A Funny Sort Of Crisis

The blog by Nigel Pearce suggesting we rethink the language of planning set me thinking about the way we do indeed use, and misuse, language. Nigel was particularly scathing about misuse of words like growth and sustainable and he is right. I must admit the phrase that currently sets my teeth on edg...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 16 March 2018

Rethinking The Language Of Planning

In many spheres of human activity, the vocabulary used by insiders and then taken up by those looking in from the outside, tends to drift over time into a kind of linguistic fuzziness. It then needs renewal to restore rigour to the underlying concepts and to ensure accountability if the concepts bec...

Posted by Nigel Pearce on 14 March 2018

Inter-varsity Mismatch

The rivalry between the ancient universities of Oxford and Cambridge has given us many spectacles like the Boat Race and varsity cricket or rugby matches, but the two have more in common than their rivalry would suggest. That may one day include a belt of low-density petrolhead suburbia, stretching ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 01 March 2018

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Resourcing challenge for brownfield registers

Added on 12 December 2017

Preparation of local authority brownfield registers will need substantially wider resources as current levels risk missing many sites, especially smaller ones.

The finding is part of a report by the Campaign to Protect Rural England on unlocking the registers’ potential. It covers research by HTA Design into implementation of the Brownfield Land Register Regulations 2017 under which English planning authorities must complete registers by the end of the year.

Case studies suggest councils are simply adding the activity on to strategic housing land availability assessments rather than using it as a tool to drive identification of brownfield sites. The task has fallen on overworked planning staff and innovative practices and engagement with community groups has been limited.

“The findings of this research also highlight there is uncertainty around the purpose of the brownfield land register – whether it is to provide accurate data on the amount of brownfield land available for redevelopment, or whether it is a planning mechanism which can be used to provide certainty to developers that brownfield sites are suitable for housing led-development,” says the report.

There are also concerns that the permission-in-principle route to planning consent which the Part 2 registers provide will undermine departmental revenues. The report recommends an early review of the register process.


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