In danger of becoming a missed opportunity: ADEPT’s response to government’s planning White Paper


The Government’s White Paper, Planning for the Future, has caused a furore amongst local authorities. And the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) is calling on the Government to think again.

ADEPT argues that the changes proposed in the White Paper are the most radical since 1947, and will have profound repercussions on planning decisions for generations to come.

The Association believes that the paper is lacking in vital detail and as it stands, risks exacerbating inequalities in different areas of the country through skewing the process to favour high value areas. In addition, these inequalities are likely to be compounded by imposing a national, top-down approach that does not reflect the local social, economic, environmental and financial challenges faced by local areas.

ADEPT President, Nigel Riglar said: “The pandemic is bringing communities closer to their local places. They want to see more attention given to green spaces, biodiversity and tackling climate change. They want their places to become healthier, more inclusive and resilient. And, most importantly, they want to have their say, not only on the principles of development through local and neighbourhood plans, but also on individual schemes.

“As it stands, the White Paper risks losing local accountability, reducing the influence of communities and their democratically elected representatives through increased deregulation.

“We believe a major reform of the planning system is overdue and presents a valuable opportunity to truly plan for the future through creating a collaborative approach. ADEPT wants to work with government to ensure a new, simplified planning system that will enable local democratic involvement, has a climate focus and will support levelling-up across the country.”

Download a copy of ADEPT’s full response here.

ADEPT describes itself as “the voice of local authority county, unitary and metropolitan strategic place directors across England with responsibility for the key place based services, including transport, environment, planning, economic development, housing and waste.”