Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Inside Out - Stand up to planning bullies

  • 1 Comment

My planners are upset. They think they’ve done a good job over the years yet now they are being blamed for holding back economic recovery.

I held an ‘all planners’ staff meeting last week. I thought I would hear the usual Pickles/changing light bulbs jokes, but all I got was concern about the National Planning Policy Framework.

I’ve accused planners of many things, but never wrecking the global economy

The nice Greg Clark is leading this with heavy artillery support from ex-nimbys Eric Pickles and George Osborne. They argue that deregulation of the planning process will release economic development and house building and save the country £3bn a year.

I’ve accused planners of many things, but never wrecking the global economy.

My planners spelled out why deregulation is mistaken. First, most planning applications get through. Second, their performance in processing applications has improved. We measure them all the time and they’ve speeded up and improved the quality of decision making year on year.

Most importantly they pointed out that planning policy reflects how we want our neighbourhoods to look. It improves the environment and infrastructure by influencing investment and development. The policy and the planning committee are there to ensure public good comes from private investment and profit. Deregulation of planning will hamper this.

Big planning applications about major schemes take time and cost developers money. Why shouldn’t they? Most developers I deal with don’t mind the cost as it’s small compared with the size of developments. They have pride in their schemes and want to get them right; they value the certainty good planning policy brings.

Developers already have ‘land banks’ of sites with planning permission for homes and commercial premises. They’ll put spades into the ground when they’re confident people will buy what they build.

My planners are clear. This is a policy of prejudice against local government yet again. Greg, stand up to the bullies or you will repent at leisure.

Find out more LGCplus.com/5022821.article or email LGCinsider@gmail.com.

The one thing he won’t comment on is his identity…

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Roger

    Agree with everything your planners are telling you, but don't really understand your closing comment re Greg Clark - he is one of the bullies and local government, along with the NT, CPRE and EH, is one of his victims!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.