Our Towns, Our Cities: The Next Steps for Planning Reform

Economic
Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Today we are publishing a paper by Nick Cuff and William Smith on planning and urban design. The paper argues that house building is being plagued by a system of box ticking, gold plating and target setting at a time when the recession is cutting new builds by half.The research, which included over 50 freedom of information requests and interviews with a panel of developers, public and private planners, also found that the UK planning system is suffering from a democratic deficit and, with a glut of 1 bed flats, is not delivering appropriate development for local neighbourhoods. The Paper calls for a lighter, more flexible, neighbourhood focused system. Key recommendations include scrapping regional plans, reducing the amount of planning policy, the reintroduction of Enterprise Zones and an end to blanket high density buildings. It also calls for an adoption of 'the Poundbury Model' of development for all major planning applications. The paper argues a greater use of design codes agreed between local authorities, communities and developers before a planning application is proposed, reduces conflict and improves the quality of architecture and the built environment. If you wish to comment or ask any questions concerning this report, Nick Cuff is more than happy to respond.