Jonny Popper, MD of London Communications Agency and Chair of the NLA’s Expert Panel on Planning where the response to the White Paper was co-ordinated, said:
“There is broad support for simpler, more accessible Local Plans, for digitisation of the system and the focus on good design. However there is also a clear consensus that the role of a strategic London Plan needs to be enshrined in any reformed system, that designating all land as growth, renewal and protect is too crude to work well in London and that proper community engagement needs to maintained throughout the development process, not only at the plan making stage. With so much detail still to be understood, we are keen to ensure that flexibility and democratic accountability at a local level is retained, that the increased use of design guides and codes does not lead to a dumbing down in design innovation and, crucially, that local authorities are properly resourced – in both money and skills – to be able to make any reformed system a success.”
Lisa Webb, Partner, Gerald Eve, said:
“The Government’s aspirations for a quicker, more certain and transparent planning system which promotes high quality buildings and places are strongly supported. There is a lot of emphasis in the White Paper on delivering housing nationally which is crucial; however there is also a need for a greater focus on promoting economic development and changes are required in particular to support Central London’s economic, social and environmental wellbeing and role as a world city.”
Robert Evans, Joint Managing Partner, Argent and Chair, New London Sounding Board, said:
“The NLA membership, spanning the development community, local authorities, planners, architects and others, broadly supports the strategic objectives of making the planning system more accessible, transparent and certain; and the focus on digitalisation for shorter, more focused Local Plans. We have put forward constructive suggestions to make the White Paper ideas more workable in London; and urge the Government to place sustainability at the heart of the planning system and properly resource our local planning authorities.”
Peter Barbalov, Partner, Farrells, said:
“The objective of the White Paper to disrupt the current planning system, set up largely to control rather than promote growth and development, has been broadly achieved with the level of debate, analysis, and introspection generated within the industry. We hope that the comments, insights, suggestions, and proposals, do make it into the final version.
Design and placemaking should be prioritised over ‘beauty’, and key considerations on the role of communities, the climate emergency, the increasing in inequality during the pandemic, the structural intergenerational inequality in the housing market, and the uniqueness of London as world Metropolis within the country, should become intrinsic to a reformed and updated planning system.”
Mike Saunders, CEO and Co-Founder, Commonplace, said:
"Our data and experience at Commonplace shows that communities (in London and throughout the UK) want to take a constructive part in decisions that impact them and their neighbourhoods. Empowering them to do so will benefit everyone involved: planners; developers; businesses and communities. There is a great opportunity to rebuild trust, by ensuring people get a meaningful say via continuous engagement throughout the planning lifecycle."