The Secretary of State’s delay to the M&S scheme on Oxford Street has drawn national attention to the rapidly growing issue of embodied carbon in the planning system.
It looks like “radical reform” of the planning system may just become “tidying up”. But there’s quite a lot that needs tidying, not least amending both planning permissions and – following a couple of PINS appeal decisions – listed building consents.
NPPF Revisions. Beautiful – but what about town centres? The new NPPF does not take the opportunity to update town centre policies to respond to Class E. In the absence of this, some practice is starting to emerging from early appeal decisions.
Planning activity in London’s West End showed a sustained recovering in October and November, following a slower-than-usual summer.
I hope that the GLA’s soon-to-launch Planning London data hub will encourage much more innovative use of information about planning in London. This is my Lockdown 2.0 stab at visualising interest in planning applications in central London.
All the planning excitement seems to have moved on to the Planning White Paper. But I still think the Class E changes have very significant, and immediate, effects. And some of those effects are really quite counter-intuitive. Here are my favourite quirks and curiosities so far.
Planning applications numbers within London’s West End showed strong growth in July, creeping closer to ‘normal’ levels, but there seems to have been an August holiday blip.
I’ve had enough of reading the text of the new Planning for the Future White Paper. So I decided to look at the pictures instead. These reinforce some of my concerns about the application of the reforms to town and city centres, and to other forms of development.
The Government has laid regulations merging shop, restaurant, office and professional services into a single new use class in one of the most significant reforms of the Use Classes Order since 1987. But, as always with planning reform, there seem to be some unanswered questions.
As UK GDP shows a slow uptick, so too does planning activity in London’s West End, growing by c. 12% on last month.