UK garden towns plan launched to provide 200,000 new homes

New report finds Britain’s planning system not fit for purpose

A report produced by think tank Demos, entitled ‘People Powered Planning’, highlights major concerns about the effectiveness of the British planning system.

The 32-page report, which involved surveying 1,000 UK adults, demonstrated that more than half (54%) of people did not feel involved in their local area’s planning or housing decisions.

Generation gap divided on new homes

It seems there is a divide between generations for supporting the building of new homes. Only 39% of people aged above 55 are in favour of new homes and half of this age group are likely to have been involved with the planning system, compared to 46% of young people aged under 34. The age group most in support of new housing is the 18-34s with 57% in favour.

Data taken from the survey confirmed that 47% of the public are in favour of new local housing with 27% objecting. However, the largest volume of support for new housing schemes came from renters with 60% in favour, in comparison to 42% of homeowners who backed building new homes.

Only 29% of renters have had any involvement in planning compared to 56% of homeowners. The results of the survey indicated that support of a new proposed housing development could be increased by around 10% if local residents were consulted more extensively.

Engagement in planning dominated by residents opposed to development

The report’s author, Ben Glover, said: “The planning system has been captured by those most opposed to new house-building. Engagement in the system is often dominated by those that are less supportive of new homes in their local area.”

Demos and Nationwide, which funded the report, are calling for “new forms of decision making” such as citizens’ assemblies to “encourage consensus not conflict”.

The report recommends that central government provide ring-fenced emergency funding to local planning authorities with the aim of improving their ability to involve people in planning decisions. It also suggests that central government should launch a digital planning innovation fund, enabling local planning authorities to develop innovative online consultation and engagement tools for planning.

Tony Alexander, Nationwide’s commercial lending director, said: “Better engagement with local communities is something developers should embrace not fear. Encouraging people to get involved with the planning process will help identify supporters who may be willing to champion new homes.

“Tapping into local knowledge can also make new developments better – highlighting traffic problems, supporting good design and identifying important local facilities.”

Self-certified Sophisticated Investor

Please read

I declare that I am a self-certified sophisticated investor for the purposes of the restriction on promotion of non-mainstream pooled investments. I understand that this means:

I am a self-certified sophisticated investor because at least one of the following applies:

I accept that the investments to which the promotions will relate may expose me to a significant risk of losing all of the money or other property invested. I am aware that it is open to me seek advice from someone who specialises in advising on non-mainstream pooled investments.

High Net Worth Investor

Please read

I make this statement so that I can receive promotional communications which are exempt from the restriction on promotion of non-mainstream pooled investments. The exemption relates to certified high net worth investors and I declare that I qualify as such because at least one of the following applies to me:


Sign up for first access to new developments and exclusive property investment opportunities.

We send limited and targeted emails on new launches and exclusive deals which best fit your areas. We are trusted by over 30,000 active buyers as their source for new stock.

  • New property developments
  • Professional market reports
  • Property deal alerts
  • Development updates
Manchester property investment


Receive trending news straight to your inbox and stay up to date on all of the property market trends and advice.

Established since 2005 we are a leading voice of authority and commentary on the UK property market. Our news is trusted by Apple News & Google News.

  • UK housing market
  • Mortgage & money
  • Buy-to-let landlords
  • Guides & advice

Talk to us

Speak to our UK property experts today:


+44 (0) 333 123 0320

Open from 9am-6pm GMT


+852 6699 9008

Open from 9am-6pm HKT