Published: 11th Oct 2012

It was Eric Pickles who coined the term ‘drag anchors’ suggesting that planning was an unnecessary regulatory burden  which spiked the engine of growth.  In the context of the poor economic climate and the publication of the national planning policy framework (NPPF), growth and planning have enjoyed a stormy relationship, positioned as adversaries rather than allies. But how does the relationship between growth and planning, the engine and the drag anchor operate in practice?  During the summer I did a bit of research, as part of my PhD, exploring the relationship between economic growth and planning in different types of places.  These are some of my conclusions: Using planning policy to create growth is a bit like alchemy:  In places where growth is happening, the key jobs of the planner are to help regulate the process in order to maximise the benefits for people living in an area and tackle … (To read the full article, subscribe below)