Is planning about land licensing or a creative practice of shaping places with people? – Raynsford Review #2

This is the second post exploring the Raynsford Review of the English Planning System (see the first post here). The review was undertaken during 2017 and 2018 and the final report was completed in November 2018.

During the process of analysing the evidence collected, two divergent views were highlighted, over what planning’s purpose should be :

  1. The first that planning’s purpose is to facilitate the private market through a residual form of land licensing to support ‘growth’;’
  2. The second that planning was designed to regulate the market to achieve long-term public interest objectives in relation to sustainable development’.

In terms of professional planning skills and processes, a tension was highlighted over ‘whether planning is a form of land licensing, which implies one skills set, or the much more complex and creative practice of shaping places with people to achieve sustainable development’, which implies another.

During this evidence analysis phase, the Review identified that:RR Real VoiceAs director of Waymarking, working on community-led planning, regeneration and economic development, this call for community members to be given a ‘real voice’ in decision-making processes about how their neighbourhoods are shaped and developed, is very welcome.

The review set out 10 key propositions which it then explored in depth, before making its final recommendations, they are:

10 Propositions
1   Planning in the public interest Land and the built environment should be regulated
2   Planning with a purpose                         Improving the health and wellbeing of people
3   A powerful plan-led and people-centred planning system Expressing community aspirations and co-ordinating growth
4  A new covenant for community participation Enshrining democratic accountability
5  A new commitment to meeting people’s basic needs                                                        A right to basic living conditions and genuinely affordable homes
6 Planning from local to national An integrated framework of mutually supporting plans
7 Alignment between the agencies of English planning Better co-ordination between public institutions
8 Simplified planning law Creating a logical set of powers and structures
9 A fairer way to share land values          Drive down land prices to achieve real public benefits
10 The creative and visionary planner    Use the principle of ‘Do no harm’

Three more posts on different aspects of the review’s recommendations will follow shortly in March 2020.

NOTE: Text in italics represents direct quotes from the Raynsford Review.

About waymarkingthesketchbook

Sarah Spanton is director of arts organisation Waymarking -
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1 Response to Is planning about land licensing or a creative practice of shaping places with people? – Raynsford Review #2

  1. Pingback: Do we need a new building code and new planning ethical code of conduct? – Raynsford Review #4 | Waymarking The Sketchbook

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