Simon Clarke must urgently press ahead with planning reform

paul smith crop

The high turnover of housing secretaries is leading to planning reform hiatus, so the new holder of the post must clarify his plans early, writes Paul Smith

Almost unbelievably, Simon Clarke is the fourth housing secretary since “Planning for the Future,” the planning reform white paper, was published barely two years ago.

 There is food in my fridge that has hung around longer than the typical secretary of state.

That high turnover rate is becoming a big problem; reform of the planning system is essential. Look at the shortages of distribution space, labs, renewable energy capacity, reservoirs and - of course - homes and it is difficult to reach any other conclusion. The planning system is the gatekeeper for new development, and its failure to deliver hamstrings economic growth.

We can’t just hope that critical new development will be delivered, we have to plan to deliver it.

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