking’ without planning permission

20/07/2018

The Government yesterday launched a consultation on plans to allow drilling for shale gas to go ahead without planning permission.

NPPF: Where now for planning?

16/07/2018

Sam Dewar, who believes planning has become too impersonal and systematic, considers what’s likely to be included in changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Council appoints UK’s first newt officer

06/07/2018

The country’s first ever newt officer has been chosen by Central Bedfordshire Council to help protect great crested newts from developments.

Councils call for changes to affordable housing definition

02/07/2018

Councils have criticised proposed changes to government planning policy after ‘social rent’ homes were dropped from the definition of affordable housing.

Releasing the Green Belt?

28/06/2018

A recent planning decision has seen a Green Belt site in East London being deemed suitable for affordable housing development. Jesse Honey explores what implications this case could have for local authorities across the country.

Cuts are stopping councils from tackling unauthorised traveller sites, say planners

26/06/2018

Councils are prevented from dealing with unauthorised traveller sites because of the cost and complexity involved, according to planning experts.

New Town Development Corporations: an extra tool in the box

25/06/2018

Adrian Turner welcomes the launch of New Town Development Corporations, but outlines how some councils are already delivering housing at scale and pace.

Planning functions ‘downgraded’ by councils, planners warn

21/06/2018

The planning function has been ‘downgraded’ in over 80% of local authorities, town planners say.

Call for counties to have greater role in planning

20/06/2018

County councils should have a larger role in planning to help meet the housing crisis, according to the findings of two reports published today.

Local authorities and retail

19/06/2018

Tiffany Cloynes explores the points councils should consider when bidding for new retail schemes.

Planning contributes over £2.35bn to Welsh society, research finds

07/06/2018

The planning system contributed at least £2.35bn to Welsh society last year, according to town planners.

Green spaces are being lost to housing at ‘alarming rate’, campaigners say

04/06/2018

The Government’s ‘market-driven rhetoric’ is leading to the countryside being lost to housing at an ‘alarming rate’, campaigners warn.

Council chiefs warn of ‘housebuilding free-for-all’

25/05/2018

Proposed changes to national planning guidelines would lead to a 'housebuilding free-for-all’, local government leaders have warned.

Whitehall launches controversial new ‘fracking’ package

18/05/2018

The Government has launched a raft of new measures, including a £1.6m fund, to help local authorities deal with shale gas drilling applications.

Guide launched to help councils cope with climate change through planning

16/05/2018

Planning experts have joined forces to offer councils practical advice on how to cope with climate change.

Housing developments should be more ‘transport-oriented’, planners say

10/05/2018

Planners have called on the Government to focus more on transport-oriented housing developments as study reveals only half of new housing is built within 2km of a train station.

Planning permissions for over 350,000 new homes granted in 2017

03/05/2018

Developers are on track to deliver the Government's objective of building one million new homes by 2020, according to their industry body.

Local authorities should produce ‘wildlife recovery maps’, campaigners say

02/05/2018

Councils should be required by law to provide maps of local areas that are important for wildlife to help increase the extent and quality of natural habitats, charity says.

Planning and Ecology

01/05/2018

How can local authorities realize the environmental benefits required by new government legislation? Karen Colebourn reports.

Rural business ‘stifled’ by planning system, warn landowners

19/04/2018

Delays by local authority planning departments are viewed as a ‘barrier’ to economic growth and development in rural areas, survey reveals.

Data reveals 45% increase in completed build-to-rent homes

12/04/2018

Local authorities and developers have earmarked sites that can deliver more than 17,500 new build-to-rent homes, latest data has revealed.

Planning permission delays have ‘limited impact’ on housing supply

10/04/2018

Attaching automatic planning permission to housing land allocated in local plans would have ‘limited impact’ on increasing the supply of homes, new research reveals.

Government to review council powers over illegal traveller sites

05/04/2018

The Government is to review how local authorities can deal with unauthorised caravan sites and developments more effectively.

