National design training, planning for a better environment network, housing delivery tests and more...

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27 July 2022

Planning Advisory Service

On the 14 and 15 July we held our first conference in over two years, and it felt so good to see people face to face. It was uplifting to hear the enthusiasm for planning and the positivity around working in the public interest. Planners in every local authority have done a tremendous job in less-than-ideal circumstances for a number of years, so it was great to be able to provide some time and content away from the office for people to reflect on their experiences and think about future priorities.

We return from the conference full of energy for a busy summer and autumn. Announcements and consultations arising from the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill may have slipped, yet the planning system keeps running and we are here to support and advise.

Please do get in touch for further information or advice on any of the issues covered in our bulletin.

Anna Rose

Head of PAS

2022 PAS Heads of Planning Conference - Review

Held in Wolverhampton, the conference saw over 80 planning officers attend more than 20 different sessions on issues as diverse as Town Centre Regeneration and Digital Planning to Design Codes and Biodiversity Net Gain, as well as much more. Unsurprisingly, unpacking the Levelling Up and Regen Bill was also a key feature of our discussions.

We realise how important it is that we get the opportunity to listen to the sector about their concerns and the fantastic work they are doing. So a big thank you to all our delegates and some great contributors from a wide range of local authorities, DLUHC and other organisations.

We've made the presentations from all the conference sessions available for people to access. Members of the PAS Team have also produced some thoughts and outputs from some of the conference sessions, with additional information and resources. See the following pages for more information on:

NEW PAS and UDL National Design Training - Sept 2022 to March 2023

PAS are really pleased to continue our partnership with Urban Design Learning (UDL) and to be able to offer LPAs access to a great series of online training sessions around place shaping and design.

Our new programme of 16 half day sessions will run from September to March, covering a wide range of aspects in design coding and place shaping. Depending on the demand for places, PAS will either fully subsidise or partly subsidise LPAs access. If you would be interested in accessing this support, please get in touch to register your interest at 

Planning for a Better Environment Network

Following on from the Planning for a Better Environment workshop at our conference, we are setting up an Environmental Planning Network to help develop our collective thinking. If you'd like to join and/or have thoughts on what you would find most helpful to get this started, please contact Roy Hymas

Housing Delivery Tests: a way to predict the future

Many councils will be using the summer to analyse their housing completions numbers before the annual Government data collection. PAS and the LGA have built a Housing Delivery Test forecasting tool to help officers predict this year and future years HDT measurement. The tool also allows you to see what the HDT measurement will be if a plan becomes over five years old, if minimum local housing need is used or if land supply predictions come true.

Latest Development Management Performance Update

The latest Development Management planning performance tables were released by DLUHC at the end of June. If you are in the danger zone we will have already contacted you. However, it is a good idea to keep an eye on your performance as there is now only one quarter left before DLUHC will review speed performance for the period October 2020 to September 2022.  The assessment for the latest Quality performance stats for the two years up to March 2021 are also due to be released shortly. If you have concerns about your DM performance please contact me at so we can discuss how we can support you. 

But don’t panic! You are never alone in Development Management

Find out about the top 10 issues facing Development Management teams at the moment and the top 10 ideas that PAS has heard about over the last year - visit Pilgrim Pete's latest blog.

Government announcement on Nutrient Neutrality

A recent announcement by Defra aims to address the problem of nutrient pollution and the threat to legally protected sites for nature affecting 74 different local planning authorities. The measures include a new legal duty on water companies to upgrade wastewater treatment works and pump priming for a Nutrient Mitigation scheme, delivered by Natural England.

PAS will continue to support affected areas and help interpret the implications of these new measures for planning teams. See our web page for more information.

Planning Dream Team - In Conversation with... Alice Lester MBE & Catriona RIddell

Listen to the fourth episode of 'In Conversation with Anna Rose'. Anna’s conversation in this episode is with Alice Lester MBE (Operational Director Regeneration, Growth & Employment at LB Brent), and Catriona Riddell (Catriona Riddell & Associates). They discuss the skills, attributes and qualities required to successfully lead, manage and deliver great planning services and great places.

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