TCPA report on barriers to councils building housing, and impact of PD rights

August 1, 2019

A new report by the TCPA for the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) has been published.
This report considers the barriers to councils building more high-quality, affordable housing, making ten recommendations for government reform.

One of the key findings of the report is that half of councils in England think that permitted development could be a potential threat to people’s health and wellbeing, with the most vulnerable people in society being disproportionately more at risk.

Housing for a fairer society

The role of councils in ensuring stronger communities

Executive Summary

Local authorities have a vital role to play in providing the affordable homes the nation so desperately needs. This report illustrates both the continuing housing crisis and the positive role local councils can play in providing more homes. But it is also clear that dealing with housing need is much more than just a numbers game. It’s about the creation of communities which enhance the health and wellbeing of individuals and creating opportunities for fulfilling and productive lives. Government policy in England has made this vital objective much more difficult to achieve.

The question of how housing contributes to creating a fairer society and stronger communities involves elements of both procedural and substantive justice. The scope of this research report is on the latter. The report sets out 10 recommendations aimed at increasing the delivery and retention of high-quality genuinely affordable housing and ensuring the multiple wider benefits of affordable housing delivery and development processes are realised.

read more

Article 4 – removal of permitted development rights for COU to HMO

April 17, 2019

BCC Cabinet approved the proposal to extend the wards where Article 4’s, which removes the permitted development right to change a dwelling house to a small House in Multiple Occupation, are in operation.

Currently developers are required to obtain planning permission in Clifton West, Clifton East, Lawrence Hill, Ashley, Cabot, Cotham and Redland wards.

The cabinet has approved a proposal to extend this to the following wards:

Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston; Bedminster; Bishopston and Ashley Down; Brislington West; Easton; Eastville; Filwood; Frome Vale; Hillfields; Horfield; Knowle; Lockleaze; Southville; St George Central; St George West; Windmill Hill;

this will come into operation in April 2020. see cabinet information.

Bristol One City Plan January 2019

January 11, 2019

The Bristol One City Plan was launched today. It sets out “where we want Bristol to be by 2050, and how city partners will work together to create a fair, healthy and sustainable city.”

find the Bristol One City plan here

Tall buildings presentation from New London Architecture event

November 4, 2018

Tall buildings in London- how much is too many?

This event held in London addressed the subject relevant to Bristol’s current Urban Living Supplementary Planning Document and Local Plan review and the presentation by Nicholas Boys Smith from Create Streets is particularly interesting with regard to this.

Create Streets presentation here

Link to event page here


RIBA publishes ’10 characteristics of Places where people want to live’

November 2, 2018

The Royal Institute of British Architects has published a report in response to the Letwin Independent Review of Build Out rates. It addresses the finding that

“If either the major house builders themselves, or others, were to offer much more housing of varying types, designs and tenures on the large sites that matched appropriately the desires of communities, then the overall absorption rates could be substantially accelerated.”

Included in the report are a number of interesting statements including

• Consistent engagement with all relevant stakeholders from an early stage”


“The focus of the current planning system is skewed in favour of increasing housing numbers at the expense of good design and creating sustainable, liveable places. This has inevitably perpetuated an environment of resentment towards development among local residents. Communities feeling locked out of the decision-making process is symptomatic of the wider problem where development comes forward only in the context of numbers of homes supplied.”

read the full report here 

TCPA Planning for Affordable Housing report

November 1, 2018

The TCPA’s Planning for Affordable Housing report looks at the reasons why councils aren’t meeting demands for affordable housing in England.

read the report here 

Asbestos Awareness and Recycling

September 26, 2018

Many sites being cleared for development contain asbestos. The health issues caused by inhaling asbestos are set out on the Mesothelioma website. You might wish to raise this with the developer at the pre-application stage, if you are aware of it as a local issue,

Asbestos Awareness & Recycling

Letwin draft report on why House Building completion is not keeping up with permissions.

July 17, 2018

The terms of reference require the reviewer, by the time of the Budget in the Autumn, to “explain the significant gap between housing completions and the amount of land allocated or permissioned in areas of high housing demand, and make recommendations for closing it”.

The report for the government says the slow pace of housing construction is partly the fault of developers limiting the number of new homes to maximise profits. Greater variety could lead to homes being built faster as the potential market would increase.

See the full report here: Independent review of Build Out 

GDPR privacy policy

May 21, 2018

NPN privacy policy

What information do we hold on members?
Under the General Data Protection Regulations, organisations are required to clarify what information they hold on subscribers and set out how they use that information.

We hold members’ names, email addresses and the name of the NPN group members are part of, using MailChimp online service, which we use to send out enewsletters giving updates and meeting news.
See here MailChimp Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

The Network Administrators (Alison Bromilow and Andy King) are the only people who have access to the list.

When we are approached by developers at pre-application stage, we identify the relevant groups for the proposed development and put the developer in touch with the lead contacts of the groups, using the lead contact details supplied by each group for the NPN group list page on our website.

We do not share the data on this list with other organisations, including Bristol City Council; if they wish to publicise e.g. a consultation event through the NPN we circulate the information on their behalf. We do not forward other marketing material except for drawings and display material at pre-app stage for development schemes in your area.

We share the designated group contact email address with members of other NPN groups, where there is an opportunity for groups to work together on issues or particular developments.

Bristol Clean Air plan

April 20, 2018

From Bristol City Council webpage Air Pollution in Bristol

To protect people’s health, the European Union and the UK Government has set legal standards for a range of air pollutants.

The government has asked 27 cities, including Bristol, to take action on air pollution.

These cities have to investigate, report back on and put in place measures to reduce pollution in a short time. They need to take into account how much these measures would cost both the council and drivers who might be impacted.

The most effective way to do this is to charge the vehicles that cause most air pollution to enter the most polluted parts of the city.

The government has directed councils to:

  • look into all alternatives to charging people first
  • only resort to charging if nothing else would help the city stay within legal limits in the timescale they set

Bristol Clean Air Plan: Draft Strategic Outline Case

Bristol City Council Clean Air Plan: DRAFT Strategic Outline Case (pdf, 2.8MB) (opens new window)

DRAFT Strategic Outline Case Annex A (pdf, 83k) (opens new window)

DRAFT Strategic Outline Case Annex B (pdf, 68k) (opens new window)

DRAFT Strategic Outline Case Annex C – Timescales to Compliance (pdf, 1.3MB) (opens new window)

DRAFT Strategic Outline Case Annex D – Charging Assessment (pdf, 9.1MB) (opens new window)

DRAFT Strategic Outline Case Annex E – Logic Map (pdf, 374k) (opens new window)


We’re currently putting together the feasibility study.

The Strategic Outline Case will go to cabinet on 6 March 2018. (pdf, 374k) (opens new window)

We’ll be talking to the public and main associates over spring and summer 2018.

We’ll open formal consultations on the proposals in October 2018.

Read more details on air pollution in Bristol (pdf, 364k) (opens new window) .