Three councils face intervention over local plans

26/03/2018

Three councils are facing government intervention over their failure to produce a local plan.

Planning laws should be reformed to protect commercial space, think tank says

21/03/2018

Major cities in the North and Midlands are growing rapidly, but the Government needs to take action to protect the commercial space driving this growth, think tank says.

Conversion reforms will ‘heap’ pressure on local areas, council chiefs warn

21/03/2018

Local authority leaders have warned forthcoming plans to change the laws governing the conversion of agricultural buildings will ‘heap more pressure’ on local infrastructure.

Government launches £23m neighbourhood plan

20/03/2018

The Government yesterday launched a £23m fund to help local residents plan their own communities.

Shining political spotlight on New Towns

14/03/2018

Kate Henderson explains why a new cross-party group on New Towns has been set up and what it aims to achieve.

Planning reforms to boost rural homes

12/03/2018

The Government has announced changes to permitted development rights to allow more agricultural buildings to be turned into new homes.

Spotlight on the NPPF

09/03/2018

How has the sector responded to the reforms to the planning system? Mark Whitehead reports.

Housing: Time for councils to stand up and deliver

09/03/2018

Karen Cooksley argues that councils will need to start preparing now in order to implement the government's housing policies.

The planning shakeup - what it means

07/03/2018

Theresa May has launched an overhaul of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Mark Whitehead asks what it all means.

What does the NPPF mean for our town centres?

07/03/2018

Dr Steven Norris explores how the revised planning rules could help strengthen the government's 'town centre first approach.

Planning guidance for shire councils ‘toothless instrument’

05/03/2018

A coalition of organisations has written to Sajid Javid to urge him to strengthen cooperation on housing and infrastructure between local government tiers.

Developers exploit ‘loophole’ to squeeze affordable housing in rural areas

05/03/2018

Housing developers are exploiting a legal loophole to deny rural residents access to affordable housing, campaigners say.

PM unveils 'major overhaul' of planning rules

05/03/2018

Local authorities have renewed demands for greater powers to build new homes following a shakeup in planning rules.

Whitehall must reform ‘viability tests’, campaigners say

01/03/2018

Government must amend the definition of ‘affordable housing’ and change its approach to viability testing in its updated planning framework, campaigners say.

Nearly 70 councils share funding to unlock stalled housing

26/02/2018

The Government has named the first wave of councils to be given cash to help speed up planning decisions.

Westminster deputy leader admits accepting over 500 gifts

21/02/2018

Westminster CC's deputy leader has referred himself to the authority’s monitoring officer after revelations he had been entertained 514 times in three years.

Government releases £45m to ‘combat barriers’ to development

16/02/2018

The Government today released £45m to help local authorities build over 7,000 homes on council-owned land.

Developers sitting on more than 420,000 homes with planning permission

16/02/2018

The backlog of homes that have been given planning permission but are still waiting to be built has increased by almost 16% in the last year, new analysis has revealed today.

Couple fined £4,000 for disguising home as a garage

13/02/2018

A couple in Leicestershire have been forced to pay over £4,000 for breaching planning regulations at their home.

New planning rules to encourage developers to build ‘upwards’

05/02/2018

Housing secretary Sajid Javid yesterday confirmed Government backing for planning rules that will make it easier to extend buildings in inner cities in a bid to build a ‘new generation of town houses’.

Inquiry into planning guidance for fracking launched

31/01/2018

MPs have launched an inquiry into the planning guidance for fracking provided to local authorities.

Councils call for crackdown on ‘Trojan’ telephone boxes

29/01/2018

Council chiefs are calling on the Government to scrap ‘out-of-date’ legislation which enables companies to install telephone boxes without planning permission.

Homes for Rent – the operational spirit

19/01/2018

Dominic Martin explains why is it so important for residential developments considered on a rental model basis to include operational considerations at the heart of the design process.

