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Murder In Midsomershire

Readers who enjoy a good mystery story should hasten to read the latest Government public relations exercise on the Oxford-Cambridge Arc. The latest one was slipped out as part of the Spring Statement which itself got very little coverage while MPs brawled and battled over Brexit. And it really is f...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 17 March 2019

Spring Is Here, Time To Stop Birds Nesting

You can tell spring is coming. All over the country house builders are wrapping hedges in nets to stop birds nesting in them, so as to prevent bird lovers from delaying their plans for profitable, low-density, greenfield sprawl. Early spring is, of course, the time of year to do this before that pes...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 11 March 2019

The Arc Is A Fight That Must Be Won

So, the race is on to build the first stretch of the London Outer M25 and it looks as if the top-quality farmland in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire could play host to the first 10-mile stretch of the new High Carbon Collar around the capital. Highways England this month announced the route for its ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 28 February 2019

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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.

Report

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