Rebuilding Trust

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland (GBI) has conducted the largest ever canvassing of public trust in placemaking in the UK.

As well as measuring levels of public distrust in placemaking and large-scale development, the research also unpicks the drivers of this lack of trust.

We are now seeking to bring together a range of representatives from the development industry, public sector and civic society to help us act to restore trust in the planning system.

Too often there is a stand-off between communities developers and councils that stalls development, to the detriment of all. To understand the issue, we conducted the largest ever canvassing of public trust in placemaking in the UK, which found that trust in the planning system is almost non-existent. When it comes to planning for large-scale development just 2% of the public trust developers and only 7% trust local authorities. 

Download our discussion paper and research finding below.

At Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, we see this as a clear mandate for a new approach to housebuilding and large scale development.

We believe that more homes and new spaces can be successfully delivered if trust is rebuilt – but this will require a change in behaviour on the part of both private and public sector leaders. 

As a first step, we have made two commitments that address the major findings of the research and drivers of distrust.

We will:

  • Increase transparency in the consultation, decision making and design process for a large scale development by enabling scrutiny from an independent and objective commentator;
  • Help communities better understand how to get involved and influence developments – by developing a gold standard for consultation and engagement against which our business can be held accountable.


Restoring public trust will take time and requires a broad effort backed by industry and civic leadership. The prize − great places that extend opportunity to all, backed by good public policy and an honest discussion of the trade-offs − is too great to ignore.


Hear more from our previous Chief Executive, Craig McWilliam, below.

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