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 […]
17th June 2022

Why HtB (Help to Boris) is here to stay

Why HtB (Help to Boris) is here to stay When the CEO of a volume housebuilder wakes up in a cold sweat, there is only one recurring nightmare: the government has decided to abolish Help to Buy. But should they be worried? I don’t think […]
10th June 2022

Which comes first: homes or nature?

Which comes first: homes or nature? When I first heard of nutrient neutrality, I thought it was a new faddy diet. So I ignored it. Mistake. It’s a scheme by Natural England to help protect our waterways from nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphate, and […]
6th June 2022

A thing of beauty is a flat forever

A thing of beauty is a flat forever Mr Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, etc is keen on beautiful homes. And so am I. But given that the average new home is now about 75 m2 or 800 ft2 (in the old […]
27th May 2022

Cutting off your nose to spite your face

Cutting off your nose to spite your face There is nothing like a lesson in surgery to liven up a council meeting. The Leader of Spelthorne Council said that the local plan was a choice ‘between chopping off our own foot or having the government […]
20th May 2022

The Lords go North – what a glowing idea

The Lords go North – what a glowing idea In a previous incarnation, I wrote about what an excellent idea it would be to move Parliament out of London because the Palace needed to be rebuilt. That was about five years ago. So, I was […]
13th May 2022

NOCers are the big winners

NOCers are the big winners So, the council elections are all over so we can forget about them. The Tories got hammered. Well, not quite. Labour had a brilliant night…in London. The Liberal Democrats are about to form the next government. Wrong again. The reason […]