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

New homes under construction (Pic: Getty)

Government should be building 500k plus homes a year to account for higher immigration, says think tank

The government’s 300,000 homes a year target for England in 2022 should have been revised up to in excess of half a million to account for higher levels of net migration, according to a report by a free market think tank, which claims we have fallen “woefully short” of delivering enough homes.


‘Quarter of Labour MPs have opposed new affordable homes in their areas’

A report claiming that a quarter of Labour MPs have opposed the building of affordable homes in their constituencies despite the party’s promise to boost housebuilding leads our round-up of news in other media.

Image: Bloomberg Creative/Getty Images.

Government ‘external review’ to mull further on legal duty for five-yearly reviews of major infrastructure policy documents

The government has stopped short of following a recommendation of its independent infrastructure advisor to introduce a legal requirement for five-yearly reviews of national policy statements (NPSs) for certain kinds of major infrastructure projects, instead committing to an “external review of the NPS review and designation process”.

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Rural Planning In Depth

Pic: Emma Austin/Getty Images.

The questions raised by the government’s latest guidance on biodiversity gain plans

The government has published draft guidance on biodiversity gain plans for developers and councils, but commentators have raised concerns about the resource implications for local authorities and say key details remain unclear.

Green belt. Pic: Emma Austin/Getty Images

Why England’s green belt is getting bigger

Despite long-standing concerns from campaigners, England’s green belt is actually at a 20-year high. A closer look at the figures reveals that just two councils' local plans can account for its growth in the past two years.

A frog

The implications of the government’s decision to delay the onset of rules requiring developers to show biodiversity gains

A two-month delay in introducing the biodiversity net gain requirement for large sites is intended to allow time for local authorities and developers to prepare for its implementation, but with government guidance and regulations still to be published and authorities struggling to get resources in place, some practitioners suggest this pause may not be enough.

Keir Starmer speaking at the Labour Party conference. Image: Getty.

Ten key things you need to know from the past week

The ten most important news stories of the past week, including leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer announcing that a Labour government would introduce the “next generation” of new towns and would permit the development of low-quality green belt.

Rural Planning Comment

Planning is being abandoned by a government desperate to cling to power, by Graeme Bell

Opposition to measures intended to slow climate change is no reason to ditch vital policies, says our columnist

Sustainable growth is unattainable when the right hand does not know what the left is doing, by Catriona Riddell

Planners need to step up to resolve the tensions between housing our citizens and protecting our precious environment. But central and local government structures that encourage silo thinking make this hard, says our columnist.

Why the growth of countryside memorials presents a problem for planners, by Graeme Bell

Beauty spots in the open countryside that we have shared with family or friends become a place to remember them after they are gone. But when should planners step in to stop that vista being spoiled, asks our columnist.

How planners across the Commonwealth can tackle climate change and inequality, by Cliff Hague

Planners in Commonwealth nations working together can help address the challenges raised by urbanisation, including climate change and growing inequality, according to our columnist.