The only way to make planning work in this country is to give it legal aid

David Rudlin_index

Our adversarial planning system is undermined by the unequal strength of the opposing armies, says David Rudlin

The motion at the Academy of Urbanism’s spring debate was: “This house believes that the English planning system is not fit for purpose”.

Speaking for the motion (and therefore against the planning system – yes, that got confusing as the evening proceeded) – was Nick Raynsford, author of the Raynsford Review into the future of planning, which I have written about in a previous column. He was seconded by Roger Smith of Savills and opposed by Jennifer Ross of Tibbalds and Matt Thompson of CPRE.

The reality was that no one really felt able to defend the system we have. The debate was between those who thought it was fatally flawed and those who believed it was essentially sound but has been ruined. Take your pick. Neither is very encouraging.

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