A leading campaigning group has today warned that consistent deregulation and demoralisation of the planning system is putting the very fabric of our towns, cites and the countryside at risk.
In a pre-election manifesto ‘Building the Future’ the Town & Country Planning Association (TCPA) argues that there is a real danger that the planning system, a vital national asset, essential to the maintenance and well-being of the country, will soon be lost.
Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the TCPA said:
“At its best, planning has proved to be a powerful tool to bring forward sustainable growth, and to deliver multiple benefits to our society including certainty and confidence for businesses, democratic rights for communities and protection for our environment, heritage and biodiversity.
“As we continue to battle with the nation’s housing crisis, good planning is needed as never before to plan for and create the homes and communities we desperately need. However the planning system as we knew it is being continually undermined and devalued though significant reforms and deregulation. Planning has lost all sense of the progressive social values that once lay at its core, and unless we are careful, is at risk of being destroyed altogether.”
The TCPA’s position is simple: good planning makes better places. The manifesto calls for action in the first 100 days of a new Government to restore the importance of planning as a key tool in delivering much needed new homes and communities. This includes taking steps such as creating a new legally defined purpose for planning based on sustainable development, the updating and effective deployment of New Towns legislation, and changing the National Planning Policy Framework to place social justice, equality and climate change at the heart of planning decisions. The manifesto additionally calls for better planning for cities, and stronger measures to ensure that councils work together to meet housing need.
Kate Henderson added:
“A new Government must act to restore the prominence of planning as an essential element to create the new homes, communities and infrastructure that the nation so desperately needs. For the sake of our children and grandchildren, planning must be seen as a positive proactive force for good and must be placed at the centre of political debate.”