England & Wales Housing and planning

Planning – Problem or Solution?


Image: Istock (by license)

Planning is a core issue for local democracies, and goes to the heart of the vision we all have of the type of places we want to live in. We envision places that are safe, vibrant and sustainable; that provide us with decent homes and jobs, that allow us to provide effective public services and that engender resilient communities. Planning is crucial in shaping our physical, social and economic environment.

LGiU’s new publication, ‘Planning – Problem or Solution?’ is a collection of writings by key Liberal Democrat commentators on how to move forward with planning policy.  As a cross-party think-think, interested in how we give local people power over the places they live and the services they use, LGiU works with parties where we think this will broaden the debate and drive innovation. These essays, in collaboration with the Liberal Democrats’ CLG Parliamentary Committee and the Federation of Master Builders, feature contributions from across local government, central government, the planning industry and academia. The collection aims to stimulate thought in the development of the Liberal Democrats’ 2015 Manifesto – but we hope the essays will also inspire debate and provide inspiration in councils across the country and political spectrum.

The collection includes thoughts on the importance of local engagement, knowledge and buy-in to informing and reconciling challenges of planning and growth; the value of planning and design to place-shaping and home-making; the importance of joined-up thinking by LEPs, local government and business to agree a planning context which facilitates growth; and the role of the national, the regional and the local in setting parameters and making planning decisions.

Contributors include Sir Andrew Stunell OBE MP, Cllr Terry Stacy MBE, Liberal Democrat Political Advisor at London Councils, Antonia Layard, Professor of Law and Geography at the University of Birmingham, and Stephen R Hodder MBE, President of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

The Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, Deputy Prime Minister, has welcomed the publication:

‘We as a nation have got to get our planning policies working properly – it is very valuable that the Liberal Democrats are having this debate and I hope other parties will do the same; this booklet will certainly help stimulate our thinking and discussion’

Commenting on the publication, Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said:

‘We’re glad the political parties are all thinking hard about how to get planning working better, so our members can get on with building houses: we hope this publication will play a part in that’

Annette Brooke MP and Lord Tope, Co-chairs of the Liberal Democrats’ CLG Parliamentary Committee, said:

“Planning is such a crucial issue – for quality of life, for growth, for how we get more homes. So we’re very keen to promote debate in the run-up to the 2015 manifesto, and this booklet will play an important part in that”

Read ‘Planning – Problem or Solution?’ here.