• Call for exercise boom to continue

    08 July 2020

    Paralympian champion Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson has made a rallying call for the exercise boom to continue after lockdown.

  • Supporting more democratic, responsive urban planning and design

    02 July 2020

    In one of a series of essays on how the wisdom of citizens could support councils in managing cities after COVID-19, Peter Baeck and Sophie Reynolds look at the urban planning  and design process - and share inspiring examples from across the world.

  • MPs refuse to back down on Westferry

    01 July 2020

    MPs have refused to accept the Prime Minister’s attempts to close down questions over Robert Jenrick’s decision on the Westferry Printworks planning application.

  • We need a bold move to a flexible zoning system

    30 June 2020

    Analyst at Centre for Cities Anthony Breach makes the case for a flexible zoning system. It would give the public a greater say, with the drafting of a local plan becoming ‘even more important’, he argues.

  • Don’t seek to override local choice on development

    25 June 2020

    Rob Whiteman hopes the ‘sorry episode’ of the Westferry Printworks application ‘once and for all stops the periodic demands from developers to erode councils’ planning powers’

  • Biggs: Westferry revelations have 'blown apart' confidence in planning system

    25 June 2020

    The latest revelations about the controversial Westferry Printworks application have ‘blown apart’ confidence in the planning system under local government secretary Robert Jenrick, Tower Hamlets LBC’s mayor, John Biggs, has said.

  • Kick-starting the drive for homes

    24 June 2020

    Cllr Paul Carter sets out themes and critical actions identified in a new essay collection for a housing-led recovery, commissioned by Localis.

  • Promote localism to save high streets, says updated Grimsey review

    22 June 2020

    Scrapping high street business rates and promoting localism alongside green spaces and fewer cars are crucial if town centres are to thrive after the pandemic, says retail expert Bill Grimsey.

  • Jenrick will be judged on his weight with the Treasury

    17 June 2020

    Planning approval is not the biggest issue for local government at this moment, says Heather Jameson. The impact communities secretary Robert Jenrick can make with the help of the Treasury probably is. She adds: 'Just how much clout does he have?'

  • Building better after COVID

    17 June 2020

    Councils’ finances and their ability to carry on building homes is being hampered by the pandemic, says John Perry, but the picture is not overwhelmingly gloomy.

  • Jenrick insists he followed rules in Westferry decision

    16 June 2020

    Under-fire communities secretary Robert Jenrick has insisted his decision to approve a controversial planning application by Conservative donor Richard Desmond was taken ‘in good faith’.

  • Council planning powers under threat

    08 June 2020

    Planning powers could be shifted from local authorities to development corporations as part of an economic stimulus package to be announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson later this month.

  • Call for investigation into ‘unlawful’ development approval

    02 June 2020

    Local government secretary Robert Jenrick is facing demands for an investigation after his decision to grant planning permission to a major housing development was declared unlawful.

  • How planners can use the cloud to tackle COVID-19

    06 May 2020

    Robin Barber says council planners should be working with suppliers to understand how easily they can access the solutions when it all goes wrong, not just now but in the future too.

  • The Planning Inspectorate – Will it win its technology race?

    05 May 2020

    COVID-19 is driving the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) to modernise, says Jasmine Ratta. She hopes it will outline a virtual procedure to ‘ensure the development industry gets back on its feet as quickly as possible’.

  • Mend the UK’s broken land laws to fix housing

    29 April 2020

    Tony Murrell says many believe it’s time for legislation requiring landowners and developers to share the planning uplift windfall they get 50-50 with councils. But is the Government prepared to deliver this radical change?

  • Getting back to recovery

    28 April 2020

    Stewart Murray argues councils need to be much more interventionalist if they are to help their local economies recover from the COVID-19 crisis, and he is calling on the Government to provide a national ‘kick-start’ fund. Ann McGauran reports.

  • Council launches judicial review over local plan

    17 April 2020

    Sevenoaks DC has begun judicial review proceedings after the Government’s planning inspector refused to endorse its new local plan.

  • Technology delivers democracy in Waltham Forest during the COVID-19 emergency

    14 April 2020

    Martin Esom outlines how Waltham Forest became the first council to pilot its monthly planning committee meeting virtually - using technology to deliver democracy during the pandemic.

  • Video conferencing first at council meeting

    02 April 2020

    A council used software to help decide key planning applications in what is believed to be the first meeting of its kind in the country.