Raynsford Review update: Nine new planning recommendations

By Vivienne Shirley, Senior Consultant

A new interim report commissioned by the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) has concluded that Britain’s current planning system is ‘not fit for purpose’ and should be overhauled.

The review by Nick Raynsford, president of the TCPA and housing minister from 1997 to 2001, said the current system “is riddled with more complexities and contradictions than at any time in the past three-quarters of a century.”

He also said that frequent tinkering meant the planning system was less effective and was “powerless to defend the public interest.”

The TCPA launched the review last year and more than 1,000 people fed into the consultation process.

It has put forward a number of key recommendations including simplifying planning so that regional and local strategies reflect the nation’s development priorities, and also reforming Section 106 and the Community Infrastructure Levy.

It also added there should be rights to basic outcomes which reflect the minimum standards that people can expect from planning, such as a right to a home and a right to basic living conditions, to support people’s health and wellbeing.

While the report has been broadly welcomed, critics said it was ripe on rhetoric and ideology but failed to tackle the politics of planning or the day-to-day practicalities, such as lack of resources and poor administration of applications and appeals.

You can read the full interim report here. A final report is expected to be released later in the year.