This week, I gave a “Planning 101” session for the team at FutureGov, explaining how the planning system works. That was poor timing, just as the world changed….
The planning white paper released yesterday is most certainly radical, but perhaps not in the ways many expected. Some things remain the same; a plan-led system created by local authorities which guide development in accordance with the national planning policy framework. Developers will still have to submit a planning application, but now, show how their development complies with national development management policies, local zoning definitions and national and/or local design guides and codes.
Should most of the white paper’s reforms make it to the statute book, then local public institutions will need a very different set of capabilities, systems and services to make the most of the opportunities, and mitigate the challenges, of the reformed system.
The white paper identifies many of the challenges that today’s planning system creates for communities and property developers, but also planners themselves. The system is too complex, takes too long to create a local plan, is challenging for small developers to navigate and: