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Javid blocks Surrey green belt solar farm

Javid blocks Surrey green belt solar farm

The communities secretary has refused plans for a 5.25MW solar farm on a 10-hectare site within the Surrey green belt after he agreed with an inspector that 'very special circumstances' did not exist to justify the development.

Research finds 'considerable variation' in use of national park development test

Research finds 'considerable variation' in use of national park development test

A varying approach to a national policy intended to restrict 'major development' in national parks has led to a number of recent major developments being granted permission that threaten the protected areas' beauty, according to a report published today.

Judge backs approval of Nottinghamshire green belt turbine

Judge backs approval of Nottinghamshire green belt turbine

A High Court judge has backed a Nottinghamshire council's approval of a single wind turbine in the green belt.

DCLG announces £800,000 to help councils handle shale gas applications

DCLG announces £800,000 to help councils handle shale gas applications

The government has announced a new tranche of funding worth £800,000 that councils can bid for to help them deal with shale gas planning applications.

Scottish ministers back hydro power station

Scottish ministers back hydro power station

Scottish ministers have given the green light to a 400MW hydro power station in Dumfries and Galloway, ruling that the proposed facility would help the Scottish government achieve its low carbon objectives.

Planning system 'failing to prepare for climate change'

Planning system 'failing to prepare for climate change'

Local plans are failing to prepare for the effects of climate change, national planning policy on development viability is hampering effective action on the issue, and the duty to cooperate places 'little to no emphasis' on cross-boundary climate change issues, a report has concluded.

Latest Environment Blogs & Opinion

Legal Viewpoint: Shale fund payments plan tests planning boundaries

Last month, the Treasury published a consultation on its proposed Shale Wealth Fund. The fund, which would redistribute tax revenue from shale gas production, was originally expected to be paid to local councils, but the government now proposes to pay individual residents as well.

EIA revisions are going to happen, whether the Brexiteers like it or not, by Jamie Carpenter

Two consultation documents, published recently by the devolved Scottish and Welsh governments, serve as a reminder that Britain will remain a full member of the European Union (EU) for some time to come, despite June's vote in favour of Brexit.

Legal Viewpoint: Court tests limits on scope for MPs to lobby ministers

A Court of Appeal ruling on a wind farm proposal in South Northamptonshire may not have provided the developers with the result they wanted, |but it does provide a steer on the scope for lobbying ministers making quasi-judicial decisions, including the determination of planning appeals.

Permissions discord can be solved, by Angus Walker

A tension is building on the subject of flexibility in permissions, with the promoters of nationally significant infrastructure projects on one side, and those affected by projects and the Planning Inspectorate on the other.

Prepare for applicants who take rejection well, by Chris Brown

Planners may be about to be hit by a tsunami of planning applications to install energy efficiency measures. And, bizarrely, many of the applicants will be seeking a refusal. And this could happen every five years!

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Paris agreement requires changes in plans to cut greenhouse gases, by Richard Garlick

We report in this week's edition that communities secretary Greg Clark has personally turned down eight solar farm schemes since the end of November.

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Environment In Depth

Three lessons from our event on post-Brexit planning

Three lessons from our event on post-Brexit planning

Planning rules based on European law are likely to take many years to change, a London conference organised by Planning heard yesterday. Here are three key messages to emerge from the event.

What an air quality ruling means  for infrastructure schemes

What an air quality ruling means for infrastructure schemes

Commentators say that major infrastructure schemes could face closer scrutiny of air quality impacts and greater vulnerability to legal challenge following a court judgement that ruled that the government's air quality plan (AQP) is unlawful.

How the government's infrastructure adviser will assess long-term needs

How the government's infrastructure adviser will assess long-term needs

An assessment of the UK's needs being drawn up by the government's infrastructure adviser will consider the interactions between housing and infrastructure, but is unlikely to take the form of a national spatial plan.

Why a planning go-ahead for a new runway could be six years away

Why a planning go-ahead for a new runway could be six years away

A series of planning hurdles must be overcome before a final planning go-ahead for a third runway at Heathrow is achieved, according to experts.