Labour commission promises to give communities 'much stronger voice' in planning

The planning system is 'not fit for purpose' and needs a 'root and branch rethink' to allow communities a 'much much stronger voice' in the process, Labour shadow ministers have said at the launch of the party's new planning commission.

Shadow planning minister Roberta Blackman-Woods
Shadow planning minister Roberta Blackman-Woods

Launching Labour’s Planning Commission at the party’s annual conference in Liverpool yesterday, shadow communities secretary Andrew Gwynne said the commission would look at revamping the party’s planning policy, including probing how communities can have "meaningful consultation and a meaningful say over how their towns and cities develop".

"The planning system is not fit for purpose", said Gwynne. "It purports to be plan-led but in too many areas it is developer-led and sometimes there is a disconnect between the needs and desires of a local community and the needs and desires of a developer."

"When you get the two working together, that’s when you get really good sensible planning decisions, but more often than not there is a big disconnect between communities championing the localism agenda and developers that in the worst extremes just want to make a quick buck and move on to their next site", he said.

Shadow planning minister Roberta Blackman-Woods said the commission would be tasked with delivering "a root and branch rethink of planning that will return planning to its visionary roots."

"We want it to be a planning system based on inclusion, social justice and tackling inequality and ensuring that we end up developing the country that we want to see, and to ensure that no communities are left behind."

"It’s really important that local people are given a much much stronger voice in planning, and also that the system works better for developers too," Blackman-Woods said.

The commission will hold a series of events across the country over the next year, Blackman-Woods said.

Each event will include three separate meetings - one with local authority and private sector planners in the area, one with developers and one with resident groups.

The commission includes members from key sector organisations including the Royal Town Planning Institure, the Planning Officers Society, and the Town and Country Planning Association, as well as representatives of the development industry and local residents.

A call for evidence will be issued on the 25th October, Blackman-Woods said.

Blackman-Woods will give a keynote presentation on land value capture, and how the planning system might address problems of land supply at this year's Planning for Housing conference. For full details and to book your place, click here. 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Join the conversation with PlanningResource on social media

Follow Us:
Planning Jobs