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Update: planning

Julian Boswall and Suzanne Walford discuss the implications of the coalition government’s planning reforms, the Penfold review of non-planning consents, commercially sensitive information submitted with planning applications and a new fetter on planning authorities’ discretion on their enforcement powers

20 September 2010

Open source planning

The coalition government has caused widespread concern in its delivery to date of its ‘localism’ agenda. One planning QC has already coined a new acronym – WAGBUTT: Will Anything Get Built Under The Tories?

The rapid abolition of regional strategies has certainly got the undivided attention of the development community and other interest groups. These documents were effectively revoked by the secretary of state for communities and local government, Eric Pickles, by way of an open letter on 27 May with formal revocation confirmed on 6 July 2010.

This has been done without any of the extensive consultation and transitional arrangements that usually come with planning reforms of this scale. The concern is that the revocation has left a policy vacuum which, coupled with an uncertain and fragile market, could disproportionately hinder or even be the downfall of many large-scale developments and future strategic investme...

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