Defra Consultation on Biodiversity Net Gain; Planning Committee training; Planning peer review management model; and more...

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24 February 2022

Planning Advisory Service

Quarter four is always a busy time for the PAS calendar and this year is no exception. We held events on most of our core areas recently (if you missed them you can see links to recordings below) and there is more to come. Like many organisations we are thinking what the 'new normal' means for how to package and deliver our work, and it would be good to understand what you want from us. More on this shortly. 

We are about to welcome two new starters to the PAS team, further strengthening our skills and capacity in planning for the environment. There remains lots of detail to work through, but it seems clear that biodiversity is only the first wave of a series of changes to how land use planning improves the way it responds to nature and resources. You can sign up for some 'deep dive' workshops on biodiversity below, and we'll be running some sessions on water quality soon. 

Richard Crawley 
PAS Programme Manager

Defra Consultation on biodiversity net gain

Recordings and slides from our recent overview events on Defra's consultation on biodiversity net gain regulations and implementation are now available on our website. We are also running deep-dive, interactive workshops on key topics in March. You can register below: 

Keep on planning - the triangle of the housing delivery test, 5YHLS and the ‘presumption of sustainable development’

There is still time to sign up for our webinar on the 16 March 2022. Book your place here: Keep on planning - the triangle of HDT, 5YHLS and the titled balance.

Planning Committee training

If you have local elections in May you may want PAS to help you train your new Planning Committee. We can offer defendable decision-making training or we can run a practical exercise for Members.

Find out more about the Planning Committee and If you would like to book a training session please contact Pete at  

Development management performance

Following recent publicity over Development Management performance now is the time to review your council’s position regarding speed and quality of decision making.  If you feel you need any additional advice or support please contact Pete at

Future proofing the plan making process: presentations and discussion

We recently ran four separate half-day sessions on 'Future Proofing the Local Plan making Process'. We discussed with local plan makers what it’s like 'carrying on planning' at the moment – what is unlikely to change in a reformed planning system and what are the implications of stopping, pausing or shelving local plans while we wait.

We have made the presentations available and summarised the main topics and discussions.

Planning peer review management model

In PAS we use a network of peers to help deliver much of our on-site work with councils, most obviously the famous peer challenge. To help run a successful peer challenge we use a group of people called peer review managers. They are often ex-peers, perhaps recently retired, who want to keep their skills and experience up-to-date and deliver important work. 

If that sounds like you or one of your colleagues get in touch. The LGA is opening up its cohort to fresh people shortly, contact to find out more.

Public practice: resourcing and skills survey

You are invited to respond to Public Practice’s Local Authority Resourcing and Skills Survey. Have your say in a key study on the impact of under-resourcing in local authority teams across England. Open until Friday 4 March.

Public Practice finds, selects and places built environment professionals into local government. This year, they are expanding to authorities around England. If you would like to stay informed about their national expansion, sign up to receive email notifications when Public Practice opens in a new region.

Natural England Green infrastructure framework questionnaire

Natural England is seeking local authority feedback to help shape their Green Infrastructure work. More information can be found in their blog article.  It would like you to fill in this short questionnaire, which will remain open until 1 April 2022.

HouseyRousey's blog

HouseyRousey has been blogging about the future of digitisation in the planning system, so let's get digital, digital...

The latest Khub posts

Sourcing sites for SHELAAs and Local Plans - how wide to 'cast the net'?

CIL Court action for non-payment

Background paper on nutrient and water neutrality - from LGA meeting 3 February

Site plans on an ipad