Thursday, 19 August 2010

Challenging Bad Development

Latest from Planning Daily:

CPRE and ELF today called for a new, limited public right of appeal against bad decisions.

The two organisations also published today a guide that explains the only way currently available for concerned members of the public to challenge planning decisions through the High Court.

Plan B: How to Challenge bad development in court is available here.

Full item from Planning Daily here

Don't forget the Planning Resource blog

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Urban Dialogue

Urban Realm reports on Andres Duany return to Scotland here

(Remember 'Charrettes of Ire' here and more on Elsick here)

Monday, 16 August 2010

Ancient Woodland


About 3% of the UK is made up of ancient woodland, still a large area but, many of the sites are tiny and scattered across the country.

It is their size and distribution that makes them particularly vulnerable to being chipped away by house building, road widening and service provision.

The South East is particularly at risk given the pressure to develop and accommodate an ever growing population. (Full item here)


Using the Inventories of ancient, long-established and semi-natural woodland for Scotland , the percentage of Scotland’s ancient woodland afforded Site of Special Scientific Interest protection is 48%.

From the SNH web pages:

In Scotland, Ancient Woodland is defined as land that is currently wooded and has been continually wooded, at least since 1750 which is when the first maps to cover the whole country were produced external site . Ancient woodland is thus directly descended from the original woodland that developed after the retreat of the ice sheets in Britain 10,000 years ago. The wildlife communities, soils and structure of ancient woodlands have had the longest time to develop, and are therefore generally (but not invariably) richer than that of more recent woods - so we can use 'ancientness' as an indicator of woods which are likely to be of high value in relation to other aspects of the nature and landscapes. More here

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Market value?

'Expansion will be driven by the private sector and if there is no business case it simply will not happen. The market will see to that. (Inverness Courier Leader click here)'

But homes and facilities need to be provided for those that have been priced out of the market; strong, sensible, thoroughly tested policy should deliver for those in need before it is too late for many. Isn't that why THC is required to produce a 'Housing Need and Demand Assessment'?

So, does the 'market' provide us with the solutions to the problem of increasingly unsatisfied housing need?

Ken Loach
said of the book, "Where the other half lives: lower-income housing in a neoliberal world (2009)*"

"To feel secure people, particularly families, need good well-maintained housing, where they know they can live without fear of having to leave. Our society has consistently failed to provide this. We are told the market will be the answer, but it isn't. I hope this book will explain why, and point the way to a socially responsible economy

The Editor (and part author) says of the book - further information here:

"At the heart of today’s housing crisis is the prioritisation of housing as real estate rather than as homes. In 2007, it was estimated that 60% of Britain’s wealth was made up of property, and property speculation has played an important part in wealth re-distribution."

"This speculative property market is a huge force for inequality, and, as a report for Shelter pointed out, a person’s ‘social position… will be increasingly determined by their parents’ housing wealth’."

The Highland-wide Local Development Plan has to be greater and better than something that will break and bend according to the vagaries of the market in order to fulfill the RPTI's expectations of planning:

"...It maintains the best of the past, whilst encouraging innovation in the design and development of future buildings and neighbourhoods to meet our future needs."

[*Amazon has 2 reviews of this book including:

"This volume provides a well considered and thoughtful analysis of the failures of decades of housing policy drawing on examples from accross the globe. Considering both the local and national contexts this book is an absolute must read for anyone working in the field of housing policy or housing research. The text provides a robust critique of current policies and goes a long way to help debunk the false policy choices that the neo-liberal experiment has presented to socitey."