How Does Planning Deregulation Impact Neighbourhoods?

Hosted by LSE London and the Department of Geography and Environment

PAR.1.02, Parish Hall


Alessandra Mossa

Researcher, Geography and Environment

Garry Bakall

London Borough of Camden

Dr Ben Clifford

Associate Professor, The Bartlett School of Planning Faculty of the Built Environment, UCL


Dr. Nancy Holman

Dr. Nancy Holman

Associate Professor of Urban Planning

In a session chaired by Dr Nancy Holman (LSE), Alessandra Mossa (LSE), Dr Ben Clifford (UCL) and Gary Bakall (London Borough of Camden) will be discussing how planning deregulation can impact neighbourhoods. 

Our new seminar series London Talks creates a space to exchange knowledge on these changes linking them to LSE’s research. In so doing, we aim to create partnerships with significant London stakeholders and show how research and practice in London link to cities across the world.

Over the past 40 years successive governments have sought to reshape planning moving it away from its roots of public interest, local context and discretionary decisions toward more growth based paradigms which rely on deregulation and market forces. These waves of reforms have led planning to be viewed as an easy target or ‘political football’ that can be reformed, repudiated and reformulated by each in-coming administration based on their own conceptualisation of how the market and societal values should interplay. Through our research we have examined two recent moments of planning deregulation. These are the loosening of regulation around short-term letting (STL) in London and the new permitted development rights (PDR), which allow the conversion of offices to residential use without planning permission.  Whilst these incursions may be viewed as innocuous or unthreatening reforms, we argue that this wave of deregulation moves beyond a mere rhetorical attack on planning and therefore further solidifies an antagonism between the market and regulation. The values and the principles on which planning was traditionally based are now compromised if not definitively lost. Planning, the regulatory profession par excellence, is ironically deprived of the main tools it has in order to promote the public values it has been asked to achieve.

This interactive session will bring together professionals, academics and the public around short presentations and a general discussion. 

More on planning deregulation: 

Camden (2018) Planning Enforcement Performance. Report to the planning committee. Available at:

Camden (2018) Short term letting and planning permission. Webpage. Available at:

Clifford, B. et al. (2018) Assessing the impacts of extending permitted development rights to office-to-residential change in England. Report for RICS. Available at: 

Holman, N., Mossa, A., & Pani, E. (2018). Planning, value(s) and the market: An analytic for “what comes next?” Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space50(3), 608–626.

LSE London (2016) Market vs. Planning: is deregulation the answer? Available at: 


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