When it comes to planning, we’ve painted ourselves into a corner

David Rudlin_index

The Raynsford Review is quite a feat but David Rudlin is ultimately disappointed

The pages of this journal have carried a number of articles about the permitted development of offices into flats. The 100,000 or so units that have been created in this way since 2010, without planning permission or housing standards may have helped the government improve its housing numbers but it is a modern-day scandal that has the potential to blow up into a news story that is every bit as bad as the exploits of Peter Rackman in the 1960s.

This was the impetus for the Town and Country Planning Association review of the planning system, chaired by Nick Raynsford, former housing and planning minister in the Blair government and now chair of the TCPA. Just as the slum conditions at the end of the 19th century prompted the creation of the TCPA, so the scandal of tiny slum flats in former offices prompted them to ask why so little has been achieved over the intervening 120 years.

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