IPA Annual Report on Major Projects – end of the road for planning reform?

A developer client recently commented “Because what we need now is more uncertainty, right?”, or words to that effect. Uncertainty about what? Planning reform. Because, in spite of “planning” apparently holding back housing and development for years, stymieing the ambitions of renters to get on the property ladder and of many more to have a … Read more

Decarbonising Cities

Cities are responsible for around 75% of global CO2 emissions. To effectively battle climate change, urban hubs will need to be in the vanguard. A handful of cities are aware of this responsibility, and willingly placed themselves on the front lines in the effort to decarbonise. Across the UK, mainland Europe and the Asia Pacific, … Read more

Environment Act 2021 – HSF Latest Thinking

The Environment Act 2021 is a major piece of legislation which radically transforms environmental governance in the UK. Through four cornerstones the Act: establishes a new supra regulator of regulators, the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP), which can investigate any public authority failing to comply with environmental law obligations and launch a new environmental review … Read more

Back to basics – the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) – Part 2

It might seem an odd time to be publishing our second “Back to Basics” blog on the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). We have, of course, recently been blessed with the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, which, amongst other things, has given us a glimpse into the new world of CIL’s replacement, the Infrastructure Levy (IL). However, … Read more

Building Safety Act 2022 – which provisions made the cut?

The Building Safety Bill has finally finished its legislative journey. On 28 April 2022 it was granted Royal Assent, thereby becoming the Building Safety Act 2022 (the Act). Given the size of the Act, it’s no surprise that it took a few days to work out which of the many proposed amendments to the Bill … Read more

What next for planning reform? Levelling up

Reports that the Planning Bill has been dropped, and that planning reforms first proposed by June 2020’s Planning White Paper will instead be progressed through the “levelling up” agenda, seem to be on the button. From a planning perspective, closer attention must now be paid to what the Levelling Up White Paper has to say. … Read more

New HSF infrastructure planning blog – Energy and Infrastructure Consenting Notes

The London planning team at Herbert Smith Freehills has a new blog focused on infrastructure planning, Energy and Infrastructure Consenting Notes. The team has promoted some of the biggest and most high-profile nationally significant infrastructure project (NSIP) applications to go through the Planning Act 2008 process, from the Hinkley Point and Sizewell new nuclear power … Read more

ESG – social responsibility in real estate: contributing to sustainable town centres

There is shared interest in ensuring that the decline of town centres is reversed and high-streets are regenerated. Investors are increasingly interested in achieving social value through improving the economic, social and environmental well-being of communities. Many owners and developers are leading the way by taking a community-first approach, ensuring that the social impact of … Read more