Building Consent

Housing by Popular Demand

Building Consent

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As a word, consent derives ultimately from the Latin verb consentīre which means “to share or join in a sensation or feeling, be in unison or harmony.  But when it comes to creating a sense of harmony in our localities, regions, and with an eye to the next general election, that sense of national unity, how, at the level of place might we go about generating genuine bottom up community consent for the new housing and developments the country so desperately needs?

The premise to the collection is that while popular consent to development won’t by itself provide the total answer to the agenda per se, it should, as a factor, however, prove to be a crucial stepping stone to success.

In our report from 2021, Building Communities: planning for a clean and good growth future’, Localis outlined how genuine community engagement through better neighbourhood plans, the use of new design codes, as well as better digital channels of communication between councils and residents, will be vital to achieving national housing targets.

So, with a view to the near future and the start of the next political cycle, Localis has asked a wide range of policy experts, local government leaders and industry bodies, to sketch their plan for what a successful planning system that generates community support for development might look like.

The contributors to Localis’s essay collection set out ideas for a hope-filled future in which the new homes and developments our country needs might be built in harmony with existing communities and in line with the contours of place.

Our fourteen essays cover a lot of ground from diverse experiences and backgrounds, as planners, local politicians, policymakers and developers and covering contexts from the rural to the very urban, greenfield to brownfield.

What unites them is a need for planning that is well-resourced to deliver the quality of results and outcomes we want to see, strategic in scope to integrate at scale and engaging and empathetic enough to carry local populations with them.

Essays and essayists

  • Developing agreement on housing supply: aligning community engagement and strategic spatial planning by Catriona Riddell, Localis research fellow, strategic planning specialist for the Planning Officers’ Society.
  • Doing things differently: Facilitating planning obligations innovation with communities by Professor Samer Bagaeen, Localis research fellow
  • A local planning system that works for all by Richard Blyth, head of policy and practice, RTPI
  • Re-building consent: developing agreement on housing supply – why community participation matters by Andrew Taylor, group planning director, Vistry Group
  • Housing as infrastructure: a fairer future for all by Andy Von Bradsky, director Von Bradsky Enterprises and former head of architecture, MHCLG
  • How can Labour councils and councillors build community consent for development? Cllr Darren Rodwell, leader Barking and Dagenham LBC & housing spokesperson for the Local Government Association
  • How can Conservative councillors build community consent for development? Cllr Linda Taylor, leader Cornwall Council and Vice Chair of the LGA’s Local Infrastructure and Net Zero Board
  • How can Liberal Democrat councils and councillors build community consent for development? By Cllr Joe Harris, leader Cotswold District Council and leader of the LGA Liberal Democrat Group
  • Housing in the Core Cities by Stephen Jones, Director, Core Cities UK
  • Delivering local aspirations through strategic planning by Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, chair, District Councils’ Network
  • How counties and county unitaries will use their role and powers to promote housing delivery by Cllr Sinead Mooney, cabinet member for adult social care, Surrey County Council
  • Building the future, the West Midlands way, by Rob Lamond, head of strategy and analysis (housing, property and regeneration) West Midlands Combined Authority
  • How should we build consent for more housing in rural areas? by Paul Miner head of policy and campaigns, CPRE
  • Rural affordable housing: Understanding rural needs by Kerry Booth, chief executive, Rural Services Network
  • How do we get a local planning system that works for all? Is it all about consent? by Anna Clarke, director of policy and public affairs at The Housing Forum

Essay collection sponsored by:

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