In response to WLR “The Historical Political Contrast Of Local Plans” published on 25 October, Cllr John Hodson commented “What a load of tosh! I attended and contributed to the Planning Commission held in Cunard Buildings, Liverpool on Thursday last, a Meeting Chaired by Roberta Blackam Woods MP, Shadow Minister for Planning where the Commission are gathering evidence in preparation for possible Planning reform. My input was directly consistent with my views in 2013 with the added experience of the last 5 years and especially the last 3 when Labour took control of the Council after 13 long years of Tory administration. The new Local Plan seeks a different approach which is more Planning led development rather than Developer led Planning”.
Roberta Blackman-Woods MP is the Member of Parliament for the City of Durham. She wrote “I was recently invited to speak at the Planning for Housing Conference, and was very glad to be able to talk about Labour’s proposals for housing and land supply.
“This is one of the topics that will be looked at by Labour’s Planning Commission, a group that will meet over the coming year to examine the issues local communities are facing with the planning system, and help Labour design a planning system that will be fit not only for the 21st century, but the 22nd century as well.
“As part of its remit, the Planning Commission will look at how we get land into the system- not just for development, but for redevelopment and the regeneration of brownfield land.
“I spoke about how the Planning Commission will be looking at this and other planning issues and how we must have a better system of capturing land value uplift, especially one that is focused more on delivering the infrastructure our communities need to be sustainable and successful in the future”.
The press release stated “At the 2018 Party Conference in Liverpool, Labour has launched its new Planning Commission. The Planning Commission, comprised of planning experts, councillors, and representatives from industry, has been set up as part of Labour’s agenda to re-engage with communities across the country that have been increasingly marginalised by the current planning system.
“At present, planning is not reflecting the needs of communities across the UK, with Government deregulation meaning residents have less say in the type of development they see, and much new development is not underpinned by the necessary infrastructure. Also, there is a housing crisis in the UK because not enough homes are being built, including genuinely affordable housing for social rent. Labour believes that it is time for a root and branch review of the planning system, and the Commission will examine how to put local people back at the centre of planning.
“To ensure that Labour can deliver a planning system that works for everyone, the Planning Commission will be meeting in different regions of the UK over the coming year, and will seek the views of planning leads, developers, councillors and residents from across the country.
“The planning system needs to rediscover its vision, and once again reflect the needs of communities, help revive neighbourhoods and town centres in decline and address the urgent need for better infrastructure and more housing. The Commission will help form the basis of a series of planning policies based on tackling inequality and promoting social justice, providing a high-quality built and natural environment for everyone, and that are able to encourage renewable energy and tackle climate change. Labour also seeks to explore how modern methods of construction can be used that are better for the environment and more energy efficient”.
Read that again…“The planning system needs to rediscover its vision, and once again reflect the needs of communities, help revive neighbourhoods and town centres in decline and address the urgent need for better infrastructure and more housing”. ?