Planning and housing – why the continuing tensions?

Christine Whitehead presented the second in a series of special public lectures at The Bartlett School of Planning, titled Planning and Housing – Why the Continuing Tensions? Her complete presentation is available here.

Planning is regularly blamed for the continued low levels of new house building, even though over the last decade there have been a number attempts to improve the operation of the land use planning system. The latest attempts at simplification and support for development so far seem to have been no more successful.  One of the reasons for this may be that planning is fundamentally a legal approach to ensuring adequate provision in appropriate locations while delivering housing depends more on policy, finance and economics.  What is clear is that neither side fully understands the pressures facing the other – making it difficult to effectively overcome constraints. This lecture examines some of the tensions that these different approaches generate; discusses examples of the problems that arise; and asks what can be done to align objectives and processes more closely.