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President's Piece February 2016

Date: 29/2/2016

The President's latest blog:

"Greetings all planners across the wintry landscapes of the country. Whilst we have been trying to keep warm and address freak weather, floods in the north and frosts in the south, the Government has been hurriedly pushing out the "detailed regulations and contents" of its much awaited Housing & Planning Bill chapters. Starter Homes, the most profound change to affordable housing reforms in a generation, still awaits the detail to follow.

But we have now been treated with chunks of the planning reforms details, including the NPPF consultation which the deadline has been upon us to respond. So, Brownfield Land Register, Permission in Principle (PiPs), S.106 dispute resolution mechanism, NSIP but to name a few more planning acronyms, are flooding out of DCLG like the Cumbrian winter.

Dare I also say it in my other role, new city mayoral powers are also adding to the torrent of reforms and devolution changes. Fortunately, your POS leaders are on the case meeting high level DCLG officials and getting our written representation and strong case for a strong refined planning system, put across to Ministers and civil servants, whilst helpfully securing the assistance of the House of Lords on their wise moderating influence over the Bill.

All these significant changes will be debated at two key events in March: the joint British Property Federation & POS conference in Birmingham 9th March and the next national POS Forum in Central London 11th March. Try make one of these sessions if you want to hear excellent summary of the reforms and heated debates of the Bill. Otherwise, watch this space for the next raft of detailed regulations in the form of Starter Homes, here we come! Beware the ides of March one famous Roman Emperor once heard. Well, at least all this is less confusing then the BREXIT row!"

Stewart Murray, President 2015/16

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