Since the Public Services (Social Value) Act came into force in 2013, public sector organisations that commission services are required to think about how they can secure wider social, economic and environmental benefits for their local area through the procurement process. Now that Social Value is established within local authorities, should its principles of social impact extend to planning? Should the Social Value of a development be a consideration for every planning application?
To explore this question and its wider implications, Prologis hosted a Social Value workshop at its Solihull offices in March this year. Moderated by Guy Battle of the Social Value Portal, the workshop included representatives from both the public and private sectors as well as from local community groups.
Although the integration of Social Value into the procurement process is still at an early stage, councils can already see that Social Value has the potential to increase the growth and prosperity of their local areas, particularly when many are facing central government funding cuts of up to 40%.
However, as Guy Battle suggested, councils could unlock billions of pounds more for their communities by extending the principles of Social Value to the planning system.