Submission makes the case for giving the current system a chance to work after failed attempts at radical reform

Building took its report into the English planning system to the heart of government this week with a submission to Michael Gove, the secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities. The report was also sent to the other two main political parties in England ahead of next year’s general election, with the aim of informing the debate as party manifestos are developed.

Chloe with planning report1

Building’s editor Chloe McCulloch outside the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities on the day the Building the Future Commission submitted its report into the English planning system

The report, which was published last week by the Building the Future Commission and forms part of its recommendations for the built environment, looks at how the existing planning system can be improved to address the housing crisis.

Building’s housing editor Joey Gardiner, the report’s author, consulted widely with developers, local authorities, consultants, the legal profession and environmental groups.

>> Also read: The Building the Future Commission: the interim findings revealed

The report does not recommend root-and-branch reform of the planning system. It argues that the 2020 promise under Boris Johnson’s administration to “build from the ground up a whole new planning system” generated a coalition of opposition to reform, which resulted in a prolonged policy uncertainty.

Instead the report proposes discrete changes to improve the existing system in four areas: resourcing; strategic planning and housing numbers; local plans; and developer contributions.

Building sent the full report to all three parties asking them to consider taking its recommendations forward and we will continue to make the case for giving the current system a chance to work.

Letter to Michael Gove