Why the secretary of state's admission of 'apparent bias' over his approval of a 1,500-home scheme has prompted calls for an overhaul of ministerial decision-making

Why the secretary of state's admission of 'apparent bias' over his approval of a 1,500-home scheme has prompted calls for an overhaul of ministerial decision-making

An admission of "apparent bias" by the housing secretary in his consent for a 1,500-home scheme in east London is unprecedented and "shocking", according to legal experts, who warn that it could undermine faith in ministerial decision-making and should prompt far-reaching changes around the process.

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Coronavirus: Planning's live coverage

Coronavirus: Planning's live coverage

With the coronavirus likely to have far-reaching impacts on the planning system, click through to keep up to date with all the latest planning-related news on the crisis.

How new Covid-19 application publicity rules may raise fresh risks for councils

How new Covid-19 application publicity rules may raise fresh risks for councils

New temporary rules allow councils to publicise applications using social media and other electronic communications during the pandemic, but using such digital methods does raise some risks, commentators warn.

10 key things that happened this week

10 key things that happened this week

Ten of the biggest stories from the past week, including news that the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) has announced it is planning to hold "at least" 35 virtual hearings, inquiries and examinations in June as it "scales up" its capacity to process more cases.

Police 'assessing allegation' in relation to Jenrick's 'unlawful' Docklands consent

Police 'assessing allegation' in relation to Jenrick's 'unlawful' Docklands consent

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed that it is assessing an "allegation" made in relation to the housing secretary's recently-overturned consent for a 1,500-home scheme in London's Docklands.


Letter: How planning can support housebuilding during the pandemic

Letter: How planning can support housebuilding during the pandemic

In the short term, the Covid-19 pandemic has effectively shut down housebuilding and the housing market. As the lockdown is relaxed, activity is returning. But it will take a long time to return to normal, and in the meantime housebuilding threatens to fall, as people have less money in their pockets and subdued house prices damage viability.

Neighbourhood Watch: Jenrick refuses Surrey housing scheme due to neighbourhood plan clash

Neighbourhood Watch: Jenrick refuses Surrey housing scheme due to neighbourhood plan clash

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has cited paragraph 14 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) - which defines the circumstances in which conflict with a neighbourhood plan is likely to "significantly and demonstrably" outweigh the benefits of a scheme - to refuse consent for a housing scheme in Surrey.

Jenrick approves 1,210-home Devon urban extension despite heritage harm

Jenrick approves 1,210-home Devon urban extension despite heritage harm

Plans for a 1,210 home urban extension to the south of Newton Abbott in Devon have been approved by the housing secretary on appeal after he concluded that the scheme's benefits outweighed the likely harm to a nearby Grade-I listed church.

Housing secretary refuses plans for ‘oppressive’ 800-home Woolwich scheme

Housing secretary refuses plans for ‘oppressive’ 800-home Woolwich scheme

Plans for an 800-home development in south east London featuring a 27-storey tower have been refused on appeal after the secretary of state judged that the scheme would "loom oppressively" over its surroundings and was "visually jarring”.

Jenrick blocks 771-home Greenwich development on design grounds

Jenrick blocks 771-home Greenwich development on design grounds

The housing secretary has refused plans for a 771-home scheme in south east London that would provide 40 per cent affordable housing after concluding that the proposal fails "to take the opportunity to promote a high quality of design".

Why an inspector backed one garden community proposal in a local plan but blocked two others

Why an inspector backed one garden community proposal in a local plan but blocked two others

A planning inspector vetoed two garden community proposals totalling 34,000 new homes in a local plan because he considered them to be neither viable nor deliverable. Some critics say the local plan system struggles to accommodate such large settlements, but others argue it is essential that the deliverability of such schemes is robustly probed.

How Covid-19 is impacting planning consultancy staffing

How Covid-19 is impacting planning consultancy staffing

Furloughing staff and temporary pay cuts continue to be the favoured responses by consultancies to the impact of Covid-19, according to Planning's updated survey, as companies get to grips with remote working.

Read this month's Planning page-by-page online

Read this month's Planning page-by-page online

Please click through to view the June 2020 edition of Planning magazine.

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