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Results for planning policy
  • Blog Post: Beautiful homes, special places

    Planning minister Nick Boles claims that buildings can be more beautiful than nature. The RSPB believes we shouldn't have to choose. Well-designed homes close to nature: that's the RSPB's vision for the homes the country needs. We agree that we need many more homes than we are currently building...
  • Blog Post: Inexpensive progress?

    I’ve written previously about the threat that planning reform poses to the natural environment, and particularly the draft National Planning Policy Framework . The rationale for planning reform is often posed in terms of the way the planning system is supposed to hold back economic growth. But...
  • Blog Post: England needs a plan – part 2

    I mentioned on 21 January how surprising it is that England is the only country in the UK that doesn’t have any kind of strategic, spatial plan, and promised that we would shortly publish our own report on what a Natural Planning Framework for England should look like. Well, you can find the...
  • Blog Post: Interventions – a good one and an unhelpful one.

    It’s always exciting when the political tectonic plates start to shift as a result of effective campaigning. The unified raspberry that has greeted the draft of the EnPeePeeEff (National Planning Policy Framework) across England (the rest of the UK can relax for now) has at last brought the Prime...
  • Blog Post: Telegram from the Queen?

    As a postscript to my last post on the National Planning Policy Framework (can you have a post postscript?), I see that MPs held a debate on it this week. Planning minister Greg Clark introduced the debate by citing a lot of things that the NPPF does. He said, ‘The NPPF makes it crystal clear...
  • Blog Post: Localism or parochialism?

    The Government’s Localism Bill gets its first debate in the House of Commons on Monday. As I blogged on 16 December, it’s a long and complex piece of legislation, and that’s just the bits on planning. We’ve been working through the detail, discussing it with officials and have...
  • Blog Post: Clearing out the cupboards

    Readers of this blog may recall that last year I was part of a small group of planning practitioners that drafted a version of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The Government’s draft version of the NPPF proved extremely controversial, although I’m glad to say the eventual outcome...
  • Blog Post: Victory for wildlife after Government listens on planning reform

    The wait is over. Just under nine months after the Government published its draft new planning policy for England – the National Planning Policy Framework, or NPPF – the final version has been delivered. Here’s what we said in our press release: The Government has listened to public...
  • Blog Post: Think global, localism act

    That may sound like Yoda's re-interpretation of a well-known sustainability slogan, but in fact it refers to a Parliamentary bill which today became the Localism Act 2011. The RSPB has been a leading member of the Greenest Planning Ever coalition which has been campaigning on what was the Localism...
  • Blog Post: Our Vision for the Future of Planning

    Question: what would bring together a coalition of 22 organisations, collectively representing 6.5 million members and thousands of volunteers? Answer: the most significant change to the planning system in England in the last 60 years, in fact since the system was set up in 1947. The UK coalition...
  • Blog Post: England is a special place

    As followers of this blog will know, the RSPB is busy right now saving many special places, from Dungeness to the Tana River Delta in Kenya. While colleagues are immersed in the Lydd public inquiry and other forthcoming inquiries and cases around the country, we’re fighting a battle on another...
  • Blog Post: Thinking the Unthinkable

    So, ministers have been ordered to “think the unthinkable” in efforts to stimulate the economy back to life and pull Britain out of its double-dip recession. That is, according to the Daily Telegraph . I come back from holiday and apparently further planning reform is back on the agenda...
  • Blog Post: One year on

    Wednesday is the first anniversary of the National Planning Policy Framework, or NPPF. The draft was subject of much controversy, and even though the final version was much improved, it’s clearly open season for debate about its impact, especially about the ‘presumption in favour of sustainable...
  • Blog Post: Beautiful homes, special places (2)

    Yesterday I heard Nick Boles give his first speech as planning minister at the Town and Country Planning Association’s annual conference, Where will the people live? He was fresh from his appearance on BBC Newsnight where he was grilled by Jeremy Paxman and a feisty lady from my old stomping...
  • Blog Post: A Planner's Year

    This post is based on an article I wrote for Conservation Planner, our twice-yearly newsletter for planners interested in nature conservation. You can see the new edition on-line here , but if you want to receive a regular paper copy, please contact us. I've updated the piece here in places where...
  • Blog Post: Open Source Planning

    That’s what the Conservative Party called their proposals for a new planning system in England before the election. Apparently it’s a concept from the software industry, which aims to make computer programming open to all in a highly flexible and adaptable way. We still struggle to understand...
  • Blog Post: Planning – I told you it was important

    So, the Sunday Times has established what has been widely known for weeks, that the Government's planning policy was strongly influenced by an earlier draft prepared by a group of practitioners, of whom I was one. Actually, this was covered in a piece by the Guardian on 26 July. This will come as...
  • Blog Post: Environmental rules under fire

    Five thousand homes at Lodge Hill, Kent. Able Marine Energy Park, the Humber. Hunterston power station, Ayrshire. M4 relief road, Newport. All schemes the RSPB has opposed or is opposing. All special places protected by environmental legislation, not only because these are officially protected areas...
  • Blog Post: Planners delivering for nature

    Since the hoo-ha over the Government’s new planning policy, there seems to be a new level of interest in how the planning system can deliver for nature. Now that Government has put in place much of the national framework, to general applause, the spotlight turns to England’s 354 local...
  • Blog Post: Sustainable development, I presume

    Yesterday, the Westminster government launched its long-awaited draft of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), and a full public consultation that will run until 17 th October. Whilst this type of Whitehall paper-pushing can seem irrelevant to day-to-day life, it will have the potential to...
  • Blog Post: Green or grey development?

    We now know for sure that England’s National Planning Policy Framework will be published next Tuesday. But nothing yet is certain about its content. We suspect that there has been much wrangling between Government departments behind the scenes, including over the definition of sustainable development...
  • Blog Post: People and Nature need good environmental impact assessment

    From Romania to Romford and from Portugal to Perth, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive is a crucial tool in the protection of Europe’s environment. Since I last blogged on the proposals to review the directive in December (see here ), we’ve been cracking on with understanding...
  • Blog Post: The Planners are coming

    Planners often get a bad press, but the current BBC2 series The Planners paints them in a sympathetic light. As a former local government planner myself, I know what it’s like to deal with objecting neighbours, applicants who won’t negotiate, and council members who make strange decisions...
  • Blog Post: National Planning Policy Framework - our response is in!

    On Monday, after what felt like a never-ending process of drafting and honing, we submitted our response to the Department for Communities and Local Government’s consultation on the controversial draft National Planning Policy Framework. Our response was formed of three parts. The first was...
  • Blog Post: A blog about curlews, shelduck and a prosperous Scotland

    Hello from a very sunny and warm Skinflats (I have worked in this office for nine months now and that is the first time I have been able to say that!). The good weather means it is the perfect time to get out and about, and what better way to spend a morning than experiencing some of the fantastic wildlife...