The English planning system is currently showing signs of substantial strain. By most measures, performance is decreasing, and stakeholders are reporting significant dissatisfaction.

Waiting times for decisions are increasing, even while the numbers of positive approvals and total decisions made are falling. The proportion of local authorities with up-to-date plans is decreasing too, with the rate of approval of plans in the system running near record lows.

The system, run by cash-strapped local authorities, is being asked to function on less than half of the public funding it received a decade ago, despite application numbers, until very recently, having risen.

Consequently, the Building the Future Commission decided to undertake a review of the English planning system with the aim of forming recommendations to make it fit for purpose to deliver the homes the country needs.

Download the full report below.


Planning system cover