A blog about planning, planning law and planning policy


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“Faith based planning?”

The Expanding Universe

The Expanding Universe

Ouch. My planning law colleague Stephen Ashworth of Dentons has put up a post today on their UK Planning Law Blog with this title. He reports that the Government’s changes last November to make development easier for small developers by reducing the thresholds for affordable housing and tariff style contributions are being challenged in the High Court by Reading and West Berkshire Councils with the support of a number of others.

One of the issues will be that DCLG did not carry out any analysis of the numbers of affordable homes or cash likely to be lost before promoting the policy. Stephen writes, “Whilst there may well be good public policy justifications for the changes, promoting new policy without at least some public understanding of the consequences is just daft. It is tantamount to faith based planning.” I hope that Stephen doesn’t mean that faith is daft. We do things by faith all the time. Presumably he – like me – takes Paracetamol when he has a headache and has faith that it works. And by faith I accept that the universe is expanding – scientists and astronomers I do not know tell me this but even they know that is only a theory to which they subscribe until there is a better one. And the Bible tells us that “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” – Hebrews Chapter 11 verse 1. At the risk of inviting Richard Dawkins to contribute, there is plenty of good evidence for the death and resurrection of Jesus, and as a practising Christian myself I do not regard it “daft” to believe and to have faith in God.

Here is a link to Stephen’s post. Thanks Stephen for giving me the opportunity to bring the important things in life into my blog.

1 comment to “Faith based planning?”

  • I have faith in anything that speeds up the planning process, for anyone to claim that a single dwelling could contribute towards affordable housing is a bit like “faith planning”. If self-builders and small builders can get through to the spade stage without having to negotiate the terror that is the begging bowl of LPAs then God speed!

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