The Planning Minister doesn’t Get what the Planning System is For

I was going to write a post on the lack of a purpose for the planning system in the planning White Paper not knowing that Steve Quartermain had made exactly the point at his last ever appearence at the MCHLG Select.

The minister : Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP had thought about an answer. Not very much.

There are several possible dimensions to an answer

  • More efficient process
  • Better design
  • Higher land use outputs
  • The best land use in the right location

The answer he gave omitted any spatial component, taking only about efficient processing of housing, with design thrown it. It wasn’t anything to do with planning it was a description of an efficient widget factory. Not even any mention of infrastructure.

It is the unique dimension of planning that it deals wth spatial decisions. The chair Clive Betts shot back ‘its not just aboout housing is it?’

With such a basic and total misunderstanding of what planning is for what hope is there. Without a spatial component how can you deal with sustainability.

I also note the chief planning adviser wasn’t there. Perhaps she is being kept in a locked box. Stephen Gallagher appeared – Head of Planning not a planner.

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