PAS Bulletin: 30 September 2021

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30 September 2021

PAS Bulletin

It's suddenly Autumn. Here we are once again. You will have noticed that we have a new Secretary of State and possibly a reboot on planning reform. This has led to speculation shifting from what was in the old-new Planning Bill to what might be in the new-new Planning Bill. We have no inside track, and offer only this insight from those of us who have been around a long time: 'wait and see' is never the right strategy. Keep your local plan moving.

We have been doing some thinking about how best to create and support some learning networks for planners. It feels like we need to help people working out how to deliver on new ways of working in several important areas - whether it's better environmental outcomes, design, data and standards, or even how to organise, fund and manage planning services themselves. All deep topics and where people will need to work answers out for themselves. We want something that is more long-term than a workshop and better than a mailing list. So, when you sign up for some of the events listed below you might find yourself offered a space on one of our project spaces called Basecamp. As a remote team it's where we spend most of our time and hopefully you will find it a place where you can talk to us, and each other, in a way that is useful. As always, though, you can also contact us via old-fashioned email if you need a sympathetic ear:

Richard Crawley
PAS Programme Manager

PAS Heads of Planning Conference - book soon to avoid disappointment

Places are going fast for the annual PAS Head of Planning Conference in Wolverhampton on 27 and 28 January 2022! We only have a limited number of spaces and over half have already been taken so book your place before they have all gone.

Housing Needs Assessments – is there a simpler and more usable approach?

Strategic Housing Market Assessments and Housing Needs Assessments can be long, complicated documents with complex data. We are holding an event on a recent project that explored whether there is a simpler, more data-standardised way to create a useable and accessible housing needs assessment. Book your place for Show and tell: a journey towards data standardisation for needs assessments ,14 October, 11.00am -12.30pm.

PAS Design Coding Active learning programme - sign up now

We are delivering a programme of support for local authorities that are producing Design Codes. The programme will give targeted training, advice and support to help you progress with your design codes.  We are delivering an introduction session to the programme on 20 October at 1.00pm. Book your place on the introductory event.

Paying for planning services event

If you are struggling to justify your Planning budget, being asked to make savings or looking to generate income, then sign up to our virtual event "How to pay for your Planning service when times are tough” on 9 November 2021, 11.00am to 1.00pm.

Biodiversity Metric 3 training

Register for PAS-hosted Natural England training on Biodiversity Metric 3 for local authority planners on 18 October 2021. The event will also be recorded and shared on our website.

Infrastructure Funding Statements - Deadline 31 December 2021

A reminder that councils have a statutory requirement to publish their second Infrastructure Funding Statement (IFS) for the financial year 2020/21 by 31 December. We have published guidance to help you with this and if you need any advice do get in touch at

AI Innovation Project – LPA help required

The Planning Inspectorate are considering the potential for using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to provide a consistent and systematic approach to categorising representations, identifying key issues and weighting their significance. Claire Hamar would like to talk to LPAs interested in helping develop the project/investigate potential benefits to LPAs. Contact if you’d like to find out more / get involved. 

Biodiversity Net Gain workshop write-up

PAS ran five workshops on the Environment Bill and Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) for local authorities in May, June & July 2021. We’ve published a summary of workshop outputs, including what local authorities are doing now and what they need to enable them to be ready for mandatory BNG.

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