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Westminster Planning Horizons Research

DAC Planning worked with Westminster City Council’s Planning Service to explore how it can proactively respond to the planning sector’s changing landscape and therefore best equip the service for the future.


As part of this project, DAC Planning held a series of targeted conversations with senior planning sector stakeholders nationally, comprising a range of key Local Planning Authorities (LPAs), alongside planning consultants and organisations with considerable experience in supporting local authority planning services.

The research explores current local authority planning services in the context of both local authority plan-making and development management, and identifies  innovative and emerging best practice. Some of the key research questions are:

  • What can we learn from LPAs operating in the current landscape?

  • How might LPAs need to adapt in order to achieve savings targets and meet any foreseeable challenges and opportunities in the planning sector?

  • How can we maximise effective community engagement in town planning processes?


The research identified key themes that authorities are facing or will have to grapple with over the coming years, including resource, retention and recruitment challenges, planning reforms, and social media. This work will inform the participatory programme ‘Planning Horizons’, in which Westminster City Council’s Planning Service is taking part. This programme is looking to shape future ways of working.

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