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A joint vision: we share a toolbox of principles for better planning

Philippa Oppenheimer
By Philippa Oppenheimer
14th January 2021

Eighteen major organisations and charities have come together to lay out a better toolkit for deciding what gets built and where.

CPRE, the countryside charity, working with 17 other organisations, has today launched a Joint vision for planning. This is a new, solution-focused vision, laying out what a planning system fit for the 21st century will look like.

We believe that the planning system is a toolbox for achieving better – for people, nature and the economy – while supporting the delivery of more badly-needed homes to end the housing crisis.

The vision was launched at a virtual debate which included speaker Housing Minister Chris Pincher MP, and was chaired by London City Hall’s Night Czar Amy Lamé.

A vision for better

The new vision was produced in response to the planning proposals announced by the government in August 2020, which were the most radical changes to the planning system seen since the creation of the system as we know it in 1947.

These proposals – over which tens of thousands of you have already voiced concerns – would hand power to developers and result in disasters for our local democracy, the environment and the climate.

Whilst CPRE have been key in highlighting concerns around these proposals, we also want to invite the government to envision a planning system that tackles the most pressing issues of our times.

Our new collective vision provides a gold standard for the government to achieve for the planning system, not only highlighting the importance of elements such as community engagement and access to nature, but how these principles can actually be brought about.

People at the heart

Tom Fyans, CPRE deputy chief executive, said:

‘Today, we’re calling on the government to plan back better and work with us to develop a planning system that puts people, and tackling the climate and ecological emergencies, at its heart.

‘We all deserve a home we can genuinely afford to live in, and to have a say in shaping the communities around us.’

Just before Christmas, the government announced that they would revise the housing algorithm that had caused widespread concern throughout many circles – including the government’s own MPs.

This is good news – but the algorithm was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the damage the government’s proposals will do if they come to pass. That’s why CPRE, with other organisations, will continue to call for dramatic improvements to this set of policies.

The vision launch will be just the beginning of many conversations on how we can shape the future of the planning system. We hope that the government will find it useful as they begin to draft the new planning system legislation we expect later in 2021.

Sign our petition opposing the government's plans
Builders silhouetted against a horizon
Shivendu Shukla / Unsplash


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