A Permanently Smaller State Means Permanently Less Planning

In David Cameron’s Lord Mayors Speech he talked of

‘building a leaner, more efficient state. We need to do more with less. Not just now, but permanently.’

For some this appeared a shock as if austerity was just temporary for hard times.  But liberals such as Osborne have been talking about this for years. Indeed logically if you want to extent austerity to run a government surplus over another 10 years then you have to see a small state as an intrinsically good thing.  This is the neoliberal project, not wasting a crisis by using austerity to create a smaller state.

So expect another 10 years with fewer planner.  Expect permanent planning reform with more and more permitted development and fewer and fewer restrictions on the presumption in favour of development, less and less resources on local plans, and more and more favours to development when plans inevitably become out of date.

Indeed Boles as a died in the wool neoliberal says very little in terms of complaints of plans being late.  He believes that development even without plans is a good thing.  So plans simply get in the way.  If plans get bogged down then the system of local planning becomes discredited.  This is part of the project easing the way for future reforms to either reduce the power of plans, abolish them or hand them over to privatised interests.