Attitudes to Higher Denisty Developments in the South East

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South East England
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A survey of the attitudes of 240 councillors on Planning Committees in the South East found that housing was a top priority. However new housing proposals often failed because of concerns over extra traffic and parking (62%), opposition from local residents (51%), out of character (44%), and impact on local services (39%).

The six key obstacles raised by councillors were:

  • need to enhance and develop skills
  • insensitive design (adverse impacts on local character
  • impact on traffic and parking
  • community engagement
  • impact on infrastructure
  • the need to improve the planning process

Workshops led to 40 different ways of making the planning process work better, and there was widespread support for the idea of a 'toolkit' to share experience on good practice. The research suggested that councils could be persuaded to support higher density schemes provided they were in the right location, and offered some gains to offset the pain.The research was carried out for the South East England Regional Assembly's Urban Renaissance Advisory Group. It was undertaken by consultants URBED with support from MORI, and made use of an email questionnaire and website. 

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