Sorry but Arups the ‘Value of Planning in Wales’ Report is Economic Nonsense

The Value of Planning in Wales

Bu Arup and JLL

The development of the toolkit, included the collection of data which enabled the estimate of the value of planning in 2016/17 as £2.35 billion

Is this a measure of welfare benefits or pigovian benefits to GDP – as for example measures of natural capital?

It includes some very off line items – such as planning fees.  So if planning fees double so do the benefits?  This is a good example of the application of the broken windows fallacy, it is a pure transfer payment.

It includes the value of planning obligations etc. but this again is a transfer payment in sectoral balance terms not an additional to GDP.  If the CBR of the investment paid for by planning was greater than 1.0 this could be added but this isn’t even estimated.

Similarly it includes an estimate of ‘land value uplift’ – but this is simply a measure of rent which is an extraction from profits and wages.  if restricted too much so rents are too high then welfare is reduced.

Taking land values, fees and transfer payments off the value is 3 million pounds, far less than the cost of the service, yet the real major benefits, savings in travel time, from hoomelessness, pollution etc and harm to natural cpaital are not even measured, no attempt either is made to model a ‘policy off scenario’.

Back to the drawing board.