Nutrient neutrality advice, PAS design code support, PAS events and more...

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25 March 2022

Planning Advisory Service

As well as being the end of the financial year, March is also the month of new beginnings. This month we welcome Rachel and Roy to our small yet perfectly formed PAS team. They will be working on our new Nutrients programme (more information on this to come soon). We hope that you enjoy working with them as they develop this programme.

In April, we are looking forward to continuing our activity on Local Plans, DM, Developer Contributions and Design and to introducing some new areas of support including a new work programme. We will be able to tell you more in our April edition of the PAS bulletin.

The last financial year brought another 12 months of uncertainty. The PAS team has managed this uncertainty with the flexibility and professionalism that we all expect. I don't like to take this for granted and the team deserve praise for all that they do.

Thank you PAS, here's to another year of putting all of our energy into supporting local government.

Anna Rose

Head of PAS

More councils receive "nutrient neutrality" advice

We have been working with councils for a while on how to respond to advice from Natural England that most developments can only proceed if they are “nutrient neutral”. Last week another 42 councils received new advice, and several existing catchments received changed advice. The letter about nutrient pollution from the chief planner helpfully sets out some of the immediate impacts. We’ve put a map together of all the areas on our nutrients page.

It’s a complicated picture with lots of moving parts, so we are holding a series of workshops to walk you through it. Sign up to the events on our Eventbrite page and check the nutrient FAQ on the website. It is important to respond quickly to avoid legal challenge – we have published a slightly scrappy checklist we put together helping councils through the first few days in the past.

PAS Design Code Support & DLUHC Pathfinders Announcement

We are really pleased to see the announcement of 25 council and neighbourhood group Design Code pathfinders and we look forward to working closely with them, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and the Office for Place as they progress their exemplar local design codes.

We know that a number of authorities were not successful in being selected to be pathfinders and PAS are keen to help them and any other local authorities interested in progressing local design codes. We have partnered with Urban Design London (UDL) to be able to offer a number of local planning authorities free access to a series of great training sessions around design coding.  If you are interested in accessing this offer please do get in touch with Steve at PAS

PAS events on DEFRA's Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) consultation

Following our February overview events on Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA)’s consultation on biodiversity net gain regulations and implementation, we’ve just completed a further six “deep-dive” workshops on key topics. DEFRA valued getting feedback directly from councils and attendees shared views and experience of . We're now pulling together a summary of key findings. Event recordings and slides are available on our website. Remember the consultation closes on 5 April. 

£10 million Traveller Site Fund 2022/23

On 20 March 2022, DLUHC launched £10 million of capital funding for 2022/23 to support local authorities in England for building new or improved accommodation for travellers who have their needs assessed under the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites or the National Planning Policy Framework. This funding can be used for building new transit and permanent traveller sites, to refurbish existing permanent traveller and transit sites and provide temporary stopping places and facilities for travellers. Further details on the fund can be found on 

Applications are open until midday 13 June 2022. For any queries on this funding please email

Digital and GIS

There is lots going on with planning and digital, and there are now lots of projects and pilots at various stages of completeness. It’s exhausting keeping track of what is going on and you could, if you wanted to, make “going to a show and tell” into a full time job.

We are hoping to pull together a digital event to showcase some of the work that is already underway, to flag some training that we have been working on and to have a conversation about what all this is going to mean for planners. Details are still to be confirmed. If you are interested please pencil in the afternoon of Wednesday 25 May.

News from the RTPI

Our colleagues at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) are delivering a masterclass on Planning for Elected Members on the afternoon of 31 March 2022. The session is for local authority and parish councillors and will look at the roles and responsibilities of decision making in the planning process.

As part of its commitment to creating a more inclusive planning profession RTPI has launched EXPLORE a work experience pilot that aims to encourage and inspire young people particularly those from Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic communities and lower socio-economic backgrounds to become planners. They are seeking employer partners to host young people for a week in June. Can you help? Register your interest.

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