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Academics find common ground on planning reform

The reform of planning legislation has divided commentators, academics and members of the public. For some, reform means enabling new, more affordable housing and growth, for others it means destroying neighbourhoods and our 'green and pleasant land'.

HousingAs the debate about the government's proposed changes to planning regulations continued to rage, the LSE London research centre hosted a round table discussion which brought together academics from a range of social science disciplines and with a range of different views on planning reform. The purpose of this discussion, the results of which have been published today, was to establish some common objectives on planning reform between the different sides, and establish the means of achieving these objectives.

The group found three areas of consensus between all parties: acknowledging problems with current planning policy, what the objectives of government reform should be, and how the process of reform should take place.

For example, the group as a whole acknowledged there is a problem of the lack of affordable housing for low-income households and that some change in decision-making processes are needed. They agreed that the objective of government reforms should be for an increase in the housing supply but balanced with other social and environmental objectives. They also agreed that the process of reform should be clear and well publicised, partially to reduce the amount of ill-informed speculation and debate about the government's proposals.

In the paper the group calls on the Government to take a number of steps to improve the planning process, including providing a clearer statement about the objectives of reform, and concrete proposals on how incentives for development will work.

The view the report of this roundtable please see Planning Roundtable, 28 September 2011

For further information please contact lselondon@lse.ac.uk

17 October 2011