NALC urges government to keep communities at the heart of planning


The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has advised the government to keep communities at the heart of planning in its response to the latter’s Planning For The Future White Paper consultation.

On behalf of the 10,000 local (parish and town) councils in England, NALC’s Annual General Meeting yesterday urged the government to ensure any changes to the planning regime, enshrine a continued strong role for the local council sector. The sector is after-all the closest democratic tier of local government which inputs to planning the future development of communities and places.

NALC does agree with the government that the planning system could be improved and should have more emphasis on building design. However, it thinks that the current proposals would result in a democratic deficit in planning and would not tackle the key issue (housing supply), leading to a slow down in the delivery of more housing. NALC also thinks that Local Plans will need much more than the suggested 30 months to put together.

However, there were some points in the White Paper that NALC does welcome, including the need to strengthen neighbourhood planning and to put more emphasis on building design. NALC also agrees with the proposal to establish a new body to support design standards and build better places.

NALC is continuing to engage with officials working on the white paper, other planning stakeholders, and the government to ensure that communities remain at the heart of planning.

Read NALC’s response

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