Planning & Coronavirus artwork
50 Shades of Planning

Planning & Coronavirus

  • E15
  • 1:16:28
  • March 28th 2020

Robert Jenrick set out on 12 March 2020 proposals “to bring Britain’s planning system into the 21st century as part of plans to get the country building”. Within a week it was announced that schools were closing and local authority staff, including planning officers, have been dealing with a public health emergency.

Sam Stafford is joined in this episode by Jonathan Easton, Barrister at Kings Chambers; Anna Rose, Head of the Planning Advisory Service at the Local Government Association; and Stefan Webb, Place Director at FutureGov to discuss the impact of Coronavirus on the planning system.

Twitter handles: @samuel_stafford, @jonnye47, @EPlanna and @Stef_W.

Some links:

Planning Inspectorate Guidance:

ADSO and LLG letter to MHCLG on decision-making and democracy:

Greater Flexibility For Planning Permissions:

The Landmark Chambers paper:

Simon Ricketts’ Blog:

The Planning Advisory Service’s resource:

The RTPI survey to inform discussions with Governments across the UK and Ireland:

50 Shades of Planning

Sam Stafford started writing the 50 Shades of Planning blog in 2012 and in 2019 turned it into a podcast. 50 Shades of Planning is about the foibles of the English planning system and it's aim is to cover the breadth of the sector both in terms of topics of conversation and in terms of guests with different experiences and perspectives.

50 Shades episodes include 'Hitting The High Notes', which is a series of conversations with leading planning and property figures. The conversations take in the six milestone planning permissions or projects within a contributor’s career and for every project guests are invited to choose a piece of music that they were listening to at that time. Think Desert Island Discs, but for planners! If you would like to feature on 'Hitting The High Notes', or know somebody that would make a great guest, please email [email protected].

If you have listened to Episode 45 of the 50 Shades of Planning Podcast you will have heard Clive Betts say that...

'In the Netherlands planning is seen as part of the solution. In the UK, too often, planning is seen as part of the problem'.

Sam said in reply that that would look good on a t-shirt and it does. Further details can be found here:

Sam is on Twitter (@samuel_stafford) and his blogs can be found here:

As with the 50 Shades Blog, the 50 Shades Podcast is a platform for Sam's personal opinions, which may or may represent the opinions of his past, present or future employers.

50 Shades of Planning is produced in association with Cavendish, who are on Twitter at @CavConsult and online at

The image of the Piece Hall is used with the kind permission Ellis Robinson (I: @ellisjrobinson) and has been turned into the 50 Shades logo by Vicky Payne (I: @_.vicky_payne._).

Why Fifty Shades? Well, planning is not a black and white endeavour. There are at least fifty shades in between...

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