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      Who we are/ Our Teams/ Planning/ Planning Alerts

      Planning Blogs and Insights

      Read our latest planning alerts

      Sun 28 Mar · 3 MINUTE READ
      Cambridgeshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2021
      Sun 28 Mar · 3 MINUTE READ

      Cambridgeshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2021

      There are efforts to make Cambridgeshire and Peterborough more connected and to spread the economic success of Cambridge across the county. As a growth area, it continues to receive central government commitment for significant infrastructure improvements. With investment, there is an expectation for growth and for Local Plans to spearhead it. The ongoing Local Plan process will start to show if individual authorities share overarching economic aspirations.

      Mon 01 Jan - Mon 29 Mar · 3 MINUTES TO READ
      Oxfordshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2021
      Mon 01 Jan - Mon 29 Mar · 3 MINUTES TO READ

      Oxfordshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2021

      There has been significant change in the local plan positions across Oxfordshire’s five main areas, along with progress in the county’s wider 2050 Plan. Both Cherwell and South Oxfordshire are the subject of legal challenges against recently adopted plans, while the temporary three-year housing land supply across Oxfordshire has reverted back to five-years, as of 25th March 2021.

      Sun 28 Mar
      Bedfordshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2021
      Sun 28 Mar

      Bedfordshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2021

      The publication of the Oxford to Cambridge Arc Strategic Framework in February 2021 notes Bedfordshire to be an area of opportunity and identified growth. Alongside the implementation of the East West Rail scheme, opportunities are arising for employment, housing and infrastructure within the borough.

      Sun 28 Mar · 3 MINUTE READ
      Buckinghamshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2021
      Sun 28 Mar · 3 MINUTE READ

      Buckinghamshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2021

      Buckinghamshire continues to be a mixed bag with a delay in the review of Plan:MK due to Covid-19 and the White Paper announced. However, some progress has been made on the adoption of the VALP and background evidence on the unitary Buckinghamshire New Local Plan.

      Mon 29 Mar · 3 MINUTE READ
      Essex Local Plan Watch - Spring 2021
      Mon 29 Mar · 3 MINUTE READ

      Essex Local Plan Watch - Spring 2021

      Four more authorities in Essex have adopted up-to-date strategic Local Plan policies since our Autumn Local Plan Watch, bringing the total with up-to-date plans to five out of 14 authorities in the county. A number of other emerging Plans are at an advanced stage, but Uttlesford, Thurrock, Rochford and Southend are notable exceptions to plan-making progress.

      Sun 28 Mar · 3 MINUTE READ
      Hertfordshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2021
      Sun 28 Mar · 3 MINUTE READ

      Hertfordshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2021

      The January 2021 meeting of the Hertfordshire Growth Board outlined the ongoing work programme for the South West Hertfordshire Joint Strategic Plan. Hemel Garden Communities and Watford Junction Quarter are examples of the emerging development within the strategic growth corridors going forward. The Housing Delivery Test (2020) results for Hertfordshire engages the presumption in favour of sustainable development for seven local planning authorities including North Hertfordshire, Stevenage and St Albans.

      Sun 28 Mar · 3 MINUTE READ
      London Local Plan Watch - Spring 2021
      Sun 28 Mar · 3 MINUTE READ

      London Local Plan Watch - Spring 2021

      Riding the coat tails of the new London Plan, we expect significant activity across London’s local plans in the next 18 months. As the capital looks to recover from the pandemic, the competing priorities will be a challenge to policy officers London-wide.

      Sun 28 Mar · 3 MINUTE READ
      Norfolk Local Plan Watch - Spring 2021
      Sun 28 Mar · 3 MINUTE READ

      Norfolk Local Plan Watch - Spring 2021

      While the Greater Norwich Local Plan captures strategic policies and site allocations across Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk authority areas, a separate South Norfolk village clusters housing site allocations plan is being prepared to identify development sites to deliver a minimum of 1,200 homes in South Norfolk’s villages to 2038.

      Sun 28 Mar · 3 MINUTE READ
      Northamptonshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2021
      Sun 28 Mar · 3 MINUTE READ

      Northamptonshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2021

      Northamptonshire’s unitary merger has come into force where the eight councils have formed two. North Northamptonshire is formed of East Northants, Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough while West Northamptonshire is made up of Daventry District, South Northamptonshire and Northampton Borough.

