Planning system not fit for purpose, says former Housing Minister

Planning system not fit for purpose, says former Housing Minister

A new review of the planning system by former Housing Minister Nick Raynsford calls on the government to scrap existing planning legislation, saying that it has been ‘built on the back of assertion rather than evidence’ and is leading to very poor outcomes for people.

The Raynsford Review of Planning, which presented its interim findings at the House of Lords on Tuesday, makes nine provisional recommendations for reforms to the planning system including giving the public a greater voice the planning process.

The report claims that persistent changes to planning legislation have left the system powerless to defend the public interest, saying that it is now less effective than at any other time in the last three-quarters of a century. Other recommendations include establishing a statutory definition of planning which would regulate development based on its potential for achieving ‘social, economic and cultural wellbeing’ and setting a legal obligation for the government to plan for the needs of future generations.

The review, launched in partnership with the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), is being led by a cross-section of built environment professionals and has engaged with over 1,000 people over the past 12 months, including many members of the public.

Rt Hon Nick Raysnford said: ‘The planning system is no longer capable of shaping the places we need to secure people’s long-term health and wellbeing. We need a new approach with people at the heart of decisions and system which meet the growing challenges of housing affordability climate change and economic transformation.’

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