Intelligence: 20 November 2018Research reveals differing attitudes among the generations

New research has revealed a will among younger generations to engage in the planning process, and despite advances in technology, traditions remain at the heart of keeping stakeholders informed according to our team and public affairs consultancy, JBP, who commissioned the data.

The survey, which was carried out across the UK by Survation, compared peoples’ attitudes in 2018 towards engagement during the planning process and the building of new homes to responses collated by our team as part of their Wolfson Finalist entry in 2014. 

Partner, Paul Newton said “The research has revealed a number of interesting trends such as a strong desire among people under the age of 34-years-old to engage in the planning process.

“This shift from a generation who have previously been described by others as being more civically and politically disengaged should be encouraged. But there is a need for the industry to adapt so it becomes more comfortable with engaging via a mixture of traditional and non-traditional channels, making greater use of social media to maintain this interest – change that planners should not fear.

“While it is positive that younger people want to engage with the planning process and that they are also the most trusting of local planning authorities, the research did reveal a downward trend in those trust levels as people get older.”

Key findings revealed following the research commissioned by our team and JBP are:

The need for new homes

Although those under the age of 34-years-old are the most confident about owning their own home, compared to four years ago there has been a reduction in the number of those aged between 25 and 34-years-old who believe this will be the case. This could be because of the majority of those in this demographic currently renting from a private landlord and feel they are unable to afford a deposit.

Members of the I-Generation (18 to 24-year-olds) on the other hand, who in most cases live in local authority rented accommodation or at home with their family, have stepped in to millennials’ shoes with a similarly positive outlook held by those aged 25 to 34-years-old previously.

While both millennials and the I-Generation were generally positive about owning their own home, they were less confident about being able to afford future accommodation in the area that they currently live, opening up the prospect of relocating to other parts of the UK. This was not something that both generations wanted to happen.

 

Engaging in the planning process

Young people are the most likely to have or will in the future engage in the planning process. More than 50% of those under 24-years-old and 34% of people aged between 25 and 34-years-old said they would formally support or object to a planning application. This as opposed to those aged between 45 and 74-years-old where just 15% of those surveyed would engage in the process.

One of the main reasons highlighted by those who did not want to engage was because they did not believe that their opinion would make a difference to the final decision making. Another reason was that they did not feel well enough informed about proposals.

Keeping stakeholders informed

Tradition remains at the heart of keeping people informed. Despite the number of people sending letters reducing, people prefer to receive information relating to local planning and development information via a letter.

Using this form of communication delivery was favoured across generations that were surveyed, with 58% of people stating that it was their preferred method. Meanwhile receiving information in newspapers and social media ranked as the other most popular channels.

Keeping stakeholders informed through a variety of channels would increase the chance people will see planning and development information. The survey revealed that access to information would in turn encourage people to get involved with local planning and development matters.

You can view an infographic highlighting the key findings from the survey here.

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