Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions
Planning Green Paper Planning: Delivering a Fundamental Change

Foreword Published 12 December 2001

Planning is fundamental to the way our cities, towns and villages look, the way they work and the way they relate to each other.

Getting planning right means that our goals for society are easier to achieve. Good planning can have a huge beneficial effect on the way we live our lives. It must have a vision of how physical development can improve a community.

But, some fifty years after it was first put in place, the planning system is showing its age. What was once an innovative emphasis on consultation has now become a set of inflexible, legalistic and bureaucratic procedures.A system that was intended to promote development now blocks it. Business complains that the speed of decision is undermining productivity and competitiveness. People feel they are not sufficiently involved in decisions that affect their lives.

So it is time for change.

We need good planning to deliver sustainable development, to harness growth to build a better future.We need a better, simpler, faster, more accessible system that serves both business and the community. That is exactly what this Green Paper seeks to achieve.

The Rt Hon Stephen Byers MP
Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Response | Appendix