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England round-up: MP moots bill to stop councils deciding their schemes; Consultation published on mobile phone mast permitted development

Words: Laura Edgar
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A round-up of planning news in England: 17 April-23 April, 2021

Government seeks 78% reduction in emissions by 2035

The UK Government has set an ‘ambitious’ target to reduce emissions by 78 per cent compared with 1990 levels as it looks forward to hosting COP26 in November.

The Planner

MP moots bill to stop councils deciding their schemes

Eastleigh MP Paul Holmes has introduced a private member’s bill in the House of Commons that seeks to “establish independent local planning processes to determine housing development planning applications submitted by local authorities”.

The Planner

Garden city founder Ebenezer Howard gets Welwyn Garden City statue

Garden city pioneer Ebenezer Howard has been commemorated with a statue in one of the two garden cities he established.

The Planner

Consultation published on mobile phone mast permitted development

The government has proposed extending permitted development rights (PDR) in England for mobile phone masts so that they can be upgraded for 5G and to improve coverage in rural areas.

The Planner

Task force launched for digital planning

An independent panel has been launched with the time to promote an integrated digitally informed approach of town and country planning.

The Planner

Jobs and affordable homes are key to building back better, suggests report

The provision of affordable housing and jobs will define how the UK will build back better from Covid-19, according to a report.

The Planner

Places for People and Countryside sign first development agreement

Regeneration firm Places for People and developer Countryside Properties have signed a development agreement as part of their national framework accord to speed up the delivery of up to 10,000 mixed-tenure homes over the next decade.

The Planner

Construction materials to be reviewed independently

Two experts have been appointed by the housing secretary to lead an independent review of the system for testing construction products.

The Planner

Mixed-use scheme in Leeds gets the go-ahead

Leeds City Council has granted planning permission for a mixed-use scheme at Quarry Hill in the city centre.

The Planner

Homes and office space approved in Bicester

Cherwell District Council has approved plans for an ‘innovation community’ at Bicester Gateway that seeks to allow people to mix and balance work with their social and home lives.

The Planner

MHCLG publishes right-to-buy stats

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has published the right-to-buy statistics for October to December 2020.

UK Government

51-storey skyscraper backed by planning committee

Plans for a 51-storey residential skyscraper near Birmingham’s proposed HS2 station have been granted planning permission.

The Business Desk

Taunton train station regeneration project nearing completion

Taunton train station has marked a significant milestone as it nears the completion of its multimillion-pound regeneration.

Somerset Live

Transport for the North unveils new chief executive

Martin Tugwell has been appointed as chief executive of Transport for the North (TfN). Following agreement from the TfN Board, he will succeed Barry White, who is due to step down this month. 


Government launches new £5bn ‘Project Gigabit’ 

More than one million hard-to-reach homes and businesses will have next generation gigabit broadband built to them in the first phase of a £5 billion government infrastructure project.

UK Government

Octopus and Schroders target retirement village developments

Investors Octopus Real Estate and asset managers Schroders Real Estate have formed a joint venture to fund retirement villages in partnership with market leader Elysian Residences.


Dunsfold Park to be sold again

Waverley's largest brownfield site, Dunsfold Park, is to be sold by Trinity College Cambridge – raising concerns that an expected delay to the 1,800-home ‘garden village’ could open the door to speculative development across the borough.

Farnham Herald

Investment to help Greater Manchester’s EV-charging infrastructure

Abundance Investment, a UK ‘ethical investment crowdfunding platform’, has launched an offer to fund the roll-out of electric vehicle-charging infrastructure throughout the Greater Manchester area with Iduna Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure.

The Energyst

Jenrick dismisses claims that Tory donors influence planning policies

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has denied suggestions that planning decisions and government policy are being influenced by donations to the Conservative Party.

Shropshire Star

Proposals for pub site submitted

A proposal to knock down a former pub in Skelmersdale and build 64 homes has edged closer after more planning documents were submitted to West Lancashire Borough Council.

Champion Newspapers

HS2 to investigate skills shortage concerns

HS2 is trying to determine the level of potential shortfalls in skilled workers required for the project, according to the minister charged with overseeing it.

Construction News

Council secures full High Court injunction for site in Boxley

A seven-year battle to stop a beauty spot being used as a dump for vehicles and industrial waste has resulted in the owner being ordered to clear the site by the High Court. Maidstone Borough Council secured a full injunction.

Kent Online

Homes and retail scheme in Coventry withdrawn

Developers have withdrawn plans for up to 311 homes and industrial and retail units on the site of a former power station in Coventry.

Coventry Telegraph

HS2 design panel backs smaller Euston plan

HS2’s independent design panel has thrown its support behind plans to scale back plans for the new Euston railway station.

Construction News

UKGBC responds to Future Buildings Standard consultation

UKGBC has responded to MHCLG’s consultation on proposed changes to energy performance and ventilation requirements for non-domestic buildings and dwellings – and a new overheating standard for homes.


Campaigners gather at Shrewsbury’s Darwin Oak to protest relief road

About 150 people gathered beneath Shrewsbury’s Darwin Oak, calling on Shropshire Council to scrap its North West Relief Road plans to ‘Save Our Shropshire Trees’.

Shropshire Star