      Sun 28 Mar · 3 MINUTE READ
      Suffolk Local Plan Watch - Spring 2021
      Sun 28 Mar · 3 MINUTE READ

      Suffolk Local Plan Watch - Spring 2021

      Since our autumn update, Suffolk Coastal has adopted their local plan to guide development until 2036, while Babergh and Mid Suffolk completed their pre-submission consultation in December 2020 and can expect examination of their joint local plan to progress this summer.

      Wed 23 Sep · 2 MINUTE READ
      Norfolk Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2020
      Wed 23 Sep · 2 MINUTE READ

      Norfolk Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2020

      The proposed new standard methodology for calculating housing need would see a significant increase in the housing requirement for Norfolk as a whole, with all districts apart from Norwich City Council, seeing an increase to varying degrees.

      Wed 23 Sep · 2 MINUTE READ
      Suffolk Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2020
      Wed 23 Sep · 2 MINUTE READ

      Suffolk Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2020

      The proposed new standard methodology for calculating housing need would see a significant increase in the housing requirement for Suffolk as a whole, with the majority of authorities seeing increases to varying degrees.

      Wed 23 Sep · 2 MINUTE READ
      Northamptonshire Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2020
      Wed 23 Sep · 2 MINUTE READ

      Northamptonshire Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2020

      The proposed standard method suggests the new unitary authorities will have to grapple with an increased housing need as they review their Part 1 plans. The next key consultation in the area should be on the spatial options for West Northants early in 2021. In the meantime, ongoing speculative applications and appeals in South and East Northamptonshire should clarify the land supply positions of the authorities.

      Wed 23 Sep · 2 MINUTE READ
      Bedfordshire Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2020
      Wed 23 Sep · 2 MINUTE READ

      Bedfordshire Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2020

      Bedfordshire is an area of opportunity and a focus for growth given its location at the centre of the Oxford-MK-Cambridge Arc. The combination of East-West Rail infrastructure with the provision of new train stations and road infrastructure provides the platform for significant employment and housing led growth.

      Wed 23 Sep · 2 MINUTE READ
      Buckinghamshire Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2020
      Wed 23 Sep · 2 MINUTE READ

      Buckinghamshire Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2020

      It continues to be a mixed bag across Buckinghamshire with the Local Plans of Aylesbury and Chiltern/South Bucks stalled at examination but progress looking to be made on the review of Plan:MK in Milton Keynes with the ongoing preparation of the Mk Futures 2050 Growth Strategy. Moving forward, the proposed revisions to the standard methodology suggest a significant increase in housing need for the upcoming strategic plan for Buckinghamshire to address.

      Wed 23 Sep
      Hertfordshire Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2020
      Wed 23 Sep

      Hertfordshire Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2020

      The current Local Government structure in Hertfordshire, comprising the County Council and ten district and borough Councils, is increasingly likely to change. Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) has revealed it has commissioned consultants to look at options for “structural reform”. The high-level report identifies options, two of which would create a completely new arrangement for Hertfordshire in the form or either a single unitary or the creation of two unitary authorities. The proposals will, however, face opposition as the Leaders of the 10 other councils have said they oppose the plans.

      Wed 23 Sep · 2 MINUTE READ
      Essex Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2020
      Wed 23 Sep · 2 MINUTE READ

      Essex Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2020

      Emerging local plans are now at an advanced stage across the majority of Essex, with a few notable exceptions. However, many of the draft plans are being examined against the requirements of the 2012 NPPF and will require early review to address the current standard housing need methodology, or its replacement if confirmed by the Government. This will provide widespread opportunity across the county. The proposed changes to the Government’s standard methodology would increase development requirements across the majority of Essex, with particularly significant increases in Chelmsford, Maldon, Colchester and Uttlesford, as shown on our annotated map.

      Wed 23 Sep · 2 MINUTE LEAD
      London Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2020
      Wed 23 Sep · 2 MINUTE LEAD

      London Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2020

      A number of London LPAs are focussing their efforts on reviewing the White Paper, analysing housing numbers and waiting for updates on the London Plan. This means that many Local Plans have been faced with delays.

      Wed 23 Sep · 2 MINUTE READ
      Oxfordshire Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2020
      Wed 23 Sep · 2 MINUTE READ

      Oxfordshire Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2020

      There has been significant change in the local plan positions across Oxfordshire’s five main areas, along with progress in the County’s wider 2050 Plan. South Oxfordshire District Council are finally making good progress after months of uncertainty, while other districts with recently adopted plans are setting out proposals for new emerging plans. Cherwell has the most recent progress, seeing the adoption of their Partial Review on 7th September.

