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Planners should not be neutral, says POS NOVUS

Date: 8/4/2015

In a paper issued by POS NOVUS it states that planners "should not be neutral" and recommendations should be based on personal convictions.

Planning magazine highlights that the paper says: "We think big scale and long term. We consider impacts outside the red line or beyond our lifetimes. Planners should not be neutral - our recommendations should be our convictions. We should not fear being unpopular - we're not exactly popular as it is.

"Planners should be given the power and trust to make the most difficult, long-term decisions. We will engage, and be scrutinised, but we will also stand up for the common good."

The document calls for an end to a"three-way tug-of-war" in which the public are branded as nimbies, politicians as self-interested and professionals as bureaucratic.

Rather than ad hoc reforms to a broken system, the report says planners need to embrace these tensions and restructure decision-making to play to everyone's strengths. "We need it to work at different scales and speeds - a system with gears that is more agile and less reactive."

The report also calls for the public to be involved earlier on in the planning process. Currently, it says, the public's involvement in planning is "too often too late to make a positive difference".

It also says consultation methods should be improved. "We need more sophisticated tools to sample public opinion by mining existing data, instead of 'have your say' consultations and petitions that antagonise opposition."


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