News & Analysis

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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Latest News

Environmental assessment: aerial view of housing (Pic: Getty)

Levelling Up Bill to scrap environmental impact and strategic environmental assessments

Environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and strategic environmental assessments (SEAs) will be scrapped by the government’s new Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill and replaced by a new “outcomes-based” approach to examining the likely environmental impact of proposed projects and plans.

What The Papers Say

‘Marks & Spencer mulls leaving flagship Marble Arch site if new store plan is blocked’

A report that a senior Marks & Spencer executive has warned that the retailer cannot justify remaining at its historic Marble Arch site if a plan to demolish the building is blocked leads today’s news roundup.

New homes: Government to trial site allocation land value capture mechanism (pic: cc-by-sa/2.0 -     © Steve Fareham -

Government to introduce land value capture measures as part of site allocation process

The government is to introduce new laws that would allow councils to trial a new mechanism to "maximise the potential uplift in land value" when allocating sites for development during their local plan preparation.

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Latest Features & Analysis

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.

Room 106 logo

Room 106, ep13: Pollution concerns hold up 100,000 new homes, a council takes drastic steps to clear an applications backlog, and the latest news

Listen as the Planning team investigates the impact of guidance intended to rein in water pollution on housebuilding, look at why a council has isolated its planning department for two weeks and the most important news of the past fortnight

Quod all-team awayday: the consultancy is shifting to employee ownership

Why increasing numbers of planning consultancies are deciding to become employee-owned

Leaders from employee-owned consultancies Quod, Terence O’Rourke, Lichfields, Turley and DLP, plus hgh Consulting’s serial business builder Roger Hepher, explain what is driving the trend.

A visualisation of the proposed Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre. Pic: DLUHC

The implications for decision-makers of a judgment quashing the ministerial approval of a Holocaust memorial

A High Court ruling overturning the ministerial approval of the central London Holocaust memorial shows why planning decision-makers can't ignore statutes that sit outside planning legislation, and reminds them to give equal weight to all submissions, practitioners claim.

Latest Comment

Galvanise a new generation of council planners by asking them to reclaim derelict land, by Graeme Bell

Bringing brownfield back into productive use sends a signal that a place is on the up, and is professionally rewarding work for planners.

Legal Viewpoint: Healthcare contributions – mandatory for development projects?

For the first time, the Court has ruled on whether a local planning authority has lawfully exercised its planning judgment in deciding whether financial contributions for healthcare services should be secured from the developer.

Gove’s squeeze on housebuilders could push them away from brownfield sites, by Joey Gardiner

The last couple of weeks has seen a raft of major housebuilders sign up to a government-agreed pledge to repair previously built properties now affected by the fire safety crisis. In the wake of the pledges, the cost of sorting remediation of flat blocks for stock market-traded builders alone now runs to just shy of £2bn.

Higher densities and better public transport would reinvigorate UK cities, by Cliff Hague

Seventy-five years of land-use focused planning has put pressure on people to live away from inner cities and public transport links, depriving many areas of the benefits that the country’s economic powerhouses such as London provide. A more integrated, transport-aware, approach is needed.

Legal Viewpoint: Court decision provides important guidance for decisions on Assets of Community Value

In a recent case, the High Court has provided some important pointers on the interpretation of the statutory framework for Assets of Community Value (ACV). The decision, which revolved around a proposed listing of a sports field in Leeds as an ACV, is likely to have implications for future listing decisions.

Speaking up for public sector planners, by Graeme Bell

It was on 8 April 1997 that I was installed as the first president of the Planning Officers Society (POS). In the room were the past (and last) presidents of the County Planning Officers Society (CPOS), the Metropolitan Planning Officers Society (MPOS) and the District Planning Officers Society (DPOS).