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Planning

Housing

Housebuilding is up: is that good news?

21 August 2014 18:55

Good news on housing: this government is building more homes. New figures from the Communities and Local Government department show housing starts in the second quarter of 2014 increased by… Continue reading

12 Comments
Anti-fracking protestors outside Balcombe in West Sussex earlier this year. (AFP PHOTO/BEN STANSALL)

Presumption against fracking in our beautiful countryside is welcome

28 July 2014 12:12

The government’s announcement today that fracking will not take place in National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty save ‘in exceptional circumstances and where it can be demonstrated they… Continue reading

45 Comments
Image: Getty

Why Owen Jones is wrong on housing

1 July 2014 11:00

Columnists like the Guardian’s Owen Jones have perpetuated a myth that harms rather than eases access to truly affordable homes for the impoverished on whose behalf they campaign. Taken in… Continue reading

42 Comments
Image: Getty

George Osborne has won over the IMF to austerity. Now can he win over Eric Pickles to planning reform?

6 June 2014 14:56

Fresh from celebrating the Tories’ victory in Newark, George Osborne is continuing a very joyful day by celebrating the International Monetary Fund admitting that it got it wrong on austerity.… Continue reading

22 Comments
Why build in the countryside when you can build in dead urban space or in some of London's commons?

One solution to the housing shortage – build on Hampstead Heath

15 January 2014 11:03

If I was going to measure possible reasons to desert the Tories at the next election, and I can think of a couple, plans to concrete over the countryside would… Continue reading

29 Comments
Miliband plan to boost housing

The Labour split on planning and housebuilding

16 December 2013 16:27

Ed Miliband’s housebuilding announcement today is rather a re-heated announcement of his conference pledges on housing. Eric Pickles has already set out on Coffee House his belief that these new… Continue reading

19 Comments
Labour Leader Ed Miliband Gives His Keynote Speech At the Annual Party Conference

Ed Miliband: You Are The Quiet Bat People And I Am On Your Side

24 September 2013 18:25

Ronald Reagan once quipped that  “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” As was so often the case… Continue reading

19 Comments
An exploratory shale oil drilling site. (FRANCOIS BECKER/AFP/Getty Images)

Government fights misinformation over shale planning process

5 August 2013 15:00

The government is busy quelling worries about the planning process for exploratory shale drilling, following this disobliging article in yesterday’s Observer. The government stresses that its planning guidance document, which… Continue reading

23 Comments
housing

Labour’s localism epiphany

7 June 2013 8:35

Just because Labour has been taking a big dose of reality this week doesn’t mean the party is now refusing to make the most of any botch job by the… Continue reading

31 Comments
Eric Pickles has argued that the barrier to housebuilding is availability of credit, not the planning system. Picture: Getty

Government caution makes Help to Buy warning all the more worrying

6 May 2013 13:53

The introduction of the Help to Buy scheme was the only very small bone of contention in this year’s successful Budget (successful politically, that is, in that no-one talks about… Continue reading

135 Comments
Photo: Getty Images

No more radical reforms, please, we’ve pushed our MPs too far

1 May 2013 12:55

Nick Clegg is frustrated. He told callers on LBC this morning that ‘one of the most frustrating dilemmas that we have face in government is that we have thrown a… Continue reading

52 Comments
Zac Goldsmith is leading a group of rebel MPs on homeowners' development rights. Picture: Getty

Planning ‘love-in’ fails to rouse good feelings

16 April 2013 9:06

So it doesn’t look as though last night’s ‘love-in’ that I reported went particularly well. Cheryl Gillan described planning minister Nick Boles last night as ‘completely unmoveable’. Meanwhile, Zac Goldsmith,… Continue reading

34 Comments
MPs are voting tomorrow on plans to allow homeowners to extend their properties without planning permission. Picture: Getty

MPs invited to planning ‘love-in’

15 April 2013 16:22

Parliament’s only just back from Easter recess and already there’s a threat of rebellion in the Commons. The Growth and Infrastructure Bill returns to the Commons tomorrow afternoon for ‘ping-pong’,… Continue reading

6 Comments
housing

Nimbyism? That’s not even the half of it.

