The Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove has released initial blueprints for the long-awaited Levelling Up White Paper. Victoria Hills, Chief Executive of RTPI, has put together the following statement in response:

“The Royal Town Planning Institute is reservedly optimistic of the Secretary of State’s initial briefing. There is clear recognition of the built environment’s vital role in addressing economic inequality and shifting power closer to communities. Planning is more than delivering homes, it encompasses transport, health, work, environmental sustainability, and other policy areas across the missions that Michael Gove has mentioned.

“The regeneration of 20 towns and cities is a positive first step for the Levelling Up White Paper. Previous regeneration projects have put strategic planning at their heart and shown how the planning system can set the context for development, creating a more sustainable and healthier built environment. The RTPI hope the model established by these schemes can be adopted across England to help communities restore pride in the places they live, work and interact.

“Our members will be encouraged by these initial announcements. Planners are passionate about the communities that they live and work in. Our members tell us consistently that being resourced appropriately to engage communities and reflect their needs in development is the most important factor. The right level of support can help to make a planner’s career fulfilling and bring planning professionals to the table early and often can create better economies of scale.

“The RTPI will be keeping a close watch in the coming days, but it is our ambition that the planning system will be provided with the adequate recognition and resourcing necessary to benefit housing delivery, better quality development and regional imbalances to create and shape communities that citizens can be proud of.”