Stonehenge and the shrinking state

The National Trust has seen 41 Chancellors of the Exchequers since it was founded just over a century ago. In that time, we’ve seen the state grow, shrink back, grow again and now shrink back. The National Trust has kept growing in that time but, despite Simon Jenkins’ suggestion that the National Trust manages to…

Does money really grow on trees?

If you could put a ballpark figure on the value of our nation’s green spaces what would it be? According to Chelsea Flower Show gold medal winner Homebase, green-fingered Britons have already spent more than £20billion on their backyards this year alone. And it is no wonder, as flower power is estimated to add nearly…

NPPF Part 2 – Brownfield first approach to planning is being eroded

 New research published today by the National Trust and the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) suggests that the Government’s assurances of building on brownfield sites first is not backed up by reality on the ground. Writing in the Daily Telegraph today (Wednesday 27 March) the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles states: “We are making the most…

NPPF fails to deliver planning for people – Part 1

Research published today by the National Trust and the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) suggests that the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is failing to give local people a genuine say in shaping the future of their communities, falling short of the Government’s own localism ambitions.  Published by Government a year ago today, after a…

Inexpensive progress?

New research, Inexpensive Progress (PDF / 5MB), published today explores the complicated question of the economic impact of planning. The question is an important one, as the Government’s entire programme of planning reform is based on the idea that planning is holding back the economy. This was the clear message of the Chancellor’s Plan for…