Planning Practice Guidance published online
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has launched the final ‘alpha’ version of the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) online. This is accompanied by a list of previous planning practice guidance documents that are superseded by the guidance.
Loss of local authority conservation staffing
A new report by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC), supported by English Heritage, shows a continued decline in local authority conservation staffing with a reduction in 4% in 2012, part of a ‘devastating 33% cut since 2006’.
IHBC Research Note - VAT and Heritage
The Institute of Historic Building Conservation has issued a research note on ‘Policy regarding VAT and historic buildings’. The document can be downloaded from the IHBC web site.
Environmental Audit Committee report on HS2
The Government’s Environmental Audit Committee has issued its report on HS2 and the Environment. The report recommends that the Government should aim higher than its objective of no net biodiversity loss and says that it has significant work to do to demonstrate that it has put the “mitigation hierarchy” at the heart of its approach. The report includes a comprehensive set of recommendations.
GB Tourism Survey 2014
The tourism survey figures for March 2014 have been published by Visit England. The number of trips, nights away and spend were all lower than in March 2013. However, the Easter holiday was later this year and the weather for the early months of the year was exceptionally wet and unsettled. Full details of the survey are on the Visit England web site.
Visit Britain has also published a report giving details of the effect on tourism of factors including the UK and international economy, weather and exchange rates
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Study of High Street performance
The University of Southampton has published a report on recent trends in high street performance. It shows that there has been a modest revival in some high street activity, especially for specialist retailers such as artisan bakers, butchers and tea and coffee merchants.