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Results for planning policy
  • Blog Post: Giving People a Home 2

    Housing has been much in the news over the last year or so. We are strongly objecting to a planning application of 5,000 homes at Lodge Hill in Kent. It’s not that we object to homes per se – as I pointed out in this blog here , people need a home too, and we’re building far fewer...
  • Blog Post: Open letter to Brandon Lewis MP

    Dear Minister Congratulations on your promotion as Minister of State for Housing and Planning at the Department of Communities and Local Government. We haven’t met, but our paths literally crossed the other week when you gave evidence to the Communities and Local Government Committee on the...
  • Blog Post: Ebbsfleet Garden City

    On Sunday the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced that a new garden city of 15,000 homes would be built at Ebbsfleet in Kent. Only two genuine garden cities have ever been built in Britain, at Welwyn and Letchworth in Hertfordshire, in the early twentieth century. Their creator Ebenezer Howard thought...
  • Blog Post: Clearing out the cupboards (3)

    Today, Planning Minister Nick Boles launched the final version of the on-line National Planning Practice Guidance. You can find his statement, which has a link to the guidance itself, here . This marks a significant milestone, not only for the implementation of the National Planning Policy Framework...
  • Blog Post: 'Nuclear option' with new planning laws

    Apologies for yesterday's inexplicable font crisis. I hope this is easier to read. Yesterday's Daily Telegraph reports that the Coalition Government is accused by planning experts of taking the 'nuclear option' on planning by giving developers power to push ahead without council approval...
  • Blog Post: Saving Europe's special places (2)

    It’s good to start the new year with some positive news. We return to the review of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive, which I last blogged about on 25 October, here . Since then, the proposed text moved into an intense period of negotiation between the European Commission...
  • Blog Post: Farewell to 2013 – a tough year for nature’s special places

    Can I start with a slightly belated ‘happy new year’! I started this blog in September 2009 and set myself the target of a minimum 8 posts a month – and only once, in April last year. It came in just under with just 7 posts! In the early days, I wrote the majority of the posts...
  • Blog Post: A-Z of Planning Policy in 2013

    As 2013 draws to a close, welcome to the A-Z of Planning Policy in 2013 , an alphabetical tour of the people, the policies and the projects who’ve made this a memorable year for our work on planning policy and saving special places in England (mostly!). A is for Autumn Statement and more “simplified...
  • Blog Post: Giving People a Home

    Regular readers of this blog will know that recently the RSPB changed its strapline to ‘Giving Nature a Home’. Finding places for all the amazing diversity of wildlife in the UK and beyond is at the heart of our work, whether it’s hedgehogs, hoverflies or house sparrows. But people...
  • Blog Post: How would you spend £5.3 billion?

    Annabel Lambert writes: The Chancellor has delivered his Autumn Statement for the fourth consecutive year. The environment was mentioned in passing, but we’re far from the long-term vision we’d hoped for here. Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs, if you'll excuse the acronym) illustrate...
  • Blog Post: Protecting Europe's special places

    After all the excitement with Northern Ireland’s Planning Bill (see yesterday's post), it’s worth remembering another piece of draft law which is still progressing, this time on a much broader canvas. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive is a crucial tool in the protection...
  • Blog Post: Northern Ireland Planning Bill withdrawn

    Hot on the heels of my post yesterday , I am delighted to report that today the Northern Ireland Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan, has withdrawn the Planning Bill. He cited concerns that the bill was unlawful and would breach human rights. As I said yesterday, this is exactly what the RSPB’s...
  • Blog Post: Civil rights to be curtailed in Northern Ireland

    As I blogged on 23 September , these are challenging times for planning in Northern Ireland. The Planning Bill being considered by the Northern Ireland Assembly, places economic matters front and centre in planning decisions. It also prevents any legal challenge against planning decisions by the Department...
  • Blog Post: Giving nature and people a home

    In our work to save special places, the RSPB has a lot of experience in dealing with proposals for new housing, so any announcement on future housing plans is worth a close look. Ed Miliband's speech at the Labour Party conference yesterday included some important announcements about housing....
  • Blog Post: Challenging times in Northern Ireland

    As showcased in our recent report Planning Naturally , the RSPB is involved in the planning systems of all four countries of the UK. I have just returned from the annual meeting of RSPB planners, which was hosted by our colleagues in Northern Ireland. We stayed on the north coast of Antrim and enjoyed...
  • Blog Post: Planning Naturally

    Development and nature can go hand in hand, according to a new report published by an alliance of conservationists and planning experts. 'Planning Naturally - Spatial planning with nature in mind: in the UK and beyond' has been produced by the RSPB, the Royal Town Planning Institute and the...
  • 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: 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...