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Producers or Predators in Regeneration?

There was a lot of political chat around the party conference circuit this week about Good Businesses and Bad Businesses. Ed Miliband used the seductive alliterative descriptors ‘Predators’ and ‘Producers’ to make a distinction between the likes of the evil bonus fuelled casino banks and good honest British manufacturers employing British people to make real things. Or perhaps he meant to distinguish between Tesco (large Riot claims) and Sainsburys (not claiming because they don’t want to deprive front line policing of money).

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It’s about the Money Stupid (not planning)!

I’m going to all three main party conferences this year though for the most part only to fringe meetings. With one down and two to go I’m already disappointed with the ill-informed nature of the debate and the biased messaging of some of the numerous commercially sponsored fringe meetings. It feels like a lot of think tanks only survive (either financially or through the oxygen of political contacts) through taking the sponsor’s shilling at party conferences. As the NPPF debate swirls on it is particularly disappointing that there is very little rational and unbiased commentary.

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Housing not Planning, Regeneration not Sprawl and Riots

I’ve spent more time than is healthy this week with my colleagues in the wider residential development industry. It was a week of insight and prejudice. The insight came from a small number of people (the prejudice was almost universal).

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Defining Sustainable Development

In the Sunday Times this weekend Charles Clover called the ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’ ‘a con’ and branded Government ministers hypocrites who ‘don’t yet grasp the likely consequences for the English countryside of their own policies’. He also highlighted the lack of evidence that the planning system is holding back growth…

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Planning – Insults vs Consultation

It’s worth reading Fiona Reynolds of the National Trust in the Telegraph this weekend. The Government seems to be misjudging the growing pressure wave of resistance to the proposed changes in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). That the wave broke in the slow news weeks either side of the bank holiday is perhaps unsurprising but if I were in Government I would be manoeuvring to get myself into a place where I was seen to be in listening (rather than U-turning) mode.

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Gentrification and Criminal Faultlines

The debate around the riots has been ebbing and eddying around this week (and the comments on this blog have been tremendous – thank you all) and one topic that was covered on the Today programme (somewhat bizarrely with Wayne Hemmingway) was the extent to which gentrification (simplistically portrayed as the rich moving into poor areas) was a contributing factor.

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It took a Riot! Recall the Regeneration Select Committee?

I was out in London and Manchester during the riots. Those of us working in regeneration recognise many of the rioters. As a group they are the greatest challenge. Aggressive, disaffected, criminal.

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Neighbourhood Planning – Daft Legislation?

It has been hugely encouraging to follow the contributions of many sensible, thoughtful and experienced members of the Lords as they diligently attempt to undertake their role as a revising chamber (for what one of them referred to as ‘daft legislation’ – or was that a misheard quote?).

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Auctioning Local Plan Allocations

The Centre for Cities session on ‘Land Auctions’ was a lively session with some great contributions, particularly from the CfC’s young, and frighteningly clever, policy analysts. The conclusion on ‘Land Auctions’ was that they are a stimulating challenge to the current planning system. If implemented they would completely reinvent the planning system.

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Auctioning Planning Permission?

Think tank Centre for Cities are this week, in a private seminar, turning their attention to the so called Land Auction proposal (which the Government is looking at in its Growth review) originally proposed by LibDem Tim Leunig from think tank Centre Forum in his paper….

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