Just over 12 hours ago, @RobertJenrick published ‘Planning for the Future’, a white paper that seeks to rip up planning 'red tape' by taking control away from local people. Shall we take a look at how it's going down? 👇

(SPOILER ALERT: not very well...) https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/planning-for-the-future
Let’s start with expert planners shall we? Here’s the Town and Country Planning Association @theTCPA: “This kind of disruptive reform doesn’t suit anybody, neither landowners nor developers." Hmmm, go on... https://twitter.com/theTCPA/status/1291024002593554432?s=20
. @theTCPA Head of Policy added: “They’re turning the system on its head at a time when it’s working very well for the volume house builders … there are about a million unbuilt permissions.” https://twitter.com/theTCPA/status/1291024002593554432?s=20
“It’s about local democracy. When local people are walking down the street and come across a new development they didn’t know about, the answer will now be: ‘You should have been involved in the consultation eight years ago when the code was agreed.’” https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/aug/05/englands-planning-reforms-will-create-generation-of-slums
.@TheTPCP “It’s diluting the democratic process. At the moment, people get two chances to be involved: once when the plan is made, and once when a planning application is submitted. Now they’ll only have a chance when the code is being prepared.” https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/home/home/zonal-planning-is-undemocratic-planning-67403
OK so the PLANNERS are NOT on board with @RobertJenrick's approach to, er, PLANNING.

Fine, but how about the architects…? They’ll support the proposals, because the government says it will mean ‘beautiful homes’, right…? 🤔
Ah… The Royal Institute of British Architects @RIBA has described the proposals as “shameful” and said they would do “almost nothing to guarantee the delivery of affordable, well-designed and sustainable homes”...

The @RIBA president Alan Jones @AlanJonesFRIBA added: “Paired with the extension of permitted development rights last week, there’s every chance they could also lead to the development of the next generation of slum housing.” https://twitter.com/AlanJonesFRIBA/status/1290962352205180931?s=20
What about housing charities? If the changes would increase housing they’ll be supporting it right? Er… wrong.

@Shelter says that social housing “could face extinction” if the requirement for developers to build their fair share was removed. https://twitter.com/Shelter/status/1291132134116163585?s=20
. @Shelter Chief @pollyn1 said: “Section 106 agreements between developers and councils are tragically one of the only ways we get social homes built these days, due to a lack of direct government investment, so, it makes no sense to remove this route.” https://twitter.com/pollyn1/status/1291149600762613762?s=20
Wildlife charities?

@WildlifeTrusts “New government planning changes will create a bleak, fragmented landscape in which nature will continue to decline.” https://twitter.com/WildlifeTrusts/status/1291308344976834560?s=20
“We live in one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world ... Protecting isolated fragments of land is not enough to help wildlife recover nor will it put nature into people’s lives…"

OK, so we'll put them in the against column.

Even the mild-mannered minitrowel-wielding archaeologists are worried about these ‘oversimplified’ plans, which offer ‘little hint that precautionary archaeological investigation has been considered’: https://twitter.com/InstituteArch/status/1291314609568219142?s=20
Still, given that @RobertJenrick says this is a ‘once in a generation’ change, I’m sure he’ll have worked hard to build political consensus and devise a system that offers widespread political support across the divide. Let’s see, shall we…
Not a good start…

Total opposition from @UKLabour - Shadow Planning Minister @MikeAmesburyMP said:

“This is a Developer’s Charter that will see communities side-lined in decisions and denied vital funding for building schools, clinics and community infrastructure."
Labour’s @MikeAmesburyMP continued: “These proposals will only serve to blight communities with a new wave of slum housing – the Government’s own independent report even warned of the poor quality of housing built outside the planning system.” https://labour.org.uk/press/developers-charter-will-see-communities-side-lined-mike-amesbury/
How about the Lib Dems? Well it looks like @LibDemPress are taking a well-earned holiday as they haven’t commented yet, but the @libdemslocal have firmly come off the fence for this one:

And the lone @TheGreenParty MP @CarolineLucas has slammed the plans too: https://twitter.com/CarolineLucas/status/1291267254198427648?s=20
Last, not certainly not least, how have councils, who have managed local communities involvement in planning since 1947, reacted?

Let’s just say… not well... 😥👇
Cross-party @LGAComms: “Any loss of local control over developments would be a concern. It would deprive communities of the ability to define the area they live in and know best and risk giving developers the freedom to ride roughshod over local areas.” https://twitter.com/LGAcomms/status/1291124635174612993?s=20
“Nine in 10 applications are approved by councils with more than a million homes given planning permission over the last decade yet to be built. The system needs to ensure planning permissions are built.” https://local.gov.uk/lga-responds-government-planning-future-proposal
“It is vital that these are delivered through a locally-led planning system with public participation at its heart which gives communities the power to ensure developments are of a high standard, built in the right places, and include affordable homes.” https://www.local.gov.uk/keep-planning-local
So to sum up… just 12 hours after 'Planning for the future' is published, and there is already opposition from:

- Planners
- Architects
- Housing campaigners
- Environmentalists
- Wildlife charities
- Councils
- Politicians of all parties

You can follow @LGA_Labour.
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