23rd September 2022

Oh, For Frack’s Sake, Liz

Oh, For Frack’s Sake, Liz I have to hand it to our new Prime Minister – she’s not afraid of a frack fight. High up there with removing the cap on bankers’ bonuses she has announced that a key solution to the energy shortage is […]
16th September 2022

Planning – It’s all Bull****

Planning – It’s all Bull**** I love the countryside. Aaaah. The singing of the birds, the views of green fields and the rich, sweet smell of cow manure. I come from farming stock, and I’ve got a myriad of cousins still working the land around […]
26th August 2022


Gulliver When that great Irishman, Jonathan Swift, wrote Gulliver’s Travels, he could not have known that it would be as relevant today…or more so. As you may remember, Gulliver was an early victim of SMS (Small Man Syndrome). He was captured by the Lilliputians who […]
19th August 2022

The End Of 5-Year Land Supply?

The End Of 5-Year Land Supply? The poor old planning system is due for another shake-up. Who says? The next Prime Minister, that’s who. “I want to abolish the top-down, Whitehall-inspired Stalinist housing targets,” says Liz. A little unfair. Despite all its failings the Department, […]
29th July 2022

Choosing the next PM Irish-style

Choosing the next PM Irish-style Imagine a FTSE 100 company that has the misfortune to lose its CEO suddenly, whether by an accident, a shareholder revolt or running off with his, her or their secretary. No problems. There is always someone in place to fill the shoes immediately. […]
22nd July 2022

How to put sex into planning

How to put sex into planning We all use stereotypes to pigeon-hole people. Scientists (like me) have white coats (I don’t) as do psychiatrists. Doctors have stethoscopes even if they seldom use them. Accountants have pin-striped suits. And what of planners? It has an image […]
15th July 2022

The Manchester-Leeds ARC. Why not?

The Manchester-Leeds ARC. Why not? Now that Govey has been given the jolly old heave-ho (as they say at Eton), what will Clarky do that’s different. Although it made for a cumbersome title, I really like the ‘Levelling Up’ moniker. A sort of socialism for […]
8th July 2022

Winning the war of words

Winning the war of words ‘Never start a war that you can’t win’ is good common sense. In the world of planning we have had two contestants throw their hats in the ring with little chance of victory. In the red corner is Stuart Machin […]
1st July 2022

The curse of Oxford

The curse of Oxford Within 24 hours of getting off the boat and landing in London, I knew my parents had made some terrible mistakes. Don’t get me wrong, they were kind and loving and made huge sacrifices to get me educated but they sent […]
24th June 2022

Is Gove really on the level?

Is Gove really on the level? Everyone knows there are only three ways to solve the housing crisis: Reduce the population and sterilise everyone especially Mick Jagger; Build lots more houses…but Mr Gove has already said that the target of 300,000 homes a year is […]