      Wed 23 Sep · 2 MINUTE READ
      Cambridgeshire Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2020
      Wed 23 Sep · 2 MINUTE READ

      Cambridgeshire Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2020

      There are efforts to make Cambridgeshire and Peterborough more connected and to spread the economic success of Cambridge across the County. As a growth area, it continues to receive central Government commitment for significant infrastructure improvements.

      Thu 16 Apr · 2 MINUTE READ
      London Local Plan Watch - Spring 2020
      Thu 16 Apr · 2 MINUTE READ

      London Local Plan Watch - Spring 2020

      Our Planning team constantly monitor the activities of local planning authorities in London to identify opportunities for clients. March's update provides an insight to latest local plans coming forward across the region.

      Thu 16 Apr · 2 MINUTE READ
      Leic, Beds and Northants Local Plan Watch - Spring 2020
      Thu 16 Apr · 2 MINUTE READ

      Leic, Beds and Northants Local Plan Watch - Spring 2020

      Our Planning team constantly monitor the activities of local planning authorities to identify opportunities for clients. Our spring update provides an insight to latest local plans coming forward across the region.

      Thu 16 Apr · 2 MINUTE READ
      Buckinghamshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2020
      Thu 16 Apr · 2 MINUTE READ

      Buckinghamshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2020

      Our Planning team constantly monitor the activities of local planning authorities in Buckinghamshire to identify opportunities for clients. March's update provides an insight to latest local plans coming forward across the region.

      Thu 16 Apr · 2 MINUTE READ
      Oxfordshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2020
      Thu 16 Apr · 2 MINUTE READ

      Oxfordshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2020

      Our Planning team constantly monitor the activities of local planning authorities in Oxfordshire to identify opportunities for clients. Our spring update provides an insight to latest local plans coming forward across the region.

      Thu 16 Apr · 2 MINUTE READ
      Hertfordshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2020
      Thu 16 Apr · 2 MINUTE READ

      Hertfordshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2020

      Our Planning team constantly monitor the activities of local planning authorities in Hertfordshire to identify opportunities for clients. April's update provides an insight to latest local plans coming forward across the region.

      Thu 16 Apr · 2 MINUTE READ
      Cambridgeshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2020
      Thu 16 Apr · 2 MINUTE READ

      Cambridgeshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2020

      Our Planning team constantly monitor the activities of local planning authorities in Cambridgeshire to identify opportunities for clients. March's update provides an insight to latest local plans coming forward across the region.

      Thu 16 Apr · 2 MINUTE READ
      Essex Local Plan Watch - Spring 2020
      Thu 16 Apr · 2 MINUTE READ

      Essex Local Plan Watch - Spring 2020

      Our Planning team constantly monitor the activities of local planning authorities in Essex to identify opportunities for clients. March's update provides an insight to latest local plans coming forward across the region.

      Thu 16 Apr · 2 MINUTE READ
      Suffolk Local Plan Watch - Spring 2020
      Thu 16 Apr · 2 MINUTE READ

      Suffolk Local Plan Watch - Spring 2020

      Our Planning team constantly monitor the activities of local planning authorities in Suffolk to identify opportunities for clients. April's update provides an insight to latest local plans coming forward across the region.

      Thu 16 Apr · 2 MINUTE READ
      Norfolk Local Plan Watch- Spring 2020
      Thu 16 Apr · 2 MINUTE READ

      Norfolk Local Plan Watch- Spring 2020

      Our Planning team constantly monitor the activities of local planning authorities in Norfolk to identify opportunities for clients. March's update provides an insight to latest local plans coming forward across the region.

      Wed 18 Mar · 2 MINUTE READ
      The London Plan: Will Khan deliver?
      Wed 18 Mar · 2 MINUTE READ

      The London Plan: Will Khan deliver?

      Back in March 2018 we channelled our inner Mystic Meg and suggested that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was likely to see significant resistance from the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government over his plans to radically reform the spatial development strategy for London. On 27 July 2018, James Brokenshire MP (then Secretary of State) fired a warning shot, suggesting our premonitions might be right. On Friday 13 March 2020, following an extensive examination, Robert Jenrick MP (the current Secretary of State) duly followed through. Unlucky for Khan…

      Mon 16 Mar · 2 MINUTE READ
      Milton Keynes Futures Strategy 2050 - Planning for growth
      Mon 16 Mar · 2 MINUTE READ

      Milton Keynes Futures Strategy 2050 - Planning for growth

      It’s an exciting time for Milton Keynes. Plans for a new university, incoming significant investment , positive steps in the regeneration of the Lakes Estate and Fullers Slade and -arguably most importantly, the publication of the MK Futures Growth Strategy by Milton Keynes Council (MKC). Mark Harris explains what's next for the growth of Milton Keynes.

