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Pink Planning – diluting the red tape

In their new report Pink Planning, published by the Centre for Policy Studies on Friday 7 November, economist Keith Boyfield and public lawyer Daniel Greenberg, propose a simple solution to Britain’s planning problem: Pink Zones – an innovation that will kick-start British planning.

Pink Zones – dubbed pink because they provide a diluted regulatory regime compared with the red tape that characterises the current paralysed planning system:

  • they are intended to provide a simplified planning system for the construction of vibrant, attractive and prosperous new residential developments underpinned by social infrastructure;
  • they are designed to work from the bottom up – not the top down – bringing together local residents, developers and councils to achieve consensus over new development and accelerate the development process; 
  • they will increase competition, bypass many current planning regulations and improve design standards.

Keith Boyfield explains:

“In the past a great number of housing developments were built in the UK by private entities – in some cases of a philanthropic nature, such as Bournville. Pink Zones could trigger institutional funding for investment in new housing – institutions such as life insurance companies, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and charitable foundations. Ultimately Pink Zones would create more and better homes for people throughout the country and tackle the poverty of aspiration which typifies much residential construction in this country. People would be happier and the country would be richer.

Support for Pink Planning:

  • Steve Norris
    Chairman of BNP Paribas Real Estate, former London Mayoral candidate.

­   “I warmly welcome this contribution to a massive issue which affects the lives of millions of people all over the country.  Making our planning system more predictable, less time consuming and more affordable should be a key priority for politicians at every level.  Pink Planning offers a way forward.  It is now for others to follow.”

  • Matthew Colledge
    former Leader of Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council.      

­   “Just as the combination of private capital and civic leadership defined and created our great cities in the 19th century, so Pink Planning today refreshes those principles and provides a roadmap to simplify and stimulate our approach to housing and development across the country. As our need for accommodation becomes ever more acute so this report provides the template to get Britain building again.”

  • Hank Dittmar
    world-leading Urbanist, Government Advisor and Planning Consultant. Former Chief Executive of The Prince's Foundation for Building Community.

­   "Every time government tries planning reform things just get more complex. At last someone has proposed an end run around the complexity toward what we all want: growth that is both affordable and creates quality places. The pink zone assembles existing tools in a way that cuts through the fog.”

  • Andrés Duany
    leading Architect, Urban Planner, and a founder of the Congress for the New Urbanism.

­   “The problem with the British explosion of planning red tape addressed by this paper is not a sideshow; it already incapacitates those who are competing in a ruthless, globalized, twenty first century. A simpler, bottom up approach as outlined here which encourages competition is the only way forward.”

  • John Fingleton
    former Senior Advisor to both the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury. Chief Executive of the Office of Fair Trading from 2005 to 2012.

­   "Inefficiency in the planning system is a serious obstacle to economic growth and prosperity in Britain. This proposal would represent a practical step forward and is very worthy of support."

  • Lord Flight
    Director of Metrobank plc. Former Member of Parliament for Arundel and South Downs. Former Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Shadow Paymaster General and Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
  • Nick Hewer
    former Public Relations Consultant and Television Presenter best known for his role as Lord Sugar's advisor on The Apprentice.

Planning Media Coverage:

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