Is there a place for community in planning for the future?

This event, hosted by UK think tank Localis will discuss if there is a genuine role for community-led development under the latest planning reforms.

Announcing the Government’s long-awaited reform document ‘Planning for the Future, communities secretary Robert Jenrick pledged: “We want a society that has re-established powerful links between identity and place, between our unmatchable architectural heritage and the future, between community and purpose.” This is all good and unanswerable localist rhetoric.

As a term, ‘placemaking’ features on one sole occasion within the planning reform paper, while ‘community’ merits 35 mentions. The paper sets out the hope that local design codes will in future be prepared locally and be based on ‘genuine community involvement rather than meaningless consultation’ giving residents a genuine say in the design of new development.

But as we look underneath the bonnet of the paper ahead of the deadline for consultation, and what then promises to be a bruising passage through parliament despite the Government’s 80-seat majority, the question remains as to whether the importance of placemaking and sense of community will carry any operational weight under a reformed system.

Similarly, the paper talks a good talk on community-led housing developments in zoning growth areas to create diverse and flourishing communities and for community facilities to be identified in new Local Plans.


Andy Von Bradsky, head of design, MHCLG

Andrew Taylor, Group Planning Director, Countryside

Victoria Hills, chief executive, Royal Town Planning Institute

Catriona Riddell, National Strategic Planning Specialist for the Planning Officers’ Society

Professor Cllr Samer Bagaeen, Brighton & Hove City Council

Jonathan Werran, chief executive, Localis (chair)

Click here to book your place

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