RIBA calls for “urgent reconsideration” of proposals to deregulate planning

Tom Ravenscroft www.dezeen.com 
The UK government’s plans to deregulate the planning permission system in England will lead to poor quality housing warns the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Under new regulations announced by UK housing secretary Robert Jenrick homes, hospitals, schools, shops and offices on land designated for growth will “automatically” be granted planning permission.

“Deregulation is not the way to bring about new homes”

However, the move to deregulate the planning system was not welcomed by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

“The government has missed a huge opportunity to make changes to the planning system for the better, and we call for urgent reconsideration,” said RIBA president Alan Jones.

“Deregulation is not the way to bring about new homes.”

Described by Jenrick in the Sunday Telegraph as a “once in a generation reform”, under the new regulations land in the UK would be classified as “for growth, for renewal or for protection”.

In growth areas planning permission would be granted “automatically”, while “permission in principle” will be given in renewal areas.

“We are introducing a simpler, faster, people-focused system to deliver the homes and places we need,” said Jenrick.

“England’s housing market has failed to meet public demand”

RIBA believes that the proposed new planning system will lead to less high-quality housing being built in England.

“For too long, England’s housing market has failed to meet public demand while generating enormous returns for shareholders and executives of the large housebuilders,” added Jones.

“We urgently need a broad mix of affordable, age-friendly and sustainable housing – but it looks as though this so-called ‘planning revolution’ will deliver the opposite.”

Architects were also concerned that the changes to planning regulations would not lead to more affordable homes.

“This is just absolute boll*cks. Planning regulations are absolutely not the reason for the housing crisis,” architect Charles Holland wrote on Twitter.

“Deregulation of planning will not result in more affordable houses,” he continued. “Nor is it intended to. It is just a way to allow volume housebuilders to build more shite and make more money.”

Jenrick’s announcement followed plan announced by the government to extend permitted development rights, which RIBA warned would lead to tiny “sub-standard homes”.

“Only two weeks ago the government saw fit to extend Permitted Development regulations, contrary to its own experts and research, which have made clear the damaging consequences,” added Jones.

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