Can the New Housing Minister Tackle the Housing Crisis Through Digital Planning?

Piers Mulroney, Head of Commercial Partnerships & Policy, discusses the role of digitisation to deliver much needed housing.
Read More
Piers Mulroney

By Piers Mulroney - Head of Commercial Partnerships & Policy (UK&I)

Latest news this week is a new Housing Minister in the cabinet reshuffle. We are losing Chris Pincher MP who, to his credit, has been in the role for two years and is the first housing minister to achieve this since Brandon Lewis MP held the position between 2014 and 2016. He should be credited with having delivered the Planning White Paper which was courageous in its encouragement of an increased role of technology in improving the UK planning system. 

It's fair to say the UK as a country is fairly obsessed with the property market. So tackling a complicated issue like housing is never an easy job. The good news is, with the DLUHC led PropTech Engagement funds, authorities all over the country are working with the private sector to come up with innovative solutions to tackle local issues which can then be scaled nationally. New, exciting and fresh ideas and approaches are starting to emerge.    

So what can digital planning do to help the new Housing Minister Stuart Andrew deliver? Well specifically for his constituents in Pudsey who may visit or work in the nearby city of Leeds the good news is that VU.CITY has modelled Leeds City centre and digital planning is already helping to improve the local area. 

But more broadly here are three things he would find useful to know with how digital planning is currently supporting him to tackle the UK housing crisis:

  1. Increasing digitisation of planning data: Digitising planning policy and applications can help streamline decision making and reduce invalid applications
  1. Speeding up the feasibility process: 3D visualisation and parametric modelling are super charging the design and feasibility process. Helping deliver better solutions in areas for multiple stakeholders 
  1. Rebuilding trust and empowering communities: The latest technology is building trust and transparency into the consultation process to help people better communicate their feelings and ideas.

Digitisation of the UK planning system is but one of the ways the incoming Housing Minister can deliver on promises to improve the UK housing market. DLUHC have made a strong start to bringing digitalisation to the forefront of the government agenda. We need to see Stuart Andrew pick up this mantra going forward.