Project: Councillors’ Attitudes to the Planning System

Ward councillors provide an essential link between communities and the council, particularly with regard to decisions around planning. But their voice does not receive the attention that it needs in national debates about housing and planning policy. In partnership with the National Trust, from August to October 2016 LGiU surveyed all ward councillors across England to find out their views about how well planning works in their local area.

More than 1200 councillors from across England responded to the survey. Read more about the results here.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 72% of councillors say that the system is too weighted in favour of developers at the expense of local communities
  • Half of councillors say sites that are not in line with the local plan are being approved for new housing
  • Half of councillors believe planning departments are not adequately resourced
  • 58% of councillors with Green Belt in their area think that their council will allocate Green Belt land for housing in the next five years
  • The National Planning Policy Framework does not appear to be having the positive impact it was intended to have on design quality – with only 18% of councillors feeling design has improved since the NPPF was drawn up, and only 12% of councillors think that the loosening of planning restrictions has had a positive effect

For more information, please contact Andrew Walker: andrew.walker@lgiu.org.uk