Planning consultations on logistics and industrial are missing the mark, argues hgh Executive Director, Mathew Mainwaring
The Government’s consultation regarding the needs of the logistics and industrial sector was published this month (July 2023). Whilst Government attention on this sector is positive, the planning proposals are short on detail as to how local authorities should develop their policy positions to better support specific industries.
The pace at which any new policy support will be introduced is also unclear with no immediate changes being proposed. Greater emphasis is placed on a ‘call for evidence’ with reform unlikely to happen soon. In the meantime, missed opportunities for economic growth will continue, to the detriment of employment creation.
The sector needs more explicit support to much better recognise how the modern logistics (and industrial) sectors operate in a 21st century economy. Planning policy at the national level in England and in local plans is still rooted in a traditional view of light industrial, general industrial and storage & distribution. This approach does not fully recognise how modern logistics development has advanced over the last 10-15 years and the significant economic output that is generated from such activity.
In terms of land requirements, planning for the modern needs of logistics (and industrial) development has not received the attention and support that it merits.
Similarly, this week’s Government announcements on how the housing crisis will be addressed also fall significantly short of what is required. This leaves two very significant parts of the economy with their needs not being properly met, with all the associated detrimental effects on a properly functioning society.
Whilst the Government is finding the housing crisis politically more difficult to address, the same should not be true for addressing the needs of the logistics and industrial sectors – and of the UK economy.
Mathew Mainwaring was recently featured discussing the above issue in Property Week.
Header image: Marcus Jozwiak on Unsplash