Creative, community development and facilitation skills for healthy, prosperous, beautiful places – Raynsford Review #5

This is the final of five posts, outlining the TCPA’s Raynsford Review of 2018, and its reframing of the English Planning System, which I think could be both a highly useful discussion opportunity and potentially a practical tool for communities, planning and regeneration professionals and other sectors concerned with placemaking and community development in England.

The final of the 24 recommendations I’m going to highlight here, is recommendation 21 ‘Attracting, training, developing and supporting the necessary numbers of high-calibre planners’. For the full review for details of each recommendation, (

PDF #6

Recommendation 24 is particularly welcomed by myself and Waymarking, as 5 years ago, I retrained from a 25-year career in the cultural/creative sector to relocate myself in the field of planning and regeneration.

Most communities are keen to participate in the planning and development processes that are taking place in their neighbourhoods, and they wish to take a positive and active role in shaping and influencing how their places change and develop. The Review recommends that planners should have stronger community development skills, and the ability to creatively engage with communities. It is my experience that there is a growing awareness that this skillset is sorely needed in the sector. At Waymarking, we look forward to working with more planning professionals to support them to develop these creative community facilitation skills, as well as continuing to work with communities to help them partner effectively with place-making professionals, to jointly make a positive impact in their neighbourhoods.

Finally, the Raynsford Review recommends the remaking of English planning, interweaving key themes to deliver healthy, prosperous and beautiful places.

TCPA Raynsford Circles

The Review outlines how this new system would ‘deliver for people a clear purpose which prioritises the wellbeing of people within the overarching objective of long-term sustainable development, aimed at making places of safety, beauty and resilience’.

It would be more predictable and certain for all parties, allowing investors and communities to have confidence in a genuinely plan-led system’.

It would clearly define the rights and responsibilities of the citizen and would offer everyone a fair opportunity to shape their future’.

It would be capable of considering the nation as a whole and of making us all resilient to the challenges we face’.

It would offer a fair deal for the public and landowners, and development values would help to support the delivery of new places’.

It would be recognised for its dynamic and creative thinking, attracting people who want to be at forefront of shaping change with communities’.

All of which would be highly welcome outcomes of remaking the English planning system.

NOTE: Text in italics represents direct quotes from the Raynsford Review. ‘Remaking English Planning’ Diagram from David Lock Associates

About waymarkingthesketchbook

Sarah Spanton is director of arts organisation Waymarking -
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