Letter: West Malling appeal decision - balance between protecting green belt and meeting housing need
It has been suggested that the West Malling appeal decision to allow 79 extra care units within the Green Belt signals an end to Green Belt protection and an open door for developers to pursue applications for similar schemes, or even traditional residential. However, a careful examination of the decision suggests anything but.
There has been quite a bit of coverage of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government's (MHCLG's) national target for new homes and how the standard method of assessing housing need is being implemented, but not much on the problems with the method itself.
Last week's report by public spending watchdog the National Audit Office into how effectively the government supports the planning regime to deliver the right housing won't come as a shock to those in the planning sphere.
Much has been said about the government's proposals to expand permitted development (PD) rights, as part of efforts to improve the health of high streets and town centres.
The European Court's latest rulings on developers' and planners' responsibilities for assessing the impact of development on protected habitats (see related articles) are akin to Nero fiddling while Rome burned.
Not long ago I spent an evening with a pile of recent copies of the planning press. I noted a theme of local authorities struggling to deliver planning services due to loss of staff and also the loss of status of planning at senior level.
According to the newspaper reports, Bath residents resent the proposed pollution charge that by the end of 2020 would see Bath and North East Somerset council charge drivers of high-emission vehicles £9 to enter the city's planned clean air zone.
There is a need to fill the information deficit that exists between the public and the infrastructure industry.
I note Richard Garlick's article headlined: "There is little proof that neighbourhood plans help housing delivery" (see related articles). In fact there is little proof either way, and surely that is what your headline - and article - should have said?
There is a great opportunity for existing and new garden towns to adopt best practice for open spaces (see related articles).
News of a group of "nimby nuns" who have turned to prayer to stop plans for 80 homes next to their 11th-century abbey features in today's newspaper round-up.
Energy network operator National Grid has withdrawn its planning application for a new power line in north Wales that would connect with the troubled Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling has granted development consent for the expansion of Tilbury Dock in Essex, after judging that the removal of almost nine hectares of green belt land to allow for a new railway line to the site was justified.
Local Plan Watch: Three key findings on local plans from the National Audit Office's planning report
Earlier this month, public spending watchdog the National Audit Office (NAO) published its wide-ranging review of how well the planning system is supporting the delivery of new homes. Here are three key findings on local plans.
Revised Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) on assessing housing and economic need was published by the government earlier this week. Here are five key changes you need to know.
Ten of the biggest stories from the past week, including news that one third of local authorities face a sanction under the government's new housing delivery test this year but none face the most severe penalty.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has been revised to confirm that the presumption in favour of sustainable development penalty does apply to projects and plans likely to impact on protected habitats where an appropriate assessment has concluded that the proposal "will not adversely affect the integrity of the habitats site".
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