January 27, 2020

Rethinking the Planning System for the 21st Century

The planning system has little relevance to the country’s 21st century liberalised economy and society facing continuous change. It increases the costs of housing, living and doing business. Although the planning system has regularly been tinkered with in the past few decades, its fundamental principles are the same as when it was established in 1947 as part of a government program to establish a command-and-control economy.

To remain a competitive economy and to address the country’s housing shortage, the planning system is in urgent need of wholesale reform. This report puts forwards a blueprint for doing that.

Airey and Doughty’s report is a bold entry into the global conversation about land use reform. For too long, the enemies of growth have stopped new building without any attention to costs and benefits. My hope is that this report can further a national conversation that can move England towards inclusiveness and economic dynamism by improving its system of land use controls.


Jack Airey

Head of Housing. 2018-2020

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