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Soviet Style

It really is quite alarming how the chorus of self-interested voices advocating the smashing up of the English planning system keeps banging on about Soviet-style controls. It is, of course, a familiar technique in the populist press. Take some casual slander and endlessly repeat it around several n...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 02 July 2020

Making Communities Wilder

A long-standing tradition among national environmental groups is not to challenge one another publicly. That is not to say there are no occasional private disagreements, but generally the tradition has worked well. Right now, however, three national bodies have tossed a stick of dynamite on to the f...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 18 June 2020

Cummings Corporations

Normally, ministers and civil servants consigned to the naughty step like to keep their heads down for a while, but that seems not to be the case with Dominic Cummings and Robert Jenrick. Both got into trouble over lockdown rules and the public gripes with Mr Cummings would fill a book. Indeed, seve...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 09 June 2020

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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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