Royal Courts of Justice. Image: Anthony M/Wikimedia Commons

Accountant who built 'Britain's biggest man cave' jailed for refusing to start building's removal

A businessman who constructed what has been described as “Britain's biggest man cave” in breach of planning control has been jailed for six weeks for failing to meet a court deadline to start works to remove the unlawful building.

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Epsom and Ewell Borough Council offices

Council apologises and pays out £500 after improperly labelling resident 'vexatious complainant'

The local government watchdog has ordered a Surrey council to apologise and pay £500 for the distress, time and trouble it caused to a resident who had raised a planning complaint.

The shed and decking (Picture: South Oxfordshire District Council)

Illegally developed shed results in court order to pay £18,000

A man prosecuted for failing to take down a shed he built on the banks of the River Thames in Oxfordshire has been ordered to pay more than £18,000 to the local authority

Ben Everitt MP (Pic: UK Parliament)

‘We need to make the planning profession sexy again’, says MP

An MP has warned Parliament that the “brain drain” in the planning sector will impede the government's levelling up mission and called for the profession to be made “sexy again” to make it more attractive to new entrants.

News round-up

‘Conservatives will pay at the polls if they do not force through new reservoirs’

An interview with the government’s infrastructure tsar, giving warnings about the water shortage, leads our round-up of today’s news

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Planning Inspectorate, Bristol (Credit: Julian Dodd)

Ten summer appeals decisions that you need to know about

The most downloaded inquiry and hearing cases from COMPASS Online from 1 May to 22 July 2022

WSF headquarters in London. Image: WSF

WSP to buy RPS Group for £626 million

Multi-disciplinary firm WSP has announced an agreement to buy one of the UK’s biggest planning consultancies for £625.9 million - just a week after buying two other large planning outfits.

Central Croydon (pic: cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Stephen Richards -

London council axes ‘dreaded’ award-winning suburban densification planning document

A south London council has scrapped an award-winning planning document on urban densification, despite warnings that the move could leave communities at risk of risk of “poor quality residential extensions and alterations”.

Bournemouth town hall, meeting place of BCP Council (Pic: David Dixon CC BY-SA 2.0)

Council pushes local plan adoption date back by two years

A council has approved pushing back the expected adoption date of its emerging local plan to 2024 - two years later than originally planned and after a key government deadline - to allow it to carry out a “meaningful engagement and consultation”.

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Room 106, ep19: The Tory leadership hopefuls’ latest planning proposals, the government’s attempts to unblock permissions stalled by water pollution, and a ‘disgraceful’ local plan

Listen as the Planning team outlines Sunak and Truss's latest policy proposals, discusses how the government is trying to tackle nutrient pollution problems and finds out why an MP is not happy about his area's local plan

Weymouth Harbour (pic: cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Ian1000 -

Council backtracks on national local plan pilot claim

A council has backtracked on a claim that it is to act as a pilot for the government's "new national approach to local plans", saying now that it has merely asked the housing and communities department to take part in such an initiative.

Katie Daniels (Photo: Euan Kellie Property Solutions)

Planning consultancy appoints new director

A planning consultancy has announced the appointment of a new director.

Cliff Hague

The evidence suggests deprived neighbourhoods will not be transformed by sports-led regeneration like Birmingham's, by Cliff Hague

Barcelona's regeneration after the 1992 Olympics sparked similarly ambitious schemes in other cities - but the figures show residents benefitted little, says our columnist.

Christina Achkarian

Legal Viewpoint: Enforcement Action – Two Bites at the Apple, by Christina Achkarian

Is it lawful for a local planning authority to take enforcement action under a breach of condition notice (BCN) when it has already served an enforcement notice covering substantially the same matters?

Greg Clark. Image: Getty

Don’t find plans unsound over summer, government tells PINS

The government has told the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) not to conclude that local plans are unsound or recommend their withdrawal before a new prime minister is appointed, or “until the department advises you otherwise”. Commentators have described the move as "unusual", but said that they do not expect it to have any "significant adverse effects" on the plan making system.

WSP headquarters in London. Image: WSP

Ten key things that happened in the past week

Ten of the biggest news stories from the past week, including consultancy WSP buying another large UK planning outfit and a secretary of state letter telling inspectors not to find local plans unsound this summer.

Solar energy panels on a new housing estate. Image: Getty

Council proposes to require developers to complete climate change statement with every major application

St Albans City and District Council (SADC) is consulting on whether to require all proposals for major developments to include a “climate change statement” as part of a review of the requirements under its local validation lists (LVL).

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