The country needs a stable planning system

The majority of property planners believe that a more stable planning system would provide greater certainty for developers and communities and help get the country building again.


According to recent research from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) an overwhelming majority of planners blame decades of planning changes for their ability to work effectively and deliver new homes.

The Delivering the Value of Planning report showed that a massive 73% of planners believe “constant changes” to planning rules have “hindered their ability to deliver good places”. Richard Carr, a property developer in the south of England, understands the problems and believes the government needs to loosen its grip on the system and make it easier for planners to deliver new developments.

Over half of respondents said that government policy changes had provided obstacles to the delivery of new homes, whilst almost 75% said that the profession had a reduced capacity to deliver.


The report was based on research conducted by Glasgow and Sheffield University along with the RTPI and it recommended that:

  • Better-resourced local authority planning departments
  • Stable planning system that provided greater uncertainty
  • Integration of planning activity with infrastructure provision
  • Stronger public sector-led management of land supply to aid land assembly

Richard Carr strongly agrees with the first point and believes that a better-resourced planning department will be able to deal with applications far more efficiently which will improve the speed in which developments are delivered.


Speaking to, RTPI president Phil Williams, said: “public sector planners’ ability to be proactive was particularly important in the current uncertain economic times, but there was a clear sense from institute members that deep budget cuts and policy changes were blocking their ability to act at a strategic level.

“For too long planning has been relegated to a reactive, bureaucratic function, instead of being able to plan strategically to drive development, jobs and growth,” he said.

“It is absolutely crucial we resource councils’ planning teams properly, so that planners can operate strategically.

“We want to see closer integration of planning activities with councils’ economic development and devolved areas of responsibilities to guide private sector investment and keep up the momentum for building.”

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