Strategic Planning

Town planning best practice and news covering planning system changes, NPPF and local & neighbourhood development plans for strategic planners.

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Strategic Planning News

Far right: Dinny Shaw, director of planning at developer St Modwen (Credit: Wayne Campbell)

Council-wide design codes may lack flexibility, housebuilder warns

A planning chief at a leading housebuilder has suggested to today’s National Planning Summit that design codes applied across a whole local authority area – as required by the new levelling up bill – may lack the necessary flexibility to work effectively.

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.

Housing secretary Michael Gove (pic: UK Parliament)

Gove: Government’s commitment to 300,000 homes target ‘remains undimmed’

The housing secretary has said in a newspaper article that the government's commitment to its 300,000-home annual target "remains undimmed" and has appeared to describe planning inspectors as "distant bureaucrats".

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Strategic Planning In Depth

Podcast graphic

Room 106, Ep11: Councils go slow on plan-making, miss housing land supply targets, and the rest of the week’s key news

In this podcast the Planning team explores why the number of councils abandoning or pausing their local plans continues to grow, the move by consultants Quod and DLP Planning to switch to employee ownership and the health of council's housing land supply pipelines

The Houses of Parliament (Credit: Ian.CuiYi c/o Getty Images)

What to expect from the levelling up bill and other policy changes this spring

The latest intelligence on the planning changes that the government has in the pipeline

Cyber attacks are on the increase (Credit: seksan Mongkhonkhamsao c/o Getty Images)

Why the risk of cyber attacks on council planning services is increasing

Councils are increasingly using web-based IT tools for both plan preparation and processing applications while the risks of cyber attacks - which can be incredibly expensive and time-consuming to resolve - are increasing, commentators warn.

(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.

Info Maps

Maps: core strategy progress data

Use our new interactive map to view English councils' progress in adopting local plans and view a spreadsheet containing the latest data on local plan coverage from the Planning Inspectorate.

Map: neighbourhood plan applications

Use our new interactive map to view how many applications for neighbourhood planning powers have been received by English councils and the names of the groups that have submitted them.

Strategic Planning Comment

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.

Why planners can no longer ignore the digital revolution, by Cliff Hague

To meet the social and environmental challenges facing Britain, the spatial planning sector needs to get to grips with the whole-systems approach to decision-making that big data is needed to unlock.

The clues that strategic planning is key to the government’s levelling up ambitions. By Catriona Riddell

Planning reform barely rates a mention in the government’s Levelling Up White Paper, but look behind the many references to ‘spatial considerations’ and you will find plenty of hints of a return to a more strategic approach.