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The latest UK town planning news, including development management, housing, retail & town centres, development plans, key appeal decisions, NPPF and changes to the planning system.

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Judge rules that Chinese consulate immune from council's injunction bid over security wall planning dispute

Judge rules that Chinese consulate immune from council's injunction bid over security wall planning dispute

Belfast City Council's attempt to prevent a security wall being unlawfully built around the city's Chinese consulate has been thwarted by diplomatic immunity, but a High Court judge has warned the People's Republic that if it breaks the law the government can take the "nuclear option" of shutting the consulate down.

28 things you need to know about the government's Planning for the Future white paper

28 things you need to know about the government's Planning for the Future white paper

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government last week published its much-anticipated Planning for the Future white paper outlining far-reaching proposed changes to the planning system.

Residents angry at approval for 20m-high 'monstrosity' warehouse near homes

Residents angry at approval for 20m-high 'monstrosity' warehouse near homes

A story on residents' opposition to a large new warehouse at a Cheshire business park leads today's newspaper round-up.

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Latest Features & Analysis

Why the courts may have opened the door to building on green wedges

Why the courts may have opened the door to building on green wedges

New legal guidance on assessing the impact of development on green wedges could make it easier to build between settlements, say experts

What we know about the government’s planned Environmental Impact Assessment changes

What we know about the government’s planned Environmental Impact Assessment changes

The government says it will soon propose changes to the process by which the effect on nature of proposed major developments is spelt out for decision-makers. Earlier findings, increased consistency and nationwide data collection are among the aims. But some commentators fear potential reductions in environmental protection.

What the new permitted development right allowing homes to be extended upwards means for councils and applicants

What the new permitted development right allowing homes to be extended upwards means for councils and applicants

Uptake of a new permitted development right allowing homes to be extended upwards is likely to be restricted due to the complexity of the prior approval process and the limited number of properties eligible for such development, practitioners predict. But councils are concerned about the potentially harmful impact on design quality and planning team resources.

Why some fear the government's use class overhaul may be a threat to town centres

Why some fear the government's use class overhaul may be a threat to town centres

The government's shake-up of high street use classes will be "transformational", commentators agree, but some warn of unintended consequences that could threaten the town centres the changes are seeking to protect.


Latest Comment

We must find work for the planning class of 2020, by Graeme Bell

We were planning. A reunion that is. Fifty years on from our graduation from the Leeds School of Town Planning, it was to be unfamiliar faces in familiar places.

Why financial, political and placemaking realities mean council mergers are about to increase, by Catriona Riddell

Councils in Surrey recently announced that they were aiming to move from the current two-tier structure with eleven districts and one county council to unitary status, possibly one council, possibly two – that bit is still up for debate.

Legal Viewpoint: Court ruling sheds light on challenging questionable listings

A long-running case recently concluded in the Supreme Court answers two important questions relating to listed buildings. First, can an appeal inspector consider whether something on the statutory list is a “building” and hence capable of being listed at all? Second, what test should be applied if so?

Time for radical reform? by Angus Walker

As we tentatively take steps towards easing the lockdown and returning to normality, there has been quite a lot of talk about using that return as an opportunity for more radical changes to the planning system.

Another View, by Old

Planning's cartoonist casts his eye over the month's news....

Sending out the wrong signals to those who already think the system is rigged, by Graeme Bell

“Jenrick’s made our job harder,” said Dave. “Those that think planning is rigged, that councillors are on the make, now have the top man sending all the wrong messages. He has to go.”