Planning sector responds to Brexit vote

In the wake of the vote to leave the EU referendum, key members in the planning sector have discussed with Planning Resource how the vote may affect the industry.

Richard Carr's thoughts on government Brexit tactics

Planning implications as a result of Brexit

Property Developer Richard Carr believed voting to leave the EU would make the country richer in the long run and see many regulations which can hinder construction relaxed.


A number of regeneration projects across the UK have relied upon EU funding and those that are in the pipeline and under construction will have to be funded in same way.

Al Watson, head of planning & environment at Taylor Wessing said: “Certain government-policy backed projects such as a new runway in the South East, High Speed 2, Crossrail 2, or general policy announcements will now fall under the new Prime Minister’s scrutiny. A final decision on Gatwick or Heathrow? That will have to take place and with a Brexit result, the airports commission’s economic models will have to be re-run. What if the PM is Boris Johnson?”


One of the main changes as a result of leaving the EU to the planning sector will be that many regulations and treaty provisions no longer apply.

This could potentially help developers such as Richard Carr bring developments to fruition quicker and help the country’s undersupply of homes.

Martha Grejos, head of London planning and infrastructure at law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “It is possible that policies in different parts of the UK will diverge even further than they do currently because if any part of the UK wanted to make any legislative changes, these would need to be made by each of the individual constituent parts of the UK. This in turn could make compliance more difficult for businesses operating in more than one part of the UK.”


Prior to the referendum and irrelevant of the outcome, the UK’s planning system has been in desperate need of extra resources.

As a result of the referendum and the market uncertainty, Phil Williams, president of the Royal Town Planning Institute believes the government has to provider planners with extra resource.

“The planning system needs consistency to deliver the homes, jobs and the great places this country needs. Now that we have a decision, it is imperative that planners receive the resources needed to continue to work with all in the built environment sector to deliver development to enable growth and deal with the housing crisis.”

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