On the 6th August 2020, the UK Government published its White Paper which included proposals on how to reform England’s planning system. With its purpose to simplify, accelerate and modernise planning, three pillars of change were outlined: Planning for Development, Planning for Beautiful and Sustainable Places and Planning for Instructure, with the end goal to get Britain to “build, build, build”.
In summary, the government has drafted the below reforms:
Plans to overhaul outdated planning systems and reform the way the country builds
- Plans to overhaul outdated planning systems and reform the way the country builds
- Value green spaces that will be protected for future generations
- Build beautiful homes with communities at the heart
- Streamline the planning process, cut red tape and harness technology to deliver homes faster
- Offer a 30% discount through First Homes, with an emphasis on key workers
With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to cast a shadow over our economy, these changes to the UK planning system will not only give local authorities and businesses scope to deliver the homes people need, but they will create thousands of jobs and boost small building companies across the country.
“These once in a generation reforms will lay the foundations for a brighter future, providing more homes for young people and creating better quality neighbourhoods and homes across the country. We will cut red tape, but not standards, placing a higher regard on quality, design and the environment… planning decisions will be simple and transparent, with local democracy at the heart of the process”.
– Housing Secretary RT Hon Robert Jenrick MP
What outcomes should we expect from these reforms?
- Local communities will be consulted from the very beginning of the planning process, through harnessing the latest technologies which will be made more accessible to them
- Increased building on brownfield land and all new streets to be lined with trees, to improve green spaces for future residents
- Much-needed homes will be built quicker by ensuring local housing plans are developed and agreed in 30 months, not seven years
- Every neighbourhood will have a local plan in place, as currently only 50% of locals areas have plans to build more homes
- The current planning process will be replaced with a clearer, rules based system, as around a third of planning cases in the past, that went to appeal, were overturned
- New ‘zero carbon ready’ homes delivered under the new system will not require any future retrofitting
- A simpler national levy to replace the current system, which often causes delays
- The creation of a fast-track system for beautiful buildings and establishing local design guidance for developers to build and preserve communities
So, what does ‘Planning for the Future’ mean to us at Hello Lamp Post?
With the need to modernise the day-to-day operation of the planning system, the reforms will give “neighbourhoods and communities an easier and more meaningful voice in the future development of their area, through the use of technology” – in short, this proposed reform couldn’t describe our business and purpose more perfectly, even if we tried. Hello Lamp Post is a human-centric citizen engagement platform, that encourages people to exchange playful text conversations with street objects using their phones. Through people sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings, we help governments and smart city projects to collect data and insights from these interactions, to better inform the development of cities of the future. So far Hello Lamp Post has deployed in 20+ cities across the world, including Mesa (Arizona), Austin (Texas), Bristol (UK), London (UK), Utrecht (Netherlands), Malmo (Sweden) and Tokyo (Japan) for a variety of use cases. Depending on the priorities of city governments we work with, we adapt deployments around key topics like Way-Finding, Culture and Tourism, Urban Planning, Air Quality, Transport and more.
To summarise, we are incredibly excited about the governments’ plans to help local authorities to achieve their goals, especially when it comes to making planning notices interactive. Our CEO, Tiernan Mines commented: “The aim to modernise the day-to-day planning system will help to reduce any challenges with engagement throughout the planning process, and will ultimately achieve true democracy from the masses in local decision making – this is exactly how it should be!”
Exciting times lie ahead for us here at Hello Lamp Post and we look forward to sharing our success stories, as a result of these new changes soon.