For the planning reforms to work architects will need to be involved from the start

Hilary Satchwell (1) (2)

Design tensions go to the heart of the new Planning Bill, says Hilary Satchwell

After the wide-reaching changes to the planning system set out in last summer’s White Paper, we might have been forgiven for thinking that this week’s announcement of the Planning Bill would be equally significant when it comes to design.

Alongside its levelling up proposals and commitment to economic recovery post-pandemic, the government wants planning to be quicker, more responsive and digitally based, which it believes will allow more engagement (its view is that there is very little meaningful engagement in the current system) and greater certainty.

The planning system is also expected to deliver – rapidly – much of the required education, health and transport infrastructure also mooted within the speech, while the environmental assessment of new development is intended to be simplified and enhanced.

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