Opportunity to ensure the Housing and Planning Bill focuses on placemaking

 Fourteen high profile and influential organisations have today supported an amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill to give the planning system purpose and vision. 

An amendment laid by Baroness Andrews - due to be debated this week - will ensure that the planning system works for the public interest, and will focus on achieving high quality places.

Baroness Andrews said:

  “This amendment has unprecedented cross sector support from housing and social justice groups to environmental charities and professional bodies – showing a collective desire to ensure that the planning system has the right purpose.

“This amendment looks to put placemaking at the heart of local planning, while looking at the long term impact, sustainability and inclusivity of local developments.”

Support across the sector been co-ordinated by the Town and Country Planning Association, Habinteg and Friends of the Earth. The group includes:

- Housing and planning groups including the TCPA, PlaceShapers and Shelter

- Disability and age rights groups including Habinteg, Care & Repair, Aspire, Disability Rights UK, Age UK and Papworth Trust

- Environmental groups including Friends of the Earth, National Trust and RSPB

- Professional bodies such as the Landscape Institute

Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of the Town and Country Planning Association said:

“Our planning legislation needs to have a clearly defined purpose that plans for the long term. Groups from across the sector have agreed that we need to be creating high quality places that provide homes for people at all stages of life that will stand the test of time.

“This amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill will ensure that the planning system delivers on social justice, the economy and the environment.”

Currently, planning legislation is focused overwhelmingly on process with no statutory purpose for planning which would give the system direction and collective aims. It has neglected the importance of sustainable development and good design, which this amendment aims to correct. The planning system needs to provide homes for people at all stages of their life, and consider green infrastructure and climate change.

Chief executive of Habinteg, Paul Gamble said:

"This amendment has the backing of a wide variety of organisations that are totally committed to delivering great places that consider the needs of the whole population.

"Ensuring the planning system considers the current and future demands of older and disabled people in inclusivity of homes, neighbourhoods and built environments is vital. The challenges of an ageing population mean this amendment arrives at a crucial time and we are delighted to play our part"

These issues need a long term forecast, which the planning system is well placed to provide, and the Housing and Planning Bill offers the ideal opportunity to enshrine this.

Naomi Luhde-Thompson, Planning Advisor at Friends of the Earth said:

  "New homes should be properly insulated to keep people warm, situated where people want to live and work, and built to the highest environmental standards to help deal with the increasing challenges of climate change. It's vital that the planning system has a legal duty to achieve this."

Notes to Editors:

  1. For further information, please contact Claire Porter on 07743065875 or [email protected]