Rural Planning

News, analysis and discussion of rural and countryside planning issues including conservation and the rural economy.

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Rural Planning News

Ten key things that happened in the past week

Ten key things that happened in the past week

Ten of the biggest news stories from the past week, including news that a junior housing minister has overturned the former secretary of state Robert Jenrick’s controversial approval of the 1,500-home Westferry Printworks scheme .

Welsh Government proposes new planning use class to clamp down on second homes

Welsh Government proposes new planning use class to clamp down on second homes

The Welsh Government is consulting on creating a new planning use class to clamp down on the growth of second homes and short-term holiday lets, which may in future mean that the conversion of primary residences to such uses requires planning permission.

Inspector allows huge employment scheme on unallocated countryside site

Inspector allows huge employment scheme on unallocated countryside site

A planning inspector has allowed an appeal for a 90,000 square metre logistics scheme on an unallocated open countryside site, after finding that the project's economic benefits outweighed its "significant harm" to the landscape.

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The authorities that are using planning powers to cut carbon emissions

The authorities that are using planning powers to cut carbon emissions

A growing number of councils are setting pioneering low-carbon planning policies. We highlight three local authority planners whose authorities are pushing the envelope

How councils can ensure a new duty on developers delivers a genuine boost for biodiversity

How councils can ensure a new duty on developers delivers a genuine boost for biodiversity

By 2023, new development will be legally required to boost biodiversity. The government says this is the ‘gold standard’ of nature protection but Wiltshire Council says developers’ conservation plans can be ‘complete garbage’. How can genuine gains be ensured?

How the National Model Design Code changes the system: the Planning Briefing

How the National Model Design Code changes the system: the Planning Briefing

The new guidance sets out design considerations that local planning authorities will be expected to take into account when developing local design codes and guides

Why the PM's suggestion that greenfield housebuilding is unnecessary could further delay councils' plan-making

Why the PM's suggestion that greenfield housebuilding is unnecessary could further delay councils' plan-making

A recent speech by the prime minister that expressed opposition to greenfield housing has prompted two local authorities to announce a "pause" in their local plan-making work, despite no change in national policy. Some observers fear that more councils will follow suit, though other authorities have declared they are ploughing ahead with getting plans in place to avoid the risk of speculative applications.


Rural Planning Comment

Four implications for planners and developers of the new need to show biodiversity gains, by Angus Walker

Nationally significant infrastructure project (NSIP) applications, as well as conventional planning applications, will need to demonstrate that they improve biodiversity, we learned last month. What are the implications?

How the government's own agenda is driving it towards strategic planning solutions, by Catriona Riddell

The government has shelved its proposals to give the West Yorkshire mayor cross-boundary planning powers, and the Queen's Speech was silent about strategic planning altogether. But its rail white paper, and forthcoming Environment Bill and levelling up white paper, seem likely to require larger-than-local-authority level planning.

Legal Viewpoint: How ruling sheds light on isolated homes and heritage protection policies

The Court of Appeal recently handed down an important judgment considering the application of policies in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to “isolated homes” in the countryside and on the weighting attributable to heritage assets.

The best planners are those that see the bigger picture, by Graeme Bell

There are traditional routes into planning through degrees and qualifications, but to address deep-seated issues in society, we must seek out people who, above all, want to make the world a better place.