National renewal of planning system could have significant impact on UK economy, says RTPI

National renewal of planning system could have significant impact on UK economy, says RTPI

Victoria Hills, Chief Executive of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), states national renewal of the planning system could have a significant impact on the planning profession and the UK economy.

A recent report by Public First, commissioned by the RTPI, revealed that investing in planning could unlock £70 billion in additional value for communities and the UK economy.

Victoria Hills, Chief Executive of the Royal Town Planning Institute, said: “The Chancellor has wasted no time in preparing plans that will have a positive impact on the planning profession and the UK’s economy. Her goals highlight the role of our planning system in boosting the UK economy, and mark a clear shift in the government’s understanding of what our system can provide. Our members should be under no illusion that this will put a focus on delivery across the planning system.

​“However, our members in local authorities are overworked and understaffed, and have faced years of severe strain. Economic success will therefore require proactive planning and an investment into our planning system.”

On local plans and green belt:

​“It is promising to see the government begin its parliamentary term with policy changes keenly fought for by the RTPI, including universal coverage of local plans, and reviews of greenbelt boundaries. These changes will be essential for rebuilding trust and coordination in our planning system and for ensuring that new developments are done with local communities, rather than to them.”​

On reforming the National Policy Planning Framework (NPPF):

​”The Chancellor outlined plans to reform the NPPF and restore mandatory housing targets. Our members have been clear that recent changes to the NPPF have left many councils, especially those with significant land constraints, with few incentives to deliver on existing housing targets.

“Locally-determined housing targets that are well evidenced and aligned to a plan-led ‘vision’ can play a constructive role in planning for housing. However they must come with adequate investment in the infrastructure and planning services required to support them.”

On onshore wind:

​“The minister has wasted no time in pushing forward reforms to the NPPF that the RTPI has long called for, including ending the ban on onshore wind and committing to consult on it’s return to the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) regime.

On the appointment of Matthew Pennycook as Housing Minister:

​ “We will now work closely with Mr Pennycook to support the government’s ambitions by unlocking the power of the planning system. Throughout his time in opposition, the minister demonstrated a clear understanding of the value of planning, playing a positive role during the Levelling Up and Regenerations Act’s passage through parliament, and championing many of the amendments supported by the RTPI.”

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