Localis issues essay collection on building consent for housing renewal

Independent think-tank Localis has today issued a collection of essays from leading planning experts and local council leaders setting out ideas for how popular approval for new housing and developments might be gained across communities.

Entitled ‘Building consent: housing by popular demand’, the collection includes essays from contributors across the local government family as well as planning experts including Barking and Dagenham Council leader and Local Government Association (LGA) housing spokesperson Cllr Darren Rodwell, as well as Conservative Vice Chair of the LGA’s Local Infrastructure and Net Zero Group, Cornwall Council leader Cllr Linda Taylor and Cllr Joe Harris, leader of the LGA Liberal Democrat Group.

The role of strategic planning in building consent for new housing features in essays from the chairman of the District Councils’ Network. Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen as well as Catriona Riddell, who is strategic planning specialist for the Planning Officers’ Society and that of Richard Blyth, who as head of policy and practice for the Royal Town Planning Institute, outlines a local planning system that works for all.

Stephen Jones, director of Core Cities UK sets out in his essay the housing ambitions for the country’s major urban centres, while Cllr Sinead Mooney from Surrey County Council outlines how counties and county unitaries could use their role and powers to promote housing delivery.

Countryside consent is covered in essays from Kerry Booth, chief executive of the Rural Services Network who writes on affordable housing and Paul Miner, head of policy and campaigns for the Campaign to Protect Rural England who writes on building consent for more housing in rural areas.

Localis chief executive, Jonathan Werran, said: “The contributors to Localis’s essay collection set out ideas for a hope-filled future in which the new homes and developments are country needs might be built in harmony with existing communities and in line with the contours of place.

“Our fifteen essays cover a lot of ground from diverse experiences and backgrounds, as planners, local politicians, policymakers and developers and covering contexts from the rural to the very urban, greenfield to brownfield.

“What unites them is a need for planning that is well-resourced to deliver the quality of results and outcomes we want to see, strategic in scope to integrate at scale and engaging and empathetic enough to carry local populations with them.”

Andrew Taylor, group planning director, Vistry Group, said: “Delivering new homes and communities at the scale and speed that is necessary is a challenge.

“It leads to challenges, difficult decisions and impact on localities. It is essential that we work between local government, developers, the third sector and communities to find ways of delivering great new communities and the homes we need.

“Delivering that constructive dialogue starts by understanding different perspectives, different viewpoints, their needs and aspirations – it continues and delivers where that constructive dialogue continues over a long period of time building mutual trust and understanding.

“As Anna Clarke postulates in her essay, consent is important, but decision making is about making balanced decisions, balancing different viewpoints and needs to ensure that we deliver for our current and future generations.”

The essay collection can be accessed hereBuilding consent: housing by popular demand