It’s official – The planning system is broken. That may seem like a statement of the bleedin’ obvious, but it is also the conclusion of an interim report published by former MP and minister for Housing, Nick Raynsford, who as President of the Town & Country Planning Association is chairing a review into the planning system.

He has confirmed the system fails to work in the long-term public interest of communities or of the nation and is exploited by developers.

Key to his findings is the affect of the 2012 introduction of a NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework). Rainsford says “… the NPPF used policy to effectively undermine the statutory obligation for a plan-led system. The NPPF viability test also effectively empowered the developer of land to strike down any policy which compromised their development profit. The role of the public interest in planning is now unclear.”

The govt says it is going to improve matters by revisions to the NPPF. We shall see.

Meantime, Uttlesford District Council continues in its attempt to unilaterally impose a new town in north Uttlesford. Will it be yet another example of that dysfunctional planning system that gives massive profit to landowners, developers (and these days increasingly to Councils too), but disregards public interest?