Press release: Former housing minister calls for transformation of English planning

14 May 2018 – In a new review of the planning system, former housing minister Nick Raynsford has challenged current planning reform saying that it has been ‘built on the back of assertion rather than evidence’ and suggests that continued deregulation is leading to very poor quality outcomes for people.

The Raynsford Review of Planning, which will present its interim findings at the House of Lords on Tuesday, makes nine provisional recommendations for reforms to the planning system including giving the public a greater voice the planning process.

The report claims that persistent changes to planning legislation have left the system powerless to defend the public interest.

Other recommendations include establishing a statutory definition of planning which would regulate development based on its potential for achieving ‘social, economic and cultural wellbeing’ and setting a legal obligation for the government to plan for the needs of future generations.

The review, of which the the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) provides the secretariat, is being led by a cross-section of built environment professionals and has engaged with over 1000 people over the past 12 months, including many members of the public.

Rt Hon Nick Raynsford says:

‘The planning system is no longer capable of shaping the places we need to secure people’s long-term health and wellbeing. We need a new approach with people at the heart of decisions and system which meet the growing challenges of housing affordability climate change and economic transformation.’

Notes to editors

  1. To view the full report, click here.
  2. The Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) is an independent campaigning charity calling for more integrated planning based on the principles of accessibility, sustainability, diversity and community cohesion. For more information on the TCPA’s work on affordable housing see
  3. For further information, please contact Jack Mulligan at the TCPA on 07825 707 546 or [email protected].

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