PLMR’s Week Ahead in Westminster: 25th July 2014

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This week's podcast is a planning special. What are the main issues affecting the sector in the run-up to the next General Election?

With the House of Commons in recess for the summer, we’re taking the chance to look at the state of several industry sectors over the next few weeks, starting with planning.

This week’s podcast hears from Pauline Roberts, Planning Director at planning consultancy Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners, and PLMR’s Head of Planning, David Madden.

What’s the priority for the new Minister for Housing and Planning, Brandon Lewis?
Pauline explains how the level of house-building must be his top priority. David warns against expecting any radical change before the General Election in May. It’s the first time the coalition has had a combined housing and planning minister.

What’s the key to speeding up housebuilding?
Pauline says the rules on building on Green Belt land will have to change before any significant building can occur, but no party wants to tackle the issue, because it’s so controversial. David says it’s difficult for local authorities, because they’re on the front line. The Conservatives were shocked recently by the backlash to proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework.

This week, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, criticised some Londoners for pretending to care about architecture to block developments…
Pauline says there’s a balance to strike, while David gives his view on the political ramifications of his comments.

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