No place for placemaking

Image of tiny flats produced through office to residential conversion in North London
This resource is part of a collection called Campaign for Healthy Homes.

(September 2020)

This report explores the devastating impacts that Permitted Development (PD) rights have had on placemaking over the past seven years.

Building on previous research which explored the impact of PD on residents, the TCPA’s report, ‘No place for placemakingfocuses on the wider impacts of permitted development on neighbourhoods and communities. Despite research from Public Health England and other authorities establishing clearly that our neighbourhoods are crucial to communities’ health and wellbeing, the report finds that permitted development consistently undermines councils’ efforts to plan for healthy and safe places.

Co-produced by the TCPA and researchers from the London School of Economics, the report is based on the in-depth analysis of case studies collected by both organisations over recent years. It finds that permitted development has four key types of impacts: 

  1. It has made real place making impossible in many places by effectively removing acres of land in key areas from councils’ influence, and preventing them from securing and coordinating development in sustainable, safe areas.  
  2. It has deprived councils of funding for infrastructure – greenspace, community facilities, healthcare, roads and affordable housing – that is essential to new and existing communities’ wellbeing because they are unable to collect Section 106 payments on developments which come through this route.  
  3. It threatens local jobs and businesses because councils are unable to stop employment land in their areas being converted to housing. This has the potential to force local people into unsustainable communities. 
  4. It has undermined local democracy and left communities unable to influence their local environment as it changes over time.