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Planning for the future: government consultation

In August 2020, the government published a White Paper called Planning for the Future that set out the most significant reforms to England’s planning system since the Town and Country Planning Act of 1948.

Intended to speed up and simplify planning across England, the proposed changes included digitising the planning system, changing the scope of local design and development guidance, and introducing ‘zonal systems’ in certain areas of the country. Read the RIBA Journal summary of the proposals.

After consulting with members and our expert advisory groups, we've officially responded to the consultation.

Read our response to the Planning for the Future consultation.

How we responded to the consultation

Our response focuses on ways to strengthen the current proposals. While we welcome many of the aims, we need more detail on how the system will actually work. How will design codes, regional planning and the land allocation system operate?

The proposed reforms also do nothing to support sustainable development. With the built environment responsible for almost 40% of global carbon emissions, that’s a serious omission and cause for concern. Read more about the planning reforms and sustainability.

We have responded to the consultation after extensive consultation with our expert advisory groups and wider membership.

On 23 September 2020, Head of Architecture Andy von Bradsky and Chief Planner Joanna Averley from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) held a virtual roundtable with members to discuss the reforms. Secretary of State Robert Jenrick also sent us the below video. 

As the government gathers these consultation responses, we will continue to lobby for an adequately funded future planning system that supports the development of high quality, healthy, and sustainable homes. Find out more about the outcome of other consultations and our responses to them.

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