Mike Kiely, planning consultant and Chair of the POS Board, is sceptical of developers' claims that the planning system is the major block to the delivery of more homes in England.
Kiely told Planning magazine that at least part of the problem lies with kick-starting schemes that already have planning permission. "When is the government going to deliver use-it-or-lose-it requirements for developers that will make them build out their consented schemes or forfeit them?" he asked. "There are a whole lot of places where developers have bought at the wrong time and where nothing will happen until prices bounce back. Councils and developer partners should have the power to acquire those sites at current values and deliver them."
Kiely is also wary of ministers' motivation for further planning reform. "Every year, the government has got to have something in the Budget to alter the planning system, and you do have to question whether it is part of an overall strategy, or simply something to do so that they can be seen to be doing something," he said. "It's quite a turbulent time for the planning system, and it looks like we're set for more to come."