Communities should be central to planning reforms

Localis has urged the government to put communities at the heart of the proposed planning reforms to build new developments that are more affordable, greener and more likely to endure for generations.

A new report outlines how genuine community engagement through better neighbourhood plans, the use of new design codes, as well as better digital channels of communication between councils and residents, will be vital to achieving national housing targets.

The think tank has made several recommendations, including the widespread development of a stewardship model for the long-term investment in areas where new communities will be established, as well as amending the Infrastructure Levy to be paid at the point of commencement on site and to include a ringfenced proportion for affordable housing provision.

Jonathan Werran, Localis chief executive, said: “Whatever appears in the final planning bill, we have to increase trust and generate genuinely popular consent for local housing growth.  This is to ensure that the abundant build out of affordable new homes of mixed tenure, and with it the creation of lasting new communities, remains a sustainable, place-sensitive and commercially viable process.

“Each actor – central government, our councils, our communities and developers – will have their part to play in reforming the planning process so that it finally delivers at the required pace and  scale the new developments that are both wanted and attainable, and which suit their local culture, economy and environment. To this end, Localis’s report recommends the setting up of two separate national funds to provide firstly greater capacity for neighbourhood planning and the roll out of new design codes, to ensure homes are beautiful and locally popular, and, secondly, to pay for carbon offsetting to deliver green homes fit for the age of net zero.”

Event Diary

The Security Event is set to be the first major exhibition to take place in the sector when it opens its doors on 7-9 September 2021 at the NEC in Birmingham and for the first time it will also encompass the National Cyber Security Show.

digitech21 will seek to demystify the increasingly complex technology landscape and will showcase a host of public sector best practice case studies and the very best solution providers, each of whom are helping organisations to transform and improve the way in which the public sector delivers services to the citizen.

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