Pickles Reverses his Worst Decision in Recent Years

The Larke Energy Scheme Solar Farm scheme at Ellough.

We covered this case here. here and here  where we correctly predicted Pickles would be forced to approve, where he ignored the evidence national policy and the law.

As I said at the time

This decision stinks, if it stands we might as well throw away planning examinations and have decisions determined by X-factor style referenda and accept that will mean almost no housing or renewable energy installations in the country.

Aecom Proposes Own Vision for London City Region

Interesting report, and unlike many recent reports relating to the Met Green Belt gets specific.  In fact despite calling the London Green Belt ‘Toxic’ they propose most development in larger new towns of around 150,000 people at key nodes, although they propose quite a lot of these around MK and Oxford.  The numbers suggest we need 4 -6 of these, so should be seen as a longlist.  With the capacity freed up by HS2 and other regional rail improvements candidates like South of Milton Keynes, North of Milton Keynes, Brackely/HS2, South of Crawley, South of Cambridge. Ebbsfleet/Swanscombe/Bluewater & St Neots look to me like realistic options.  Together with smaller urban extensions and local Garden Cities and smaller and very selective Green Belt deletions they can meet the South East’s and London’s shortfall without either the major Green Belt loss some have indicated or the random development around South East stations whether or not they have spare capacity.