The August 2020 planning white paper ‘Planning for the Future’ (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, 2020) set out broad proposals for a reformed planning system in England. This includes an aim to ‘…democratise the planning process by putting a new emphasis on engagement at the plan-making stage’ and to ‘create great communities through world-class civic engagement and proactive plan-making’.
The research reported here was carried out by a team led by Professor Gavin Parker, specifically to inform the debate about how to deliver on such aspirations and focuses on the challenge of meaningfully front-loading engagement in the system. The research applies key ideas drawn from a wider participation literature to assess live examples in practice.
The report sets out key issues relating to how current community involvement operates and how changes could be approached with front-loading and deliberation in mind.