Project

Local Plans Expert Group

Department for Communities and Local Government

 The Local Plans Expert Group (LPEG) was established in October 2015 by the Minister of State for Planning and Housing in response to the slow pace of plan-making across England. LPEG was tasked with producing recommendations on how to streamline the process, and slash the amount of time it takes for councils to get plans in place.

Lichfields’ Senior Director Matthew Spry was appointed as an advisor on LPEG, he worked alongside its members to understand the barriers to plan-making and shape its proposals. LPEG reported in March 2016, with a suite of recommendations, aiming for faster, simpler local plans that better meet and deliver housing needs, and engage with communities.

In July 2016, Matthew appeared alongside John Rhodes (LPEG Chair) in front of the Communities and Local Government Commons Select Committee as part of its inquiry into LPEG’s recommendations findings. In October 2016, the new Secretary of State confirmed support for the central thrust of LPEGs recommendations and pledged to take forward proposals through legislation and a Housing White Paper.

It was a privilege to work on this important review. Effective plan-making ought to be at the heart of a successful planning system, but our report found progress faced too many hurdles. Our findings secured the support of most planning practitioners - from public and private sectors - and were widely seen as a sensible and proportionate way forward. Reform is necessary if a plan-led system is to endure and thrive.

Matthew Spry, Senior Director, Lichfields