11 April 2013 13:36

Pity the poor Nimbys. Not only has the government’s horrible new planning regime come into force, but last week we heard the pro-HS2 lobbyists describing them as ‘posh people standing… Continue reading

29 Comments
Eric Pickles has argued that the barrier to housebuilding is availability of credit, not the planning system. Picture: Getty

Budget 2013: New ‘Help to Buy’ plan is a boost for Eric Pickles

20 March 2013 16:10

One of the big measures in today’s Budget was the Help to Buy scheme. It answers two demands: the first for the Tories to continue to support home ownership as… Continue reading

24 Comments
Housing Minister Mark Prisk. Picture: PA

Grill the Housing Minister: Mark Prisk answers Coffee House readers’ questions

17 January 2013 17:10

Housing Minister Mark Prisk’s brave request for a grilling from Coffee House readers generated a very enthusiastic response. Here are the minister’s answers to your questions. House Prices Q: What will… Continue reading

27 Comments
Homebuilders Barratt Homes Record Year On Year Profits Of 159%

Housing: the south's difficulty is the north's opportunity - Spectator Blogs

10 January 2013 18:44

Three cheers for Isabel’s post on the difficulties Nick Boles faces in pushing through his plans to make is slightly easier to build houses in Britain. I would add only… Continue reading

11 Comments
If Nick Boles wants to succeed in his mission for more homes, he's going to have to overcome some major obstacles. Picture: Getty

Nick Boles is ballsy, but his planning push faces some big blockages

10 January 2013 18:18

Nick Boles is to be applauded and rewarded for being so ballsy on housing need. It is heartening to read the minister describing current housing shortage as ‘immoral’ and a… Continue reading

58 Comments
Nick Boles gave evidence to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee yesterday. Picture: Getty

Nick Boles attempts to soothe planning critics

13 December 2012 12:00

Planning Minister Nick Boles admitted yesterday that he did not believe his controversial suggestion for Britain to build homes on two million acres of countryside should be put into practice.… Continue reading

29 Comments
Conservative MP Greg Barker has said that wind farms are ‘wonderful’ and ‘majestic’, and that they have become a ‘tourist attraction.’ Image: Getty

Why are Conservative MPs so intent on wrecking our countryside?

4 December 2012 12:37

Last week we had Nick Boles extolling the virtues of concreting over what green space we still have in order to tackle an alleged housing shortage. And now, in today’s… Continue reading

31 Comments
Nick Boles

Bold Boles’ planning push is a key example of ‘spreading privilege’

28 November 2012 23:35

Nick Boles has just put in a fierce performance on Newsnight over his controversial remarks on planning. Amusingly, the minister’s remarks aren’t a million miles away from Nick Clegg’s slightly… Continue reading

103 Comments
David Cameron, the man who delayed the decision on Heathrow for 3 years, calls for an end to 'risk averse' bureaucracy. Image: Getty

The gap between what David Cameron says and what he does

19 November 2012 9:18

David Cameron (and a host of other politicians, including Ed Miliband, Vince Cable and Boris Johnson) will address the CBI’s annual conference this morning. Cameron’s widely trailed speech is a… Continue reading

41 Comments
There are 250,000 units with planning permission which have not yet been developed in the UK. Picture: Getty

Exclusive: No 10 advised to punish land hoarders

19 October 2012 13:22

Though the government’s planning reforms will make it easier for developments supported by local communities to gain planning permission, one of the big blockages in the system is made up… Continue reading

17 Comments
Planning Minister Nick Boles at the IPPR fringe event this evening.

Conservative conference: Nick Boles says Labour’s immigration policy contributed to housing failure

7 October 2012 19:20

Nick Boles started his first fringe as a minister this evening by saying that after years of trying to make controversial points at party conference events, he wasn’t going to… Continue reading

19 Comments
Nick Boles

How the Cameron project caught up with economic reality

7 September 2012 21:07

The modernising, Cameron agenda was conceived in times of plenty. It was underpinned by a belief that there would be healthy growth, the proceeds of which could be shared. Since… Continue reading

61 Comments