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Samuel Stafford
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On Alok Sharma's In-Tray
This is a piece that I contributed to the RTPI's Blog . Which position is the most precarious? Housing & Planning Minister or football manager? This image, which I came by via @NobleFrancis on Twitter, reveals that Alok Sharma is the fifteenth Housing Minis...

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Devolution & The Birmingham Shortfall 3
I first wrote about the Birmingham shortfall in June 2015 . Mike Best of Turley provides the background to it’s emergence through the Birmingham Development Plan (BDP) here , but by June 2015 it was becoming clear that the challenge presented by accommodati...

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Why The Piece Hall is my favourite building
Halifax's Piece Hall reopens today after a major refurbishment , which is terrfic news for my local town. I wrote this back in 2011 when asked to write about my favourite building. The Piece Hall in Halifax is a Grade I listed Georgian masterpiece that enca...

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Wirral in it together
With receipt of the Inspector's Report marking a major milestone on the Cheshire East Local Plan's long journey towards adoption, fans of planning and soap operas in the North West may be wondering how to replace what became a major part of our professional...

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On the Housing White Paper
The Government is to fix our broken housing market. It is easy to be cynical about claims of ‘radical, lasting reform’ or ‘big, difficult decisions’ and healthy cynicism is always a good starting point in politics and planning. To apply lazy cynicism to the...

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A good planning system needs good planners.
I cannot remember exactly why, I may have been in a flap
about a councillor or consultant giving me a hard time, but I remember being
told by my principle officer and team leader to relax. ‘It’s only a game’, he
said. Now. Let’s be clear. Planning is clearl...

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The GMSF. Spatial planning in a non-spatial planning age.
How does one go about spatial planning at the city-region or
sub-regional level in an era when there is no legislative and policy basis to
do so? The answer, based upon the nascent Greater Manchester Spatial Framework
(GMSF) that is being prepared by AGMA /...

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Fewer objectors would be better than wealthier objectors.
Where to start with the news that “homeowners in countryside villages and towns could be given cash payments to offset disruptive developments in their communities”, which was reported in the Telegraph . The concept triggers so many thoughts and feelings. T...

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Devolution & The Birmingham Shortfall 2
I wrote this last year about 'Devolution & The Birmingham Shortfall' : The Birmingham Development Plan (BDP) will ultimately establish the scale of housing need as the first step towards achieving an effective mechanism between LPAs in the housing market ar...

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Neighbourhoods Plan. Power & Responsibility.
A wise man once said that neighbourhood plans (NPs) are the future and if today’s present represents that future then that prophecy has come to pass. From inception in the 2011 Localism Act there are now 193 NPs  approved at referendum and nearly 2,000 grou...
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