Report reveals planning reforms could lose out on £70 Billion in additional value without investments into planning

Report reveals planning reforms could lose out on £70 Billion in additional value without investments into planning

A report by Public First, commissioned by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), revealed that planning reform and increased housing development could miss out on over £70 billion in additional value by not investing in planning.

​Leaders of the UK’s political parties have outlined ambitious housing targets. The RTPI has stated that well-resourced planning can help achieve these targets while positively impacting the economic, social, and environmental needs of the UK’s towns, cities and countryside.

​But previous research by the RTPI shows that public sector planning is in a dire state, with a 16% reduction in public spending on planning since 2009. Planners are overworked and understaffed as a result. Last year, the Institute reported that from 2013 to 2020, a quarter of planners left the public sector.

​The report indicates that, if the profession continues to be underinvested, there could be missed opportunities for a “planning premium.” This premium refers to the characteristics that contribute to the development of vibrant and safe communities, and it could provide an additional value of just under £50 billion over a ten-year period.

​The report states that utilising the power of planning to deliver new housing could lead to productivity growth worth £23 billion over ten years. This could bring the total potential loss to over £70 billion if not utilised and invested in responsibly.

Victoria Hills, Chief Executive of the RTPI, said: “This report comes at a time when home-building needs to accelerate rapidly to address the housing affordability crisis. It shows us the true value of planning when done well, and how it can deliver not just the housing the UK desperately needs, but provide value for money and quality of life to communities.”

Ed Dorrell, Partner at Public First said: “This report demonstrates that there is nothing wrong with planning. Far from it. Used strategically, planning and planners can help the country build new places – and new homes – at a volume and at a quality that people need and want.

​“Planners, when they are emboldened and enabled, can support the delivery of the kind of dense, mixed use, well-connected communities that people will want to live in, and, in-so-doing, also drive up productivity in the way that the country so desperately needs.

​ “Our work demonstrates that far from being part of the problem, planners can be part of the solution.”

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