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Transport secretary Grant Shapps (pic: UK Parliament)

Transport secretary approves two M25 junction upgrades on green belt

The transport secretary has approved two development consent orders (DCOs) for upgrades of M25 junctions on green belt sites in east and west London, after concluding that a rise in carbon emissions from the projects would not undermine the government's net zero pledges and their benefits would outweigh harm to the green belt.

Junction 11 of the M6 © David Dixon (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Secretary of state approves motorway link road on green belt

The transport secretary has granted development consent for a proposed link road connecting two motorways in the West Midlands, concluding that the project's benefits, including its "significant economic benefits", “clearly outweighed” its harm to the green belt.

The disused rail link between Pill and Portishead (pic: cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Sharon Loxton -

Shapps ‘minded to approve’ new Bristol to Portishead rail link

The transport secretary has said he is "minded" to approve a development consent order (DCO) application for the construction of a new rail link between Bristol and Portishead, but has extended a deadline to make a final decision on the project by a further ten months.

The government is being urged to take a more strategic approach to offshore wind (Credit: Geography Photos c/o Getty Images)

Campaigners launch legal challenge to energy secretary's approval of two North Sea wind farms

A campaign group has initiated judicial review proceedings against the energy secretary’s permission for two offshore wind farms, arguing that the projects' offshore and onshore elements should have been considered separately.

Major Infrastructure In Depth & Comment

A new housing estate in Topsham (Credit: David Smith c/o Creative Commons Licence via

CIL Watch: Nine things you need to know about the government’s proposed new infrastructure levy

Plans for a national infrastructure levy were included in the recently published Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill, with further detail provided through accompanying explanatory notes and a policy paper. Here are the key things that you need to know.

Northbound A1: a new Flyover at Elkersley (Credit: David Dixon c/o Creative Commons Licence via

The implications of the government’s mandatory new method of gathering developer contributions

The new levelling up bill is proposing a new mandatory infrastructure levy to replace the discretionary community infrastructure levy. Practitioners have raised concerns about the complexity of the new system, particularly in the way the levy will be based on the value of completed schemes, and say it may take many years to come into force.

Charlie Reid

Legal Viewpoint: Critical importance of sequential scheme of CIL notices re-emphasised

The High Court has refused permission to judicially review a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) liability notice because the challenge was made very late and without good reasons for delay.

The new energy security strategy’s backing for solar development will require national planning policy changes (Credit: zf L c/o Getty Images)

What the government’s target for a 500% rise in solar energy generation means for planners

The new energy security strategy’s backing for solar farms will require national planning policy changes to make a difference, say practitioners, while its focus on brownfield sites could limit development opportunities.

Policy Briefings

Policy Summary: Guidance for local authorities on the role of planning in climate change adaptation

POLICY: Preparing for a Changing Climate: Good Practice Guidance for Local Government.

Briefing: How planners can help tackle the climate crisis

Just weeks after the government signed the net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 target into law, the Committee on Climate Change's annual progress report reveals that the UK's climate change actions are failing to meet its ambitions. Kate Hodson and Olivia Dunham consider how planners can help.

Policy Summary: National Policy Statement (NPS) for Geological Disposal Infrastructure

Issued by: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS).