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Town and Country Planning Association’s Raynsford Review issues call for evidence

A review set up by planning body the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) to identify how the government can reform the planning system to make it fairer, better resourced and capable of tackling the major challenges which confront the nation has issued a call for evidence.

The TCPA said that the review, chaired by former housing and planning minister and TCPA president Nick Raynsford, will be informed by a task force of experts in policy, law, planning practice and public participation.

Members of the task force, announced today, include the Planning Officers Society’s immediate past president Anna Rose and former chief planning inspector Chris Shepley (see full list below).

According to the TCPA, the review has been sparked by “widespread concerns that the planning process is no longer capable of shaping the kinds of places which will support our environment and economy and secure the health and wellbeing of communities now and in the future”.

The TCPA said that the review aims to provide a positive set of recommendations to completely reshape planning, restoring its democratic and creative purposes.

A formal call for evidence has been launched.  TCPA said there will be a series of engagement events over the next 18 months to ensure that the report is based on the experience of politicians, planning practitioners in the public and private sectors, housing providers, developers, consultants, academics and the public.

Raynsford said: “More than ever we need a planning system which commands the confidence of the public and delivers outcomes of which we can feel proud.

“After too many years of piecemeal changes and tinkering with the system, we need to go back to first principles and seek to develop a practical blueprint for the future of planning in England. That is the objective of this review.”

Rose said: “I believe that planning has reached a crossroads in terms of its future. When used responsibly and imaginatively, planning can lead to the delivery of great places. The opposite is also unfortunately true.

“Planning has become a political football, leading to frequent changes in direction and a lack of certainty and consistency in terms of purpose. It is time for a review and I can’t wait to get started.”

The members of the Raynsford Review task force are:

  •  Nick Raynsford (Chair of the Taskforce)
  •  Maria Adebowale-Schwarte, founding director, Living Space Project
  •  Julia Foster, managing partner, David Lock Associates
  •  Tom Fyans, interim chief executive, Campaign to Protect Rural England
  •  Kate Henderson, chief executive, TCPA
  •  Lord Kerslake, former head of the civil service, president-elect, LGA and chair, Peabody
  •  Anna Rose, immediate past president, Planning Officers Society and director of growth, economy and culture, Milton Keynes Council
  •  Professor Yvonne Rydin, professor of planning, environment and public policy, University College London’s Bartlett School of Planning
  •  Chris Shepley, consultant and former chief planning inspector for England and Wales
  •  William Upton, barrister and secretary of the Planning and Environment Bar Association (PEBA)
  •  Finn Williams, regeneration area manager for North West London, Greater London Authority and founder of public sector planning think-tank NOVUS

Further information about the Raynsford Review can be found here   and terms of reference here