Politicians speaking at the RTPI and Planning Portal Labour Party Conference fringe event agreed planning has a role to play in ‘levelling the housing playing field’.
However, Communities and Local Government Committee Chair Clive Betts MP cautioned that fiddling around the edges of the planning system is not enough to address the challenge. He said a range of measures are needed, including helping smaller developers enter the housing market, which sparked a debate about off-site modular housing.
Other causes of low housing delivery including supply of land, small social housing sector, duty to cooperate challenges and local politics were identified by local panellists Brighton and Hove Councillor Julie Cattell MRTPI and Brighton Council Head of Planning, Liz Hobden MRTPI.
Speakers were optimistic that through strategic planning, allowing Councils to proactively plan and better approaches to viability the UK could better address the housing crisis. Sarah Chilcott, Managing Director at Planning Portal said we need consistent policy making and incentivise affordable housing by fast tracking applications which will comply with affordable housing policies, rather than challenge them.
The Labour Party Conference is an opportunity for the Institute to maintain its high profile with conservative politicians and stakeholders and discuss policy with the government, politicians and councillors away from the Westminster. The events are a vital part of the RTPI's ongoing contact with policy-makers.
View: photos from the event
Read: RTPI puts planning centre stage at Conservative conference