The English planning system is in crisis

So say the authors of a provocative new book, English planning in crisis: 10 steps to a sustainable future, which publishes today.

Reflecting on controversial new Government reforms and deregulation, Kate Henderson and Hugh Ellis provide a comprehensive analysis of these reforms, assessing the implications and significance for the future.

They highlight why planning is so essential to quality of life and set out 10 evidence-based steps to rebuild the planning system in England. Drawing on policy and practice examples from across the UK and internationally, the book is a manifesto for change.

It provides a direct and vigorous challenge to the current structure and policy of planning that should ignite a debate about the values that shape its future. The book calls for:

·         …a vision for England: the authors make the case for a vision for England based on clear objectives, set out in a national plan based on functional geographic scales and time-scales based on evidence. They argue that we need to regain our confidence in spatial planning and, ultimately, we need a new Planning Act to set out a blueprint for change.

·         …a new generation of place-makers: Ellis and Henderson call for the transformation of the planning profession from an ‘old boys’ club’ into a new generation of diverse, dynamic and inclusive place-makers.

·         …putting people back at the heart of the planning system: the book calls on government to legislate for a framework of equal rights in planning decisions and to actively invest in a national conversation about the future development of England.

 Kate Henderson said:

“One of our motivations for publishing English planning in crisis is to record the scale of the shift in English planning policy and values over the past two years – particularly key polices on climate change and social housing – and to try to keep alive the prospect of something different. The book reveals some of the drivers behind the radical changes in policy and tracks how planning was transformed from a visionary utopian and progressive social force into little more than a residual form of land licensing.”

English planning in crisis: 10 steps to a sustainable future is published by Policy Press on the 16th May 2016.                                                                                                       


Notes to Editors




For review copies of English planning in crisis please contact Susannah Emery at Policy Press / 0117 954 5953