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The wrong answers to the wrong questions: Countering the misconceptions driving the Government’s planning reform agenda


Inch, A (Ed).

(2020)

The wrong answers to the wrong questions: Countering the misconceptions driving the Government’s planning reform agenda.

Town and Country Planning Association: London, UK.


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Abstract

The UK government has announced “radical reforms” to the planning system in England which it frames as an outdated blockage to the development we need to “build back better” from the economic impacts of COVID-19.
As a group of planning academics and researchers, we are deeply concerned that this agenda has been driven by ideologically-motivated free-market think tanks and self-interested property lobbies rather than sound evidence.
The government claim their proposals will simultaneously streamline processes whilst driving up standards and ensuring people have a meaningful say over development. This report sets out why this is wrong, how many of their key claims fly in the face of that evidence and ignore significant tensions and trade-offs involved in the development of land. We show why the proposals are incoherent, will undermine democratic controls, reduce the quality of new development, and waste an important
opportunity to build safer, healthier, more equal, and more environmentally sustainable places.

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