Commentary on Planning Reform Proposals

Jones, Peter ORCID: 0000-0002-9566-9393, Comfort, Daphne and Hillier, David (2016) Commentary on Planning Reform Proposals. Town and Country Planning, 85 (5). pp. 200-204.

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In the ministerial forward to the ‘National Planning Policy Framework’ (Department for Communities and Local Government 2012) The Rt. Hon. Greg Clark, Minister for Planning in the Coalition Government focused on two themes namely sustainable development and allowing people and communities back into the planning process. He claimed that ‘the purpose of planning is to help achieve sustainable development’ and in looking to offer a definition of sustainable development he suggested that ‘sustainable means ensuring that better lives for ourselves don’t mean worse lives for future generations’ while development means growth’ (Department for Communities and Local Government 2012). The Minister also claimed that ‘in recent years planning has tended to exclude, rather than to include people and communities’, that ‘in part this has been largely a result of targets being imposed and decisions taken by bodies remote from them’ and ‘in part people have been put off from getting involved because planning policy itself has become ……. the preserve of specialists rather than people in communities.’ More positively the Minister argued that the new planning policy framework would change that by ‘allowing people and communities back into planning’ (Department for Communities and Local Government 2012). Less than four years later a House of Commons ‘Briefing Paper’, entitled ‘Planning Reform Proposals’ (Smith 2016) clearly sets out the current Conservative Government’s proposed approach to the planning system. One of the proposals outlined in the briefing, namely the Housing and Planning Bill 2015-2016 has received critical comment within the planning profession (Town and Country Planning Association 2016). This bill has been described, for example, as ‘possibly the most radical and wide ranging piece of planning legislation for a generation’ (Dewar 2015). However the briefing paper covers a wider range of other forthcoming planning reform s and changes, which will mainly apply to England, and which collectively may have a major impact on many communities and environments. This article provides a short outline of some of these other changes and offers some reflections on the Government’s planning reform proposals specifically with an eye to allowing people and communities back into planning and to sustainable development.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Applied Business & Technology
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2016 13:33
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2023 11:31

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