Michael Gove attends the weekly Cabinet meeting at Downing Street on 5 July (Credit: Pool c/o Getty Images)

Gove defends bill's development management proposal against MPs’ claim that it ‘centralises planning’

Housing secretary Michael Gove has defended the government's proposal to create new national development management policies against a parliamentary committee's claim that it “centralises planning and erodes public participation”, saying it does “precisely the opposite”.

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Edith Summerskill House (Credit: Hammersmith and Fulham Council)

Housing minister cites ‘exceptional’ design quality in approving affordable housing tower

A 20-storey residential tower has been approved by the housing minister who found that its “exceptional” design quality and provision of affordable housing outweighed the fact that its height conflicted with London Plan policies.

Early illustrative sketches to support the draft local plan (Pic: OPDC)

Adopted west London plan tweaked to enable meanwhile uses alongside nearly 20,000 homes

A mayoral local plan involving the building of at least 19,850 homes in west London by 2038 has been adopted, with inspectors’ comments having been addressed by changes allowing firms to operate temporarily on allocated sites and the specification of block heights in built-up areas.

Isle of Wight Council offices (Pic: Lewis Clarke CC BY-SA 2.0)

LGA recommends ‘systematic’ review of council’s ‘sub-optimal’ planning service

A council’s planning service is functioning “sub-optimally" with users described as “very unhappy”, according to a report by the Local Government Association (LGA), which has recommended a “systematic review of the planning processes from start to finish”.

News round-up

‘Plans revealed for 2,900-home net-zero community on green belt land’

A report on a developer’s revised plans for 2,900 homes on green belt land leads our roundup of today’s news.

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North Hertfordshire Council offices

The councils that determined the fewest applications within government time limits in 2020/21 and 2021/22

Eighteen authorities are sitting below the government’s ‘special measures’ threshold for speed of decision making on applications in the two years to March 2022, two more than in the previous quarter.

A visualisation of the completed Salt Cross scheme (pic: West Oxfordshire District Council)

Inspectors back 2,200-home garden village plan but block ‘unjustified’ net zero development policy

Planning inspectors have backed the adoption of an area action plan (AAP) to support the delivery of a 2,200-home garden village in Oxfordshire, but have called for a policy on "net-zero carbon development" to be rewritten as it was not "consistent with national policy or justified".

Heacham (credit: John Wernham)

Residents in North Norfolk village use neighbourhood plan to stem rise in second home ownership

Residents in the parish of Heacham in North Norfolk have included a clause to their neighbourhood plan requiring all new housing to be sold as principal residences, to stem an increase in second and holiday home ownership.

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Room 106, ep17: The council that withdrew a sound local plan, Gove backtracks on the NPPF revision timeline PLUS the guidance on limiting water pollution that is blocking housing permissions explained

Listen as the Planning team explores the most important news of the past fortnight and takes a deep dive into the official guidance on limiting water pollution from development, which so far is claimed to have blocked 100,000 homes from going forward

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Read the summer quarterly edition of Planning page-by-page online

Our latest quarterly print edition includes our survey of the highest-rated barristers, most-admired solicitors and the biggest law firms. It takes an in-depth look at how councils and developers can respond to official water pollution advice said to be blocking 100,000 homes, and provides the regular round-up of recent development activity and what to expect in the coming months

Barking Town Hall, meeting place of Barking and Dagenham Council (Pic: Steven Craven CC BY-SA 2.0)

The councils with the highest and lowest application approval rates in 2021/22

Local authorities in the Greater South East accounted for 22 of the 23 councils with the lowest planning application approval rates in 2021/22, while only one London authority is among the 100 councils with the highest approval rates, according to the latest government figures.

Planning Law Survey 2022 header image including photos of the top-rated barristers and solicitors

The highest-rated planning lawyers, and the biggest planning law firms

The highest-rated barristers, law firms, solicitors and council law teams, the biggest employers of planning lawyers and moves at partner/associate level

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What to expect from revisions to the NPPF and other policy changes this summer

The latest intelligence on the planning changes that the government has in the pipeline

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