On 6 August 2020, the UK Government published its planning white paper and consultation, Planning for the Future.
The government hopes that its proposals will shake up the planning system and reduce some of the logjams. Small developers are to be encouraged to "build, build, build" to enable the population to get on the ladder. But is the government targeting a "one size fits all" ladder?
The government's proposals include creating the following planning zones:
Getting rid of the requirement on developers to include affordable housing within their schemes has also been suggested.
There is a danger that land may get lost to smaller developers keen to make a quick profit with homes for younger generations rather than the development of a well thought out plan that serves a community with differing needs. There is also an urgent need to regenerate high streets, and a real opportunity to create multi-generational communities of the future with many types of housing to create vibrant city and town centres.
With an ageing population, provision for the senior living sector needs careful thought. A well thought out development will encourage homeowners at the top of the ladder to downsize freeing up space below.
Lockdown has meant greater engagement with neighbours and a return to community values. Encouraging senior living development alongside build to own and build to rent is the way forward for the successful regeneration of town centres and cities. Perhaps the government should recognise that there is more than one type of ladder needed. While the loosening of planning controls can be a good thing, it needs to ensure that it is not done for one sector at the expense of others.