Back to Urban Regeneration

Accelerate the Change

Urban planning arrangements that are coherent, streamlined and actively committed to making things happen are needed. The land use planning system could play a vital part in securing positive change in our towns and cities. At present, it is not attuned to the complexity and diversity of the urban condition. It often takes too long to reach decisions and there is too great an emphasis on controlling development.

Government can take a lead by reviewing its policy planning guidance to deal specifically with urban regeneration and development issues and achieve greater consistency. The role of regional planning guidance should provide clear policy options and to specify targets for urban land use and transport. Local planning authorities should review their local rules, standards and procedures, revising or removing those that stand in the way of positive change.

The future emphasis within local development plans should be on flexible designations that facilitate mixed work, home and leisure uses that can be adapted over time. Development plans must become less detailed and more strategic in their outlook. They should be integrated with local transport, economic and housing strategies to provide a comprehensive planning statement.

The necessary shift from greenfield to brownfield development can be accelerated by streamlining planning permissions for recycled land. Simpler development plans, supported by neighbourhood 'masterplans' and design guidance, will enable faster decision making. Authorities can also speed up the process through devolved planning implementation teams in regeneration areas.

bulletProduce dedicated planning policy guidance to support the drive for an urban renaissance.
bulletSimplify local development plans with an emphasis on strategy to create a more flexible basis for planning. The plans should avoid including detailed site-level policies.
bulletDevolve detailed planning policies for neighbourhood regeneration into more flexible and targeted area plans, based upon the production of a spatial masterplan and the full participation of local people.
bulletReview designations of employment sites in local development plans, accelerating the release of land, which is no longer needed for employment purposes, for housing development.
bulletRequire local planning authorities to conduct a review of all local rules, standards and procedures to consider whether they can be revised or removed to enhance urban development.
bulletReplace the negotiation of 'planning gain' for smaller urban development schemes with a standardised system of impact fees.