Planning and Housing

[This article was originally published in Planning Magazine, August 2007]

I have been most interested to see that planning has been in the news recently, not only because of Prime Minister, Gordon Brown’s announcement of plans for three million new homes by 2020 but planning has also been the subject of a recent television news documentary programme.

And of course, we know that housing is a key interest area for Gordon Brown with his ambitious plans outlined in the recent Homes for the Future Green Paper. The planning system is crucial to being able to deliver in line with this vision to achieve the number of houses required in design, sustainability and affordability.

The recent edition of Channel 4’s Dispatches television programme highlighted a number of issues within the planning and development process, but nothing new to planners. Planning is in a very interesting position balancing working hand-in-hand with developers and the community to achieve a win-win situation for all parties.

With the demand for housing growing faster than supply and the massive challenge in both growth and market renewal areas, Local Authority planning services are under increasing pressure to deliver developments in line with both the public’s and central government’s expectations.

“Housing is at the heart of achieving the social, economic and environmental objectives that shape a community and create a sense of place.” Strong and Prosperous Communities Local Government White Paper 2006

The housing agenda is developing a life of its own. You need to be asking yourself simple questions like:

  • How are you using housing to shape and deliver your place?
  • Is housing represented on your LSP?
  • Is housing included in your sustainable community strategy?
  • Are you working with your neighbouring authorities to make the best use of all the information you have?

The work we do in PAS and the IDeA is built entirely around supporting and equipping planners, senior managers and councillors with practical and effective tools to deliver.

To find out more about the services offered at PAS visit http://www.pas.gov.uk

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