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England round-up: Coronavirus Act allows virtual planning committee meetings; Quartermain outlines government support for planning authorities in final letter as chief planner

Words: Laura Edgar
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A round-up of planning news in Englnad: 21 March-27 March, 2020

Coronavirus Act allows virtual planning committee meetings

Planning committee meetings will be able to be held virtually during restrictions implemented to stem the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) under emergency legislation.

The Planner

Covid-19: Quartermain outlines government support for planning authorities in final letter as chief planner

England’s chief planner Steve Quartermain has encouraged local planning authorities to use technology to continue their service, and ensure that discussions and consultations can go ahead during the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19).

The Planner

RTPI: Tell us your views on Covid-19 response from government

The RTPI wants to hear its members’ views on the UK Government’s response to the coronavirus (Covid-19).

The Planner

Hills suggests a cut in working hours to help mental health

RTPI chief executive Victoria Hills has introduced measures at the institute to allow staff to reduce their working hours by 30 per cent to safeguard their mental health while working from home during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Planner

Self-employed need more support during coronavirus crisis, says RTPI

RTPI chief executive Victoria Hills has urged the government to expedite plans to support self-employed workers in the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Planner

RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence to go ahead – on YouTube

The RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence are to take place as scheduled on 30 April – but as an exclusively online event.

The Planner

PINS suspends site visits amid coronavirus outbreak

The Planning Inspectorate (PINS) has suspended site visits until further notice, following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement that everyone but key workers must stay at home.

The Planner

Leeds scales down its planning services

Leeds City Council has announced that its planning and sustainable development service will continue as a reduced service during the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown.

The Planner

Islington seeks fairer deal for renters

Islington Council plans to launch two new landlord licensing schemes in its bid to improve conditions for renters.

The Planner

Cycling pressure group launches plan to ‘decarbonise London’

The London Cycling Campaign has published its Climate Safe Streets report – a roadmap towards decarbonising the capital’s roads within the next 10 years.

The Planner

Purfleet-on-Thames regeneration gets HIF boost

Purfleet Centre Regeneration Ltd has welcomed the chancellor’s commitment of £75 million from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) to the regeneration of Purfleet-on-Thames town centre in Essex.

 The Planner

Government aims to create a ‘transport revolution’

The government is seeking views on how to make journeys in England greener, smarter and easier using new technology.

The Planner

Dorset is home to UK’s first ‘super’ national nature reserve

Seven partners have joined forces to create the nation’s first ‘super’ National Nature Reserve (NNR) to protect wildlife on Purbeck Heaths in Dorset.

The Planner

New website is ‘significant step forward’, says RTPI

The RTPI has launched its newly designed website with the aim of creating a more user-friendly browsing experience.


Bradford Estates’ Shropshire green belt plans hit buffers

Plans to build 3,000 homes and 1.8 million square feet of employment space on green belt land have hit the buffers after the leader of Shropshire Council raised concerns about their long-term impact.

Property Week

Student flats approved by stripped-down planning committee

The council's stripped-down planning committee has approved plans for two blocks of student flats on a garage site in Brighton despite fears that they are too large.

Brighton & Hove News

Impact on Land Registry services

The Land Registry is reviewing whether to continue to deliver its services during the coronavirus pandemic – further details will be provided shortly.

UK Government

Barnet MP slams plan to increase size of housing scheme

An MP has accused a developer of a “betrayal of trust” after its plans for a housing scheme more than doubled in size.

Times Series

Crossrail construction suspended over coronavirus lockdown

Construction on Crossrail and all Transport for London (TfL) projects has been stopped owing to the coronavirus lockdown.

City A.M.

Malvern’s two planning committees to merge during coronavirus crisis

Two council planning committees look set to be merged into one during the coronavirus crisis. The move comes weeks after calls to make the move permanent were labelled “stupid”.

Hereford Times

Novus secures £1.8 million new-build housing contract

Contractor Novus Property Solutions has been appointed to deliver a new housing scheme for Peaks & Plains Housing Trust in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire, for £1.8 million.

Premier Construction News

Farnham’s neighbourhood plan storms to referendum win

Farnham Neighbourhood Plan, which sets out a community-led blueprint for development up to 2032, stormed to a referendum win with support from 95.5 per cent of voters.

Farnham Herald