Green belt

Why the Tories can’t back down over planning reforms

A rigid and complicated planning system has long been one of the issues holding back the UK economy. The planning reforms announced by Robert Jenrick this week are designed to bring more predictability and speed to the system. Jenrick’s document is very much a case of politics being the art of the possible. The green belt is left alone in its entirety, despite the fact that a more rational planning system would require examining whether all of the green belt is needed, and if it is all in the right place. For example, building houses around train stations in the green belt would seem a sensible move – but these