Tens of thousands of new homes ‘fall by the wayside’ in capital, research reveals

18/01/2018

Nearly half of the new homes in London that were due to be delivered last year were not built, new research reveals.

Councils call for permitted development rules to be scrapped

18/01/2018

Nearly one in ten homes built over the last two years was converted from an office, new analysis has revealed today.

Whitehall announces panel to investigate slow rate of house building

15/01/2018

The Government has unveiled the panel of experts who will review the gap between the number of planning permissions being granted and the houses being built in areas of high demand.

Devon councils consider sharing some planning functions

09/01/2018

Plymouth City Council and Torbay Council are considering joining forces to deliver planning services.

Why planning policy should be a part of the welfare state

21/12/2017

Localis' Jack Airey looks at how green belts can be made to serve the public interest through the creation of 'yellowfield registers' by councils.

Finding land for development

20/12/2017

Stefan Webb explains how data platforms can improve the speed, quality and cost of planning.

Council brownfield registers missing off small plots warns report

12/12/2017

Councils are 'routinely ignoring' small plots of brownfield land that could be used to build homes, according to environmental campaigners.

Brownfield land is unable to meet housing need, research finds

11/12/2017

The amount of brownfield land available will not be enough to meet housing need, a new report has argued.

Planning departments to miss out on £70m due to Government delay

07/12/2017

Council planning departments will miss out on £70m if the Government does not bring forward measures to increase planning fees, council chiefs say.

Khan says draft London Plan ‘rips up’ existing planning rules

29/11/2017

London Mayor Sadiq Khan says he has 'ripped up existing planning rules' to boost the number of new homes in the capital.

Budget 2017: Housing Revenue Account cap lifted for some

22/11/2017

The Housing Revenue Account cap will be lifted for councils in ‘high-demand areas’ and stamp duty will be scrapped for most first-time buyers, chancellor Philip Hammond announced in his Budget speech today.

Planners call for housing policy to be based on economic foresight

16/11/2017

The government’s proposal for a new methodology to assess housing need will fail to deliver a mix of housing tenures and types, planners have warned.

Beauty spots at risk from 'misguided' housing policy

15/11/2017

The government has been accused of selling off areas of outstanding natural beauty after it was revealed that thousands of houses have been given the go-ahead in the protected open spaces.

Report calls for land market reform

10/11/2017

Councils should be allowed to buy land at prices closer to its existing use value in order to unlock new social housing and generate extra income, a new report has argued.

Yorkshire national park urges developers to build in the Dales

30/10/2017

A national park in Yorkshire is encouraging developers to build new homes on their land in an attempt to tackle a housing shortage in the Dales.

Majority of Javid's decisions on housing appeals are in Tory seats, research finds

26/10/2017

The ‘vast majority’ of ministerial decisions on housing appeals have been in Conservative seats and a significant proportion of them have been refused against the inspector’s advice, a law firm reveals.

Strategic planning ‘necessary’ for large housing developments, planners say

24/10/2017

Large-scale housing developments have the potential to lower prices, but only if they are planned carefully, report shows.

Developers not prioritising walking access, council officers warn

24/10/2017

The majority of local authorities in England wish to prioritise access to walking infrastructure, but only half feel that developers share this view.

Council rules new development must include LGBT nightclub

13/10/2017

A redevelopment scheme must include a LGBTQ venue as part of its planning approval, councillors have ruled in Tower Hamlets.

Birminghams winter of discontent image

Birmingham's winter of discontent

With a series of one-day strikes to go ahead in Birmingham, Mark Whitehead explores what led to this long-running dispute over waste collection.
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Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The December issue of Local Government News looks at the consequences a council may face if it is unable to provide statutory services, the launch of Liverpool’s housing company and how councils can best manage roles in local authority companies.

It also has a special section on green building and energy efficiency including what funding is available to enable councils to deliver heat networks and how councils can pay for ‘smart buildings’.

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