      Fri 13 Mar · 2 MINUTE READ
      Planning for the Future
      Fri 13 Mar · 2 MINUTE READ

      Planning for the Future

      The Government has published its policy paper ‘Planning for the Future’. This precedes the Planning White Paper expected in the spring and sets the direction of travel for the current government’s policies on planning and housing. Juliet Clark, Planning Associate, highlights the key points to come out of the policy paper and her predictions for the upcoming white paper, in our latest planning alert.

      Fri 20 Mar · 2 MINUTE READ
      Tall Buildings Advice Note from Historic England
      Fri 20 Mar · 2 MINUTE READ

      Tall Buildings Advice Note from Historic England

      Historic England has issued a draft updated advice note on tall buildings. Interestingly, this guidance highlights that the evolution of skylines is inherent to all towns and cities, and that some of the most important historic buildings were once the tallest within their built environment.

      Thu 12 Mar · 1 MINUTE READ
      More 'weight' may be given to applications achieving healthy weight environments
      Thu 12 Mar · 1 MINUTE READ

      More 'weight' may be given to applications achieving healthy weight environments

      Guidance on ‘Using the planning system to promote healthy weight environments’ has recently been published by Public Health England (PHE).

      Wed 19 Feb · 2 MINUTE READ
      Living with Beauty: Promoting health, wellbeing and sustainable growth
      Wed 19 Feb · 2 MINUTE READ

      Living with Beauty: Promoting health, wellbeing and sustainable growth

      The Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission's (BBBBC) report ‘Living with Beauty: Promoting Health, Wellbeing and Sustainable Growth’ was published last month and advocates a proposed overhaul of the current planning system, to be replaced by a new development and planning framework.

      Fri 07 Feb · 1 MINUTE READ
      Greater Cambridge Sustainable Design and Construction SPD
      Fri 07 Feb · 1 MINUTE READ

      Greater Cambridge Sustainable Design and Construction SPD

      The Greater Cambridge Sustainable Design and Construction Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) has been recently adopted by both South Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridge City Council (Greater Cambridge Planning Services). The SPD has been prepared to provide additional technical guidance on the implementation of Local Plan policies, elaborating on the information that should be submitted with planning applications.

      Fri 31 Jan · 2 MINUTE READ
      St Albans dealt new year blow to Local Plan
      Fri 31 Jan · 2 MINUTE READ

      St Albans dealt new year blow to Local Plan

      Planning Inspectors have dealt a blow to St Albans City and District Council (SACDC) by cancelling the remaining Local Plan examination hearings after just one week of initial discussions. Inspectors wrote to the Council to notify them of “some serious concerns in relation to legal compliance and soundness.”

      Thu 03 Oct · 2 MINUTE READ
      Statements of Heritage Significance - an advice note from Historic England
      Thu 03 Oct · 2 MINUTE READ

      Statements of Heritage Significance - an advice note from Historic England

      In October 2019, Historic England (HE) published an advice note, which provides guidance on the assessment of heritage assets. In Bidwells' latest planning alert, Chris Surfleet and Steven Handforth sets out the advice note's key points and how this affects the decision-making process relating to heritage assets.

      Wed 25 Apr · 1 MINUTE READ
      Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Land Value Capture
      Wed 25 Apr · 1 MINUTE READ

      Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Land Value Capture

      In their representations to the Inquiry, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority have proposed, in simple terms, an ‘agricultural land value cap’ as a form of Land Value Capture (LVC).

      Tue 17 Apr · 1 MINUTE READ
      Non-designated heritage assets in Conservation Areas
      Tue 17 Apr · 1 MINUTE READ

      Non-designated heritage assets in Conservation Areas

      A recent Court Judgment has brought some additional and important clarification on how non-designated heritage assets (NDHAs) in Conservation Areas should be dealt with in the context of planning decisions.

      Thu 01 Mar · 1 MINUTE READ
      Launch of New Essex Design Guide
      Thu 01 Mar · 1 MINUTE READ

      Launch of New Essex Design Guide

      The Essex Design Guide has been updated and relaunched for the first time in thirteen years. Bidwells summarises the important updates that could affect you.