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3 point plan: Emma Lancaster

Three arrows on steps

A planner explains how they would change England’s planning system

Emma Lancaster

Associate at Quod

Young Planner of the Year 2016 

Vice-chair of RTPI Yorkshire 

Local plans should be the key to delivering sustainable development that reflects the vision and aspirations of local communities, but plan makers are struggling to meet the requirements of a complex local plans process. As a result, less than a third of the country has an up-to-date local plan and housing needs are not being met. The general public is also being discouraged from engaging with the plan-making process because of its slow pace and complexity. This means local communities feel excluded and there is a significant risk that local plans will fail to deliver truly sustainable development.

Planning now needs a period of stability after recent reform, but it is important that the principle obstacles to timely and effective plan-making are tackled without delay.

The three point plan

1. A significantly shorter, standardised approach to calculating housing needs

2. Tighter definition of evidence that is necessary to support plan preparation, limiting evidence to that necessary to meet legal requirements

3. Shorter, more accessible plans and better use of technology to stimulate public engagement


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