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Infiltrators in War Against Planning System

This week has felt like being behind the lines in a dirty guerilla war over the planning system. While the ConDem Government continues its full frontal attack on the ‘enemies of enterprise’ there are infiltrators and resistance fighters popping up all over the place and new fronts being opened behind the formal battle lines.

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Housing Market Renewal – the Future?

I’ve never been a fan of the Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder Initiative. I thought it was ill conceived by northern local authority housing officers from the 1960’s who were nostalgic for the days of comprehensive slum clearance.

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Regeneration Inquiry Crescendo – Ever Been Gwynethed?

The Communities Select Committee Inquiry into Regeneration is about to reach a crescendo.

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No.10 Policy on Urban Sprawl – Bring it On?

There was a fascinating breakfast this week organised by Dermot Finch at Fishburn Hedges with James O’Shaughnessy the Director of Policy at10 Downing Street.

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The End of Sustainable Development?

I’ve always been fascinated by the political process.

This is how it seems to work. Someone with no particular qualifications joins a political party and works enthusiastically at making friends by campaigning in no hope seats. Gets selected for safe seat and enters Government. Their grasp of economics is usually somewhere below schoolboy level. Continue reading

Health, Happiness and Urban Nature

The publication of the Government’s white paper on the natural environment this week provides some welcome reminders of the importance of the natural environment in urban areas. Continue reading

Government Left Hand and Right to Meet and Talk???

The strange war between Vince Cable and Eric Pickles is currently being waged on various battlefields. The proposal, currently out for consultation, to amend the Use Classes Order to allow offices, factories and warehouses to be turned into housing is one of these battles. Continue reading

New Localism Bill Brings A Market Free For All

The full horror of the Government’s proposals in relation to business led neighbourhood plans is now revealed with the publication of the new version of the Localism Bill this week. Continue reading

Environmental Criminals and Green Film Festivals

I’m not the first person to spot behaviours that we have taken for granted but that are environmentally damaging will become criminal offences in the not too distant future. History is littered with examples from slavery to the Clean Air Acts. Continue reading

Doing it for Ourselves – Dreams or Reality?

Grant Shapps made a typically popularist announcement at Grand Designs Live last week when he said ‘I can confirm that the Government will lead the way to promote more self build housing with plots available exclusively for self-builders on public sector land.’ Continue reading

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