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TCPA Chair writes to Prime Minister to voice concerns that extension of permitted development rights risks creating ‘slums of the future’

Mary Parsons, Chair of the Town & Country Planning Association (TCPA), and a Commissioner for the Government’s ‘Building Better, Building Beautiful’ Commission, has written to the Prime Minister, urging him to use his reforms of the planning system as an opportunity to ensure that that the system delivers effectively and ensures better and more consistent outcomes.

In the letter, Ms Parsons emphasises the concerns that many have voiced around the extension of permitted development rights. Through this extension, ‘we risk creating what will become the slums of the future,’ she writes, ‘homes that are not fit to live in, to bring up children in – that may have a catastrophic impact on the mental and physical health and wellbeing of the people forced to live in them and a blight on their future life chances.’

She goes on to highlight the TCPA’s Healthy Homes Act campaign, which the TCPA believes offers the Government a ‘powerful way to promote good place-making and design by enshrining the ‘healthy homes principles’ in law, which together define what constitutes a healthy home and neighbourhood.

Parsons ends by putting the reforms in the context of the Covid-19 crisis, saying ‘As you turn attention to the health and wellbeing factors that may increase our risk from Covid, please don’t lose sight that poor housing is a real contributory factor and the investment the Government may make now would show returns on the health of our communities for generations to come.’ 

‘Please make your commitment to build better and more beautifully a true legacy of your premiership for all our nation.’


  • Find out more about the TCPA’s Healthy Homes Act here.
  • See Ms Parson’s full letter to the Prime Minister here.
  • The Government is due to publish a consultation on planning reform later this week. The TCPA has set out a framework for reform in our report, ‘The Raynsford Review of Planning’, and in a recent blog on planning reform.
  • Contact Isaac LeQuesne on +44 20 8132 5455 or [email protected]

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