Who are the people and the organisations that have had the most influence over planning during the past couple of years?
One could make a case for Jack Airey and Policy Exchange. Airey, who joined Localis having graduated in geography, became Head of Housing at Policy Exchange before being appointed Downing Street’s special adviser on housing and planning. In the spirit of Dominic Cummings’ shake-up of government apparatus, the attraction of Airey could have been his Policy Exchange paper called ‘Rethinking the Planning System for the 21st Century’, some of which found it’s way into the albeit now seemingly-jettisoned ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper.
One could also make a case for Nicholas Boys-Smith and Create Streets. Boys-Smith, a history graduate, desk officer in the Conservative Research Department and banker, founded Create Streets in 2013; was a co-chair of the Build Better, Build Beautiful Commission; and was appointed by the previous Secretary of State as chair of an ‘Office for Place’.
Conspicuously neither are planners…
Could a case be made for present planning policy being influenced by Think Tanks to a degree not seen since the simplified planning promoted by right-leaning Think Tanks like the Centre for Policy Studies in the 1980s? Either way, it is a reminder of the influence of Think Tanks on the planning policy agenda, which makes it a topic worthy of conversation on a town planning-based podcast.
Sam Stafford puts these questions to:
- Samuel Hughes, Research Fellow at the University of Oxford and Senior Follow at Policy Exchange
- Anya Martin, Director at PricedOut and a researcher in the social housing sector
- Matthew Lesh, Head of Public Policy at the IEA
BECG proudly supports the 50 Shades of Planning Podcast from Samuel Stafford, Regional Strategic Land Director at Barratt Developments.