Changes to the Current Planning System

1st October 2020

While I have long argued that our planning system is broken (and am therefore very pleased indeed to see the Government’s recognition that it needs significant reform), I am concerned with the reforms proposed in the Government’s ‘Changes to the Current Planning System’.

The public rightly expect planning to be just that: the co-ordination of the location, layout, design, mix – and associated physical and public service infrastructure – of housing and commercial development.  

There is widespread public anger about the lack of real local planning in recent years and the move to a system in which local council control and discretion is reduced, infrastructure funding is cut, and large scale out-of-town volume housebuilders are able to make billions from lazily dumping large scale commuter housing on the outskirts of villages and towns with wholly insufficient infrastructure. 

Whilst the proposed reforms contain *some* good measures – especially on design codes and trees – the disproportionate concentration of massive numbers of houses in rural areas, on greenfield farmland, AND the removal of the local infrastructure levy, is a recipe for infrastructure chaos.  

These reforms, I believe, serve to strengthen the hand of those aggressive development companies and fail to address the fundamental issues that the current planning system perpetuates, and which have been/continue to be the basis on which I, and so many others, have called for proper reform.

That’s why I have taken the time to submit my views to the consultation – and why I continue to lobby Government hard on this issue.

To read my full submission to the consultation, please do click here.

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