Can AI Help Solve The UK’s Planning Issues?

Can AI help solve the UK’s planning issues?

Having had a long weekend to relax and reflect on business, a couple of difference themes came to mind which if combined could potentially solve, or at least partially solve the UK planning issue.

And with all the talk about Chat GPT the obvious place to start to investigate was to ask it some questions and look at the responses. Here are the responses direct from Chat GPT.

How to Fix the UK’s Planning Problems

The UK has a long-standing problem with planning. Too often, new developments are blocked by nimbys (not in my backyard) who object to anything that might change the character of their neighbourhood. This can lead to a shortage of housing, office space, and other essential infrastructure.

There are a number of suggested ways to fix the UK’s planning problems.

  • Give local authorities more power to approve developments without having to go through a lengthy and expensive planning process. This would make it easier for developers to build the homes, schools, and hospitals that the country needs.
  • Introduce a system of zoning. This would divide the country into different areas, each with its own set of rules about what can be built. This would make it easier for developers to know what they can and cannot build, and it would reduce the number of objections from nimbys.
  • Provide financial incentives to developers who build in areas that are currently under-developed. This would encourage developers to build in areas that are in need of new housing and infrastructure, and it would help to reduce the pressure on over-developed areas.
  • Automate the process of processing planning applications. This would free up planners to focus on more complex cases, and it would also help to reduce the time it takes to process applications.
  • Identify potential planning issues early on. AI can be used to analyse large amounts of data, such as planning regulations and environmental data, to identify potential planning issues before they become a problem. This would help to prevent problems from escalating and causing delays or costs.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders. AI can be used to create interactive models of proposed developments, which can be used to engage with stakeholders and get their feedback early on in the planning process. This would help to build consensus and avoid disputes later on.

Of course, there are no easy solutions to the UK’s planning problems. But by taking some of the steps outlined above, the government can make it easier for developers to build the homes, schools, and hospitals that the country needs.

In the meantime, here are a few funny suggestions from Chat GPT  to fix the UK’s planning problems:

  • Hire a team of clowns to dress up as planning inspectors and go door-to-door, handing out lollipops and balloons to anyone who agrees to let a new development go ahead.
  • Create a new reality TV show called “Planning Wars,” in which nimbys compete against developers in a series of challenges to see who can win the approval of the planning committee.
  • Start a new social media platform called “NIMBYgram,” where nimbys can share pictures and videos of their latest objections.

With a little creativity, we can all help to find solutions to the UK’s planning problems.

And not surprisingly AI is already being used in some planning departments today

  • The London Borough of Hackney is using AI to automate the process of checking planning applications for compliance with planning regulations. This has reduced the time it takes to process applications by 50%.
  • The City of Manchester is using AI to identify potential planning issues early on. This has helped to prevent problems from escalating and causing delays or costs.
  • The West Midlands Combined Authority is using AI to create interactive models of proposed developments. This is helping to engage with stakeholders and get their feedback early on in the planning process.

These are just a few examples of how AI is being used in planning in the UK. As AI technology continues to develop, we can expect to see even more innovative ways to use AI to solve planning problems.

Overall and not being an expert user of Chat GPT I was surprised by the quality of the response as well as the facts it had found on existing AI usage, which I was not expecting. Obviously Chat GPT is something that is going to improve and be able to supply some challenging ideas.

Does anyone have any other humorous suggestions on how AI is or could be used to resolve the UK planning issues?  If yes please forward them to BLG?


Peter Wade, Chairman, BLG Development Finance



“We have used BLG for development finance for over 8 years. During that time we have found their knowledge and expertise in the property development industry to be second to none. Their loan process, pragmatic and flexible approach to lending and flexibility when required has supported our business needs throughout the period and provided us with support to deliver new homes in Bristol and the surrounding areas.”

“As property developers you never know the curve balls that you may get and a project that is great on paper may prove a bit more tricky.  This happened to us on a project that BLG have funded and throughout they have supported us.  Our business likes to be collaborative and when we hit those tough moments it really felt like we were working as a team with BLG.  If you have a decent project you can get it funded, but what you really need is a business that is there to support and advise you as well.  For us on this project it was BLG.”

“I approached BLG Development finance with an opportunity I had in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, to build 5 new build houses in 2021. My main contact was Anil Bains who is a Director covering Asset Management. Within very quick timescales, BLG provided me with indicative quotes in regards the finance levels they could offer me. Having considered those levels, I requested a valuation to be carried out which again was dealt with swiftly. We proceeded to completion. The build went very smoothly with monthly monitoring being carried out by BLG and monthly drawdown requests dealt with in a very timely manner. Due to a difficult time generally in the market in regards selling, I was in need of a six-month extension to the loan which again was appraised very quickly and granted. Having dealt with numerous funders over the last 20 years, I can only speak highly of my personal experience with BLG and would very confidently work with them again on any future projects. “

"From our side it has also been a pleasure working with BLG and the team there. We have found you easy to deal with, proactive in resolving any minor issues that have arisen through the project and shown great flexibility in working with us as a partner. We will certainly like to work with you on future partners."

“I really appreciate your hard work. We really like the way you communicate & I must say I haven't seen many people who are that approachable.”

“A very efficient processing team, dealing with the DD once deal credit approved, through to completion”

“Many thanks for your efforts on this one and getting it approved and sorted so swiftly, very much appreciated. I am sure I will be speaking to your over the coming months.”

“We had other funding options, but chose to use BLG again, as we work well with the team, who always provide very clear information and advice with a friendly approach throughout the funding process. Very efficient and always very helpful.”

“Many thanks Anil, it’s been a real pleasure working with BLG so far.  We’re lining up the next project too”

“We would recommend all staff we have dealt with at BLG, as we are very satisfied with the team and the initial offer/terms presented, then you and the funding team, through to the draw down team at valuation stage.”

“All documents are clear and the way you keep clients informed, all the way along the funding process, is refreshing for us”

“With regard to what should be improved at BLG, we work with many lenders in our business and we do not get the help and response we have had on the two projects with all at BLG on our funding for our developments.”

“We would particularly mention Dave Edwards and Tom Pitts as being central to having a smooth working relationship and being positive and helpful at all times. Their guidance in helping us navigate the project from inception to completion was invaluable. As was their patience, particularly at the beginning. We look forward to many future projects with the BLG team.”

“We would like to express our appreciation for your support on our development in Bristol. We were very pleased that, from the outset, you shared our vision of the project to convert a dated but classical building, that had outlived its usefulness as a school, into unique luxury apartments with views overlooking the city. We found our dealings practical and streamlined. Monthly payments were processed in an efficient and timely manner.”

“BLG are very good at communicating with clients and all documents are very clear and all at BLG are always happy to help.”

    Quick Enquiry?

    We’re here to help.