Carrie Simmons and the Turn towards ‘Liberal’ ‘Green’ Planning Reform

It is not a trivial thought to think of what impact the rise of Carrie Simmons and the fall of Dominic Cummins would have on the future of the Planning White Paper. After all Simmons was a SPAD to Javid as Housing and Planning minister between 2016 and 2018 and Cummins was influential in the Zeitgeist like tone of the white paper – especially the ‘rip in up and start again’ tone of the forward.

However certain key people stay in position. Number 10s Housing advisor, and planning advisor Jack Airey, and their chief economics advisor, Liam Booth Smith a housing specialist. However any new senior figure taking stock of the PR disaster that was the Planning White Paper will note experience has shown the worst people in the world at designing policy, especially over planning, are alumni of the infamous dumb tank the Policy Exchange. They have got everything wrong without fail for 10 years. If their is to be a genuine fresh start they all have to go.

And with possibly Javid coming in as chief of staff the momentum, if not direction, of planning reform stays in place, though with a more capable housing Secretary in place in the new year there will be a chance to state stock.

The thrust of reform will remain but likely with more of a Green Tinge and gradualist bent, Simmons is on the phone to MPs all the time and they will likely wail and moan about the impact of building more houses on the voting habits of their avocado continuants.

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