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Content published before December 2016

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on planning. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

28.09.2016Commons Library analysis of the Neighbourhood Planning Bill
The Neighbourhood Planning Bill 2016-17 (Bill 61) makes reform to the neighbourhood planning system, the use of pre-commencement planning conditions and the compulsory purchase process. The aim is to speed up the delivery of new homes. The Bill's Second Reading in the House of Commons is scheduled for 10 October 2016. This paper sets out the background and comment on the Bill.
27.09.2016Shale gas and fracking
The regulatory regime for fracking in the UK is covered in this note along with comment on environmental concerns. It also covers the new access provisions and debate on fracking in during the Infrastructure Bill's passage through Parliament.
13.07.2016Planning for onshore wind
Onshore wind farm planning applications are determined by local authorities, except for small-scale domestic turbines which have permitted development rights. Recent changes to onshore wind planning policy made by the Government has aimed to give local communities more of a say in which developments are approved. This note sets out planning policy for onshore wind development, controls in place, rules on separation distances, possible community benefits and the recent changes.
12.07.2016Planning for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects
Development Consent Orders for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects are granted by the Secretary of State as an alternative to needing planning permission from a local authority. Recent changes have removed onshore wind farms of over 50MW in size from this regime. Further changes are expected to be made by Government to the consenting process and to establish a National Infrastructure Commission on a statutory footing. This note provides further information about the consenting process and future changes.
11.07.2016Calling in a planning application
The Secretary of State has powers to "call-in" a planning application and "recover" a planning appeal, to determine it himself. This note explains these powers further.
05.07.2016Starter Homes for First-Time Buyers (England)
This House of Commons Library briefing paper considers the Government's aim of delivering 200,000 starter homes by 2020 for first-time buyers under the age of 40. The homes will be sold at a discount of 20% off the market price. The starter home initiative only applies in England.
04.07.2016Revocation of planning permission
This note covers the rarely-used procedure that occasionally allows planning permission to be revoked after it has been granted.
04.07.2016Neighbourhood planning
The Localism Act 2011 allows parish councils and groups of people from the community, called neighbourhood forums, to formulate Neighbourhood Development Plans and Orders, which can guide and shape development in a particular area. This note provides more information on these powers, on reviews of the effectiveness of these powers and on forthcoming changes to the processes.
25.05.2016Planning for Housing
It is Government policy to encourage more house building within the planning system. This note sets out how local authorities are directed to plan for housing, concern about unplanned developments, as well as the Government's proposals for reform.
24.05.2016Planning Obligations (Section 106 Agreements)
This briefing paper looks at recent changes to planning obligations, the appeals process surrounding them and how planning obligations interact with the Community Infrastructure Levy. The brief looks at England only.

Lords Library Notes

12.05.2016Queen's Speech 2016 Day 4: Economic Affairs, Energy, Environment, Local Government and Transport
The House of Lords is due to debate the Queen's Speech over four days between 19 and 25 May 2016. This briefing is one of four prepared by the House of Lords Library to cover the themes of each day of debate.
22.01.2016Housing and Planning Bill 2015-16: Briefing for Lords Stages
This Lords Library briefing provides information in support of the House of Lords consideration of the Housing and Planning Bill.
17.07.2015Energy Bill [HL] (HL Bill 56 of 2015-16)
This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the second reading of the Energy Bill [HL] in the House of Lords, on 22 July 2015.
13.06.2014Infrastructure Bill [HL] (HL Bill 2 of 2014-15)
The Infrastructure Bill makes provision for the Government's proposals to fund, plan, manage and maintain the UK's national infrastructure.
24.12.2012Growth and Infrastructure Bill (HL Bill 72 of 2012-13)
The purpose of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill is to promote investment in infrastructure projects, reduce delays in the planning system and introduce a new employment status of employee shareholder. This Library Note provides background information for the second reading of the Bill in the House of Lords on 8 January 2013.
09.11.2012Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill (HL Bill 45 of 2012-13)
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill includes measures for changes to competition policy, to employment law, and for reducing regulation, as well as provisions on the Green Investment Bank, directors' remuneration, copyright and planning. This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords.


17.10.2016Green Space and Health
A range of bodies, including Government agencies, have promoted the possible physical and mental health benefits of access to green space. This POSTnote summarises the evidence for physical and mental health benefits from contact with nature, such as reducing rates of non-communicable diseases, and the challenges for urban green spaces.
17.06.2016Adapting Urban Areas to Flooding
Most properties, businesses and related infrastructure at risk of flooding are in urban areas, where more than 80% of the UK population live. This note summarises how urban areas can be better managed to adapt to flood risk from rivers, surface water, sewers and ground water.
26.03.2015Biodiversity Auditing
Biodiversity supports the ecosystem services humans rely on for well-being and economic resources. Areas that have had an audit can make more effective use of ecological data to meet planning and conservation objectives for biodiversity. This POSTnote summarises the data sources used and the advantages of the audit approach for addressing biodiversity loss.
08.08.2014Big and Open Data in Transport
This POSTnote examines key factors affecting the growth of big data in transport and current and future applications, focusing on road and public transport. It also explores challenges to opening up, collecting, disseminating and using big data, and to sharing data whilst protecting users' privacy.
18.06.2014Ancient Woodland
Ancient woodlands are irreplaceable features of our landscapes that can be high in biodiversity or cultural value. This POSTnote summarises the challenges of conserving the biodiversity and cultural heritage of these sites to provide social and economic benefits, while still meeting the development needs of society.
15.11.2013Urban Green Infrastructure
Urban green infrastructure is a network of green spaces, water and other natural features within urban areas. A green infrastructure approach uses natural processes to deliver multiple functions, such as reducing the risk of flooding and cooling high urban temperatures. This POSTnote summarises research evidence of the effectiveness of green infrastructure, and challenges to its implementation.

Select Committee Reports

23.06.2011The abolition of regional spatial strategies: a planning vacuum.
Government response. Communities and Local Government report [Commons]
28.02.2011The abolition of regional spatial strategies.
Communities and Local Government Select Committee report [Commons]
02.11.2009Need and impact: planning for town centres.
Government response. Communities and Local Government; Communities and Local Government Select Committee report [Commons]
13.07.2009Need and impact: planning for town centres.
Communities and Local Government Select Committee report [Commons]
17.06.2009Planning for homes: speeding up planning applications for major housing developments in England.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House expresses its disgust with Mr R. Street of Woodhouses, Manchester, landowner and Associated British Foods PLC, head lessee, whose avarice and lack of concern mean that ...
That this House notes that Lancaster City Council has granted planning permission for 77 new homes on a greenfield site in Bolton-le-Sands; further notes that the only reason the Council ...
19.01.2011CARTER RUCK
That this House notes with concern the report in The Guardian of 19 January 2011 that the solicitors Carter Ruck threatened the Soil Association with libel proceedings in order to bully ...
That this House notes with concern that, four years after the GE Lighting factory on Melton Road in Leicester closed, the problem of contaminated land has not been resolved; further ...
That this House recognises the work carried out by the North West Planning Aid (NWPA) service, that for over 30 years has provided invaluable help to local individual and groups and ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses