This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on planning. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

05.02.2015Shale gas and fracking
The regulatory regime for fracking in the UK is covered in this note along with comment on environmental concerns. It also covers the new access provisions and debate on fracking in during the Infrastructure Bill's passage through Parliament.
04.02.2015Planning Reform Proposals
Planning reform proposals to change planning law and policy have been set out by Government in a technical consultation on planning, the National Infrastructure Plan and Autumn Statement. These include changes to permitted development rights, proposals to get more brownfield land back into use and reform of the compulsory purchase regime, among others.
28.01.2015Planning: change of use system
The planning use class system allows change of use of buildings without the need for planning permission. The Government has a range of proposals to further decrease the need for planning permission - particularly in respect of residential homes.
20.01.2015Infrastructure Bill: Planning Provisions
The Infrastructure Bill 2014-15 would make changes to the planning system: to change the process of development consent for nationally significant infrastructure projects, and to allow certain types of planning conditions to be regarded as discharged if a local planning authority took too long to determine an official application to discharge them. This note sets out these provisions and comment on them in more detail.
05.01.2015Planning for onshore wind farms
In England the planning process for onshore wind developments varies according to size. This note sets out planning policy for onshore wind development, controls in place, rules on separation distances and possible community benefits.

Research Papers

04.12.2014Infrastructure Bill [HL]
This is a 'portmanteau' bill, covering a number of separate but related areas.
22.04.2014High Speed Rail (London-West Midlands) Bill 2013-14
This paper has been prepared for the House of Commons Second Reading stage of the High Speed Rail (London-West Midlands) Bill, scheduled for 28 April.
19.06.2013Comparison of the planning systems in the four UK countries
This paper has been prepared as an initiative of the Inter-Parliamentary Research and Information Network (IPRIN) with contributions from research staff working for each of the four UK legislatures.
13.12.2012Growth and Infrastructure Bill: Committee Stage Report
This is a report on the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill. It complements Research Paper 12/61 prepared for Commons Second Reading
01.11.2012Growth and Infrastructure Bill
The Growth and Infrastructure Bill seeks to reduce delays in the planning system and to facilitate new development, through various means. It would allow planning obligations (section 106 agreements) relating to affordable housing to be renegotiated. To promote economic growth, it makes provision for a planned revaluation of business rates in England to be postponed and to create a new employment status of employee owner. Its second reading date has been moved from 30 October to 5 November 2012.

Select Committee Reports

23.06.2011The abolition of regional spatial strategies: a planning vacuum.
Government response. Communities and Local Government report [Commons]
28.02.2011The abolition of regional spatial strategies.
Communities and Local Government Select Committee report [Commons]
02.11.2009Need and impact: planning for town centres.
Government response. Communities and Local Government; Communities and Local Government Select Committee report [Commons]
13.07.2009Need and impact: planning for town centres.
Communities and Local Government Select Committee report [Commons]
17.06.2009Planning for homes: speeding up planning applications for major housing developments in England.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House expresses its disgust with Mr R. Street of Woodhouses, Manchester, landowner and Associated British Foods PLC, head lessee, whose avarice and lack of concern mean that ...
That this House notes that Lancaster City Council has granted planning permission for 77 new homes on a greenfield site in Bolton-le-Sands; further notes that the only reason the Council ...
19.01.2011CARTER RUCK
That this House notes with concern the report in The Guardian of 19 January 2011 that the solicitors Carter Ruck threatened the Soil Association with libel proceedings in order to bully ...
That this House notes with concern that, four years after the GE Lighting factory on Melton Road in Leicester closed, the problem of contaminated land has not been resolved; further ...
That this House recognises the work carried out by the North West Planning Aid (NWPA) service, that for over 30 years has provided invaluable help to local individual and groups and ...

Lords Library Notes

13.06.2014Infrastructure Bill [HL] (HL Bill 2 of 2014-15)
The Infrastructure Bill makes provision for the Government's proposals to fund, plan, manage and maintain the UK's national infrastructure.
24.12.2012Growth and Infrastructure Bill (HL Bill 72 of 2012-13)
The purpose of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill is to promote investment in infrastructure projects, reduce delays in the planning system and introduce a new employment status of employee shareholder. This Library Note provides background information for the second reading of the Bill in the House of Lords on 8 January 2013.
09.11.2012Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill (HL Bill 45 of 2012-13)
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill includes measures for changes to competition policy, to employment law, and for reducing regulation, as well as provisions on the Green Investment Bank, directors' remuneration, copyright and planning. This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords.
27.05.2011Localism Bill (HL Bill 71 of 2010-12)
This Library Note summarises proceedings at the Localism Bill's final stages in the House of Commons and provides background information for the Bill's second reading debate in the House of Lords.
08.01.2010Debate on 14th January: The Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change. LLN 2010/001
Debate on 14th January: The Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change. This Library Note aims to provide background reading for the debate to be held on Thursday 14th January: 'To call attention to the outcome of the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change' The UN Conference on Climate Change took place in Copenhagen from 7th-19th December 2009. This Note explains the significance of the Conference in the context of previous international agreements on climate change, sets out the major disagreements that marred the negotiating process in Copenhagen and summarises the key elements contained in the final Copenhagen Accord. It considers analysis of the Accord's achievements and shortcomings, and summarises the reactions of key nations and interest groups.

POST Papers

08.08.2014Big and Open Data in Transport
This POSTnote examines key factors affecting the growth of big data in transport and current and future applications, focusing on road and public transport. It also explores challenges to opening up, collecting, disseminating and using big data, and to sharing data whilst protecting users' privacy.
18.06.2014Ancient Woodland
Ancient woodlands are irreplaceable features of our landscapes that can be high in biodiversity or cultural value. This POSTnote summarises the challenges of conserving the biodiversity and cultural heritage of these sites to provide social and economic benefits, while still meeting the development needs of society.
15.11.2013Urban Green Infrastructure
Urban green infrastructure is a network of green spaces, water and other natural features within urban areas. A green infrastructure approach uses natural processes to deliver multiple functions, such as reducing the risk of flooding and cooling high urban temperatures. This POSTnote summarises research evidence of the effectiveness of green infrastructure, and challenges to its implementation.
05.02.2013Biodiversity & Planning Decisions
Built developments and mineral extraction can bring social benefits. However, if developments decrease biodiversity there could be a net loss of human well-being. Planning policy is devolved and this POSTnote sets out how the information on impacts of proposed developments on biodiversity is given to planners in England. It also summarises approaches to enhance biodiversity and avoid, mitigate and compensate for negative impacts.
15.03.2012Livestock Super Farms
This POSTnote examines the current issues surrounding intensification of livestock production in the UK.
15.09.2011Marine planning
This POSTnote describes the marine planning process and considers the challenges it will face.


  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses