2020 will be remembered for many things. The pandemic and flooding among them. It will also be remembered as the year they took planning away from the people. The government’s proposals in the white paper Planning for the Future and associated documents are bold. They will transfer many local planning powers from councils and communities to Whitehall and the planning inspectorate in Bristol. Ministers want planning by checklist instead of considered, albeit sometimes difficult, planning deliberations that lead to quality developments. There are sensible ideas in the government’s proposals but they are countered by its determination to take democracy and localism out of planning.