'Planning no longer deals with issues people care about'
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Development, Local Government
Planning permissionImage: Planning via Shutterstock
Planning has become increasingly disconnected from peoples’ lives because it no longer deals with issues that they care about, the Town and Country Planning Association has claimed.
In a report launched in parliament today, the housing and planning charity focuses on how it believes planning can better secure greater social equity.
Kate Henderson, co-author of 'Planning out Poverty' and TCPA chief executive, said: “We need a profound reconsideration of the social purpose of planning. This reconsideration must be framed by the undoubted capacity of planning decisions to impact on social exclusion, for better or worse – for example by creating easy access to work and recreation opportunities.”
The TCPA says its year-long research shows strong evidence that planning could play a much more positive role by fully integrating with sectors such as regeneration and health and by reconnecting with issues that matter to local people.
Kate Henderson continued: “The reinvention of ‘social town planning’, which has been effectively residualised for 30 years, requires a re-visioning of planning within wider social policy, rather than being left within a legislative cul de sac. At the same time, this requires planners to be much more concerned with professional values and ethics.”
‘Planning out Poverty’ makes 12 recommendations across central and local government as well as the private sector and the planning community:
Recommendations for national government
• Make changes to the National Planning Policy Framework to prioritise poverty reduction.
• Introduce new legal duties on poverty reduction.
• Change the National Planning Practice Guidance to include guidance on poverty reduction and the promotion of social justice.
• Enhance planning powers for local communities.
• Target neighbourhood planning support in areas of social exclusion.
• Review the impact of welfare, housing and planning reform on poverty reduction.
• Introduce a new form of placed-based area planning.
Recommendations for local government
• Integrate planning with local placed-based service delivery, including through ‘single integrated departments’.
• Share and promote local government led best practice.
Recommendations for the private sector
• Encourage greater corporate social responsibility.
Recommendations for the planning community
• Develop a ‘new vision’ for the planning profession.
• Enhance skills and education.
Dr Hugh Ellis, co-author of the report and TCPA chief planner, said: “The debate about the future of planning has become a largely sterile discussion of the merits of continued deregulation. No attention is being paid to the positive potential of spatial planning to provide solutions to many aspects of our most difficult public policy problems.”
“Good planning can offer greater opportunities for excluded communities, both at a national level, in shaping investment patterns, and at a local level, by getting the right outcomes from planning decisions.”