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Updated Legal definition of waste guidance

Fri, May, 2016

Recently Defra released new guidance on the definition of waste, with advice for businesses, local authorities and charities on how to decide

if a material is or is not waste.

Not as simple as the uninitiated might think.

I think someone said you might as well just take the prison sentence, you’ll be out in less time than it will take to understand the guidance;

that cannot be true: can it?


Truro, Cornwall

Thu, Apr, 2016

It was a pleasant change from the usual run down abandoned industrial estate to visit a site near Truro, on the north Cornwall coast.

The proposed development site is located on the side of the valley adjacent to a shaft for a former copper mine.

An interesting challenge to attempt to offer pragmatic cost effective options for safe development for residential use


Brownfield-first, say The National Trust and CPRE

Thu, Mar, 2016

The National Trust and CPRE say a brownfield presumption isn’t strong enough and a return to brownfield-first is needed. They have told the Government the best way to strengthen policy on brownfield housing development would be to constrain greenfield development when suitable previously developed land is available locally.

Both responses to DCLG’s National Planning Policy Framework consultation stress that greenfield permissions granted, without consideration of previously used sites, undermines brownfield development.

“Whilst we accept the need to bring forward additional housing, and support a brownfield-first approach, we do believe in good planning and consider that it is also important to ensure that sufficient employment land is available to provide jobs close to where people live,” says the Trust.

“Investing in brownfield development brings much wider public benefits than greenfield in terms of regenerating existing communities, making use of existing infrastructure, improving public health by remediating environmental nuisances such as contamination, and saving precious farmland,” says CPRE.

“Recent evidence also shows that brownfield development can secure a faster delivery of new housing.” But says CPRE, the NPPF gives only weak brownfield encouragement and fails to prioritize use of such sites before greenfield.

“Local plan policies to bring forward brownfield sites have often been frustrated by developers of competing sites being able to argue that their site is more economically viable to develop,” says CPRE. “As a result a number of brownfield regeneration opportunities have been stalled and greenfield sites nearby have been granted planning permission, often over the heads of local authorities.”

CPRE says urban brownfield sites should have priority in local plans and for funding over greenfield sites in the same housing market area.

The Trust says incentives for brownfield development are needed such as tax breaks on stamp duty for small sites sold for housing or allowing vendors to retain the first year’s New Homes Bonus on small sites.

Lords Join Brownfield-First Campaign

Fri, Feb, 2016

The Lords Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment has carried out an inquiry about house building. One of the recommendations contained in their report is for a stronger brownfield policy in England including the reintroduction of brownfield-first at national level.

“The Government has undertaken a range of initiatives to support brownfield development including introducing a £1bn ‘brownfield fund’ to help cover site remediation costs.” says the report.

The report also says “The introduction of permission-in-principle and a brownfield register to identify sites which are suitable for new housing development, as proposed in the Housing and Planning Bill, is intended to expedite the granting of planning permission on brownfield sites. It is, as yet, unclear how matters such as public consultation arrangements and scheme details such as resilience measures will be dealt with through the permission-in-principle route.”

Category 4 Screening Levels (C4SLs)

Tue, Jul, 2014

Download our briefing note Category 4 Screening Levels (C4SLs)