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A Sewing Lesson

Pretty well everyone in the UK who is not either a volume house builder or one of their consultants now accepts that our natural environment is badly fragmented. So the DEFRA 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment, published last February, is particularly interesting, containing as it does ideas fo...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 02 January 2019

The Century The Earth Caught Fire

One bit of television you may have missed over the festive season was a rerun of the 1961 movie The Day The Earth Caught Fire. Basically the film is about a bunch of national newspaper journalists trying to find out why the weather is rapidly getting weirder. Weather events all around the world are ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 27 December 2018

A Mighty Boondoggle

Our American cousins call a project that is a waste of both time and money but which is pursued for commercial or political gain a Boondoggle. This could be a word worth learning. The scale of commercial ambition now buzzing round the so-called Oxford-Cambridge Arc proposals like a cloud of hungry f...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 22 December 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.

Report

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