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