Recognise that a one size fits all in the planning system does not incentivise economic growth in rural areas

I think that there needs to be a sea change in the approach to the planning system and I speak with 28 years work experience in both the public sector, private sector and as a regulator in the planning system as a chartered town planner.

Before the planning system existed, settlement patterns arose incrementally around things like energy sources such as rivers, high quality agricultural land and industrial opportunities.The current system does not recognise this sufficently. Also rural and urban planning issues are often quite different and need dcifferent solutions. 

Infrastructure in rural areas in England is under developed. Rail investment £ per £ is the lowest in the country in East Anglia, the A12 has been de-trunked. 

Rural areas are also the primary location of many of the country's natural and manmade assets such as archaeology, protected species and habitat etc.

We need to look again. Developing existing settlements in flood plains is not sustainable long term. Panning law needs to look at urban planning and rural planning as different entities.

We are also not properly planning for the needs of older people (the over 55's by definition) which is growing. Adaptable housing needs to be compulsary so people can continue in their own homes - this also supports the idea of wider use of community health care. We need to better plan for the needs of future generations. For example, electric cars in rural areas are not practical but diesel is as it can deal with longer travel times and distances between fill ups. Also the particulate issue is better dispersed into the atmosphere.

Urban planning for example is more concerned with issues like protecting the greenbelts and congestion which are less of an issue in rural areas. 

Why the contribution is important

Certain matters are important across the whole country in planning but others are less so. We need to better reflect the needs of rural and urban communities and I would say have a rethink on the location of new development as illustrated by the recent floods. Create new settlements rather than increasing existing ones  and building in resiliance not just to global warming but the future needs of the population and new technologies.

by Singingstar1 on February 15, 2016 at 12:23PM

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