At the 2018 Party Conference in Liverpool, Labour has launched its new Planning Commission
The Planning Commission, comprised of planning experts, councillors, and representatives from industry, has been set up as part of Labour’s agenda to re-engage with communities across the country that have been increasingly marginalised by the current planning system.
At present, planning is not reflecting the needs of communities across the UK, with Government deregulation meaning residents have less say in the type of development they see, and much new development is not underpinned by the necessary infrastructure. Also, there is a housing crisis in the UK because not enough homes are being built, including genuinely affordable housing for social rent. Labour believes that it is time for a root and branch review of the planning system, and the Commission will examine how to put local people back at the centre of planning.
To ensure that Labour can deliver a planning system that works for everyone, the Planning Commission will be meeting in different regions of the UK over the coming year, and will seek the views of planning leads, developers, councillors and residents from across the country.
The planning system needs to rediscover its vision, and once again reflect the needs of communities, help revive neighbourhoods and town centres in decline and address the urgent need for better infrastructure and more housing. The Commission will help form the basis of a series of planning policies based on tackling inequality and promoting social justice, providing a high-quality built and natural environment for everyone, and that are able to encourage renewable energy and tackle climate change. Labour also seeks to explore how modern methods of construction can be used that are better for the environment and more energy efficient.
Roberta Blackman-Woods, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Planning and Local Government said:
“Our Planning System has seen a number of changes in recent years, but these all add up to more deregulation, and a system that is no longer working for our communities. Despite warm words from the Government about planning, communities are increasing side-lined in the decision making process, and feel they have no say in the type of development they get.
The Commission will help Labour design a planning system fit for not only the 21st century but the 22nd century, and will examine the role local people have in shaping the future of their area and planning in advance for new infrastructure; for jobs; for access to schools; new transport; greater access to green spaces, and the need to enhance the built and natural environment.
My thanks go to everyone who has agreed to take part in the commission, and I look forward to meeting with representatives from regions across the UK, and listening to the issues that different communities are facing.
Andrew Gwynne, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government said:
“I am delighted to be launching the Planning Commission at Party Conference, and I thank all those who are taking part in this essential review of the planning system.
Local Government Planning Departments are increasingly stretched, dealing will more applications, and struggling with a deregulated, poorly functioning planning system. This Commission will help Labour design a planning system that works for communities, and helps deliver the kind of development that communities want and need for the future.”