Planning System Overhaul Central to Queen’s Speech

Read VU.CITY response to The Queen’s Speech, on the key changes are required to modernise our current planning system and how tech can help.

VU.CITY response to the Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament
12 MAY 2021

Whilst last week’s Queen’s Speech emphasised the levelling up agenda and the government’s plan to overhaul the planning system that was published in the White Paper last year, which highlighted the importance of using technology. Digitization is key to speeding up the delivery of homes, and to enabling citizens to have a greater understanding and involvement in plans for their local community.

Whilst some of the elements of the forthcoming Planning Bill are being hotly debated, the need to make best use of modern digital technology is widely acknowledged. And there are good examples of where digital technology is already being adopted to help planning decisions. However, there is still more work to be done to create standardisation and training in order to help democratise the planning system to ensure maximum transparency.

The ‘proptech’ sector is growing rapidly, with ‘plantech’ businesses such as VU.CITY, recognising the need for an accurate, independent platform that can be used by all stakeholders. Whether or not the planning system is the main impediment to the faster supply of housing, there is no doubt that an accessible, digitized system developed right from the outset of the planning cycle can only be beneficial. 

There are now a number of digital software solutions that can help to engage and appraise the merits of proposed developments. These will go a long way to rebuilding the trust between the development industry, local authorities and the general public that is at the heart of an efficient and effective planning system.

We await the publication of the Planning Bill with great interest. The answer will, as always, be in the detail and what we’re particularly keen to understand is whether the government will back up its ambition with the investment needed to bring forward new tools, which enhance access to key geospatial datasets and empower both built environment professionals and the public to make better planning decisions, faster.