South East

News and in-depth analysis of town planning changes, significant decisions and appeals, housing, retail, town centres and economic development in south east England.

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Latest South East news

Epsom and Ewell Borough Council offices

Council apologises and pays out £500 after improperly labelling resident 'vexatious complainant'

The local government watchdog has ordered a Surrey council to apologise and pay £500 for the distress, time and trouble it caused to a resident who had raised a planning complaint.

The shed and decking (Picture: South Oxfordshire District Council)

Illegally developed shed results in court order to pay £18,000

A man prosecuted for failing to take down a shed he built on the banks of the River Thames in Oxfordshire has been ordered to pay more than £18,000 to the local authority

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South East In Depth

Algae in a protected waterway near the Solent (Credit: Julian Dodd)

What the government’s expansion of nutrient neutrality advice means for councils and developers

The government’s conservation advisor has issued new advice on mitigating water pollution from housebuilding, which has more than doubled the number of councils affected to 74. Experts expect this will immediately halt decisions on housing applications in all these areas, which could reduce permissions for new homes this year by more than 20,000.

(From left): David Lock, Jane Hamilton, John Walker and Lee Shostak

How we drove Milton Keynes' sixfold population growth in 50 years

As part of our celebration of Planning's 50th anniversary, we examine how planners led the growth of Milton Keynes from 40,000 people in the late 1960s to more than 260,000' today.

Basildon withdrew its local plan (Credit: John Allan c/o Creative Commons Licence via geograph.org)

The signs that the local plan system may be grinding to a halt

At least ten local authorities have either withdrawn, paused, or delayed their local development plans over the past six months, research shows, prompting fears that the system is becoming paralysed. Observers cite uncertainty over the government’s planning reforms and local political opportunism - particularly over controversial green belt release - as key reasons.

Oxford city centre (Credit: Catherine Ivill c/o Getty Images)

Why the prospect of a government-backed spatial plan for the Oxbridge arc looks to be receding

In the wake of the government apparently going cool on its plans to drive growth in the area between Oxford and Cambridge, the future of a proposed Whitehall-led spatial framework for the sub-region now looks to be in doubt, observers fear.