Publications and Toolkits

The Changing Face of the High Street: Decline and Revival: a review of retail and town centre issues in historic issues

This useful and topical publication on the state of the current high street was released in June by English Heritage and Allies and Morrison Urban Practitioners, after close consultation with the Historic Towns Forum and their members and with further help from Strutt & Parker. It replaces and updates previous HTF and EH publications on the theme of retail and the high street in historic areas. Hard copies are available free from the HTF or English Heritage, and may be downloaded here


Planning guidance on street clutter, road humps, town centre parking and ensuring the vitality of town centres

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced that new planning guidance is to be issued which will encourage more town centre parking spaces, tackle the blight of ugly street clutter and aggressive ‘anti-car’ traffic calming measures. The guidance will also refer to the use of transport assessments and statements in decision making, and ensuring the vitality of town centres.

Read more here


Government response to review of planning practice guidance

The Government has published its response to the review of planning practice guidance led by Lord Taylor. The response includes details of the responses to the consultation which was undertaken between December 2012 and February 2013. The Government has accepted the majority of the report’s recommendations with the exception of those on signposting best practice material and cancellation of out of date guidance.


Wind turbine noise assessment guide published

The Institute of Acoustics (IOA) has published guidance on noise assessment procedures used to measure the noise emitted by wind turbines. The guide was prepared in response to a request by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. It sets out what should be good practice for assessing the noise from proposed wind turbines and should be useful for acoustics planners, planning consultants,  local planning authorities, developers, the planning inspectorate and the public.


CPRE report on effect of NPPF

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) has issued the results of research on the effects of the National Planning Policy Framework. CPRE President Andrew Motion has described it as “ground breaking in all the wrong ways”. CPRE evidence indicates:

  • The requirement  to supply at least five years’ worth of ‘deliverable’  sites for new housing is being used to push through unnecessary and damaging development in open countryside.
  • Greenfield sites are being developed when suitable Brownfield sites are available.
  • Localism is being undermined because councils have not been given enough time to get up to date local plans in place.

For full details of the report see here


Scottish Government Launches National Policy for Architecture

The Scottish Government has launched a national policy on architecture; ‘Creating Places’. The policy sets out ‘the comprehensive value good design can deliver’.

Read more here


Seaside Towns – Centre For Social Justice report

The Centre For Social Justice has published a report which examines and comments on conditions at 5 of the U.K.’s seaside towns: Rhyl, Margate, Clacton-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth and Blackpool. The report warns that after years of decline and loss of popularity as holiday resorts these, and other such towns, are suffering social breakdown.

Read more here


Taskforce final report on Tree Health

The Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Expert Taskforce has published its final report with recommendations on how best to address the threats posed by plant pests and pathogens to the Country’s trees and plants. The recommendations in the report ‘range from the development of a Plant Health Risk Register in order to identify and prioritise the main risks, through implementation of procedures for preparedness and contingency planning, to strengthening biosecurity at the borders and to minimising the impact of pests and disease within the UK.’ The report proposes the roles to be played by Government, industry, other stakeholders and the public.

Read more here


The State of Nature

The inaugural State of Nature report has been published by a coalition of UK conservation and research organisations. The aim of the report is to produce an authoritative assessment of the changing fortunes of nature in the UK.

Read more here