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England round-up: Planning departments need funding certainty, says RTPI; Strategic planning bodies needed if duty to cooperate is scrapped

Words: Laura Edgar
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A round-up of planning news in England: 17 October-23 October, 2020

Planning departments need funding certainty, says RTPI

RTPI chief executive Victoria Hills has asked chancellor Rishi Sunak for ‘urgent clarification’ on how planning departments will be funded as the institute launched a report calling for support in building the capacity of public sector planning.

The Planner

Report: Strategic planning bodies needed if duty to cooperate is scrapped

A new approach to strategic planning requires the designation of strategic planning advisory bodies (SPAB), the key roles for which would be prescribed nationally, suggests a report.

The Planner

Planning application submissions continue to rise

Figures published by the Planning Portal show that there was a 29 per cent increase in submissions of planning applications in September 2020 compared with the same month a year earlier.

The Planner

Housing for older people should be a priority

There is an ‘acute’ lack of housing-with-care options for older people living in the UK, according to a report out this week (21 October).

The Planner

Demand for retirement communities is growing, finds survey

A survey of UK retirement community operators indicates that there has been a ‘very significant’ increase in the number of older people enquiring about and moving to retirement communities.

The Planner

Council rejects care accommodation units

Elmbridge Borough Council’s planning committee has rejected a planning application for 222 units of care accommodation for a brownfield site in Walton-on-Thames town centre.

The Planner

AHF announces grants for heritage projects

Projects in England that seek to revitalise local high streets will receive grant money from the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF).

The Planner

RTPI president visits Yorkshire

RTPI president Sue Manns FRTPI has visited a former industrial quarter in Sheffield currently being transformed into a mixed-used and residential neighbourhood.


Councillors told how planning enforcement can be ‘long, drawn-out process’

Many developers who flout planning laws “know the process inside out” and do all they can to draw out enforcement action, claimed Mark Hutchinson, an area planning manager at Bradford Council.

Telegraph & Argus

Portishead development lined up for affordable housing scheme

Alliance Homes is set to purchase the vacant Marina Gardens development in Portishead to bring forward 127 new affordable homes.

Insider Media

Council aiming to protect nature under increasing threat in new plan

Winchester City Council is drawing up its first biodiversity action plan to help protect nature under increasing threat.

Hampshire Chronicle

New director of housing appointed in Dudley 

Dudley Council has appointed a new director of housing and community services. He was interim director at the authority for seven months before taking up the post permanently.

Express & Star

HS2 reveals low-slung viaduct designs

HS2’s main works contractor EKFB JV has unveiled designs for two Northamptonshire viaducts engineered to be as unobtrusive as possible.

Construction Enquirer

Former tree of the year felled in Warwickshire

Residents have spoken of their “utter devastation” after a 250-year-old pear tree in Warwickshire, a famous local landmark and England’s tree of the year in 2015, was felled to make way for the HS2 rail line.

The Guardian

Covid-19 puts breaks on new planning projects in South Lakes

Fewer developers and homeowners sought planning permission in South Lakeland during lockdown, as applications fell by around 30 per cent compared with a year ago.

In Cumbria 

Plans in for 49 storey Paradise Octagon tower

A planning application has been submitted for a 49-storey Octagon residential tower, continuing the latest phase of the £700 million Paradise Birmingham scheme.

The Business Desk

Uber pledges £5m toward electric vehicle-charging points in London

Uber has pledged to invest more than £5 million in public electric vehicle-charging infrastructure in some of the poorest boroughs in London to help persuade its reluctant drivers to switch to electric cars.

The Guardian

Public invited to comment on proposals for Cambridge South

Network Rail has invited the public to have their say on the next stage of development for the new Cambridge South station during the second round of public consultation, now open.

Network Rail

Changes to planning regulations could see thousands of homes built on London rooftops

More than 136,000 homes could be built on top of existing London rooftops using the latest planning regulations, according to research.

Evening Standard