The planning white paper has three big flaws


The reforms will stymie social housing delivery and local democracy without increasing the supply of new homes

The government’s proposed changes to the planning system are so wide-ranging and fundamental that it is impossible to cover every element and potential impact in just one article. I could for example discuss the implications for good quality design or the ability of local people to have their say at length.

Instead I want to focus in this article on three immediate problems with the white paper. First, my overwhelming concern is for the future of genuinely affordable rented housing and mixed communities. Second, whilst the planning system can undoubtedly be frustrating, it is not the prime barrier to housebuilding. And third, the principle of local democratic control and scrutiny on individual development schemes is vitally important. The government would be unwise to remove it.

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