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PR 12 - RTPI welcomes Treasury move to keep local investment for local people

21 March 2007

The Budget has today made a welcome clarification that at least 70% of any Planning Gain Supplement revenues would be directly collected, retained and allocated by local government.  This responds directly to concerns raised by the RTPI and stakeholders. The Lyons Review of Local Government, also launched today, agrees that the Customs and Revenue system of collection proposed in previous consultation papers would be unduly bureaucratic and slow.

 Rynd Smith, RTPI Head of Policy and Practice said \"if a Planning Gain Supplement is to be levied, it makes sense to allow local councils who hold the most information about local planning proposals and property to administer the levy.  After all, the supplement is supposed to fund infrastructure and so Councils will be responsible for most of the spend.\"

The RTPI has been calling for some time for a strengthened infrastructure planning process, in which local government, regions, infrastructure and service providers work in partnership to identify the infrastructure needs of new development.  This approach will enable a fair share of the costs of new infrastructure to be attributed to new development.  The RTPI welcomes the in-principle commitment in the budget to develop just such a system.

However, the RTPI remains concerned that the budget has not clarified the approach to be taken to financial contributions under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.  The Planning Gain Consultations proposed an awkward split between on site infrastructures that could still be funded by section 106 contributions and broadly off site infrastructures that could not.  The RTPI's discussions with planners, developers and community representatives suggests that there is still broad support for simple section 106 agreements that deal with all of the infrastructure needs of a site.

The infrastructure planning mechanism proposed in the budget needs to recognise this support. As a bare minimum, it should provide a continued role for simple section 106 contributions that address all of the infrastructure needs of a site, accepting that payments under such agreements should be eligible for a Planning Gain Supplement tax credit.  However, whatever solution is adopted, early clarity is needed with urgency to ensure that much needed infrastructure planning for housing growth proceeds.

END

For further information please contact:

Andrew Kliman, RTPI Communications Manager, 0207 929 9479, mob. 07870 672 020

Rynd Smith, RTPI Head of Policy and Practice, 0207 929 9478

 

Notes to Editors

1.The government's PGS proposals can be found in the budget red book, Chapter 3, from page 74. http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/73B/5B/bud07_chapter3_302.pdf

2.The RTPI and Halliwells LLP joint response to the PGS proposals made before the budget can be found at:  http://www.rtpi.org.uk/download/672/PGS-P20070202-Combined.pdf

3.The RTPI's advice to HM Treasury on infrastructure planning can be found at: http://www.rtpi.org.uk/download/202/pol20060839.pdf and http://www.rtpi.org.uk/download/738/HMT-Further-Qs-RSvweb.pdf

4.  The RoyalTown Planning Institute (RTPI)

The RTPI is the largest professional institute for planners worldwide, with over 20,000 members.

The RTPI is a dynamic organisation leading the way in the creation of places that work now and in the future. We understand that just as people develop places, so places develop people.  We are committed to the enhancement of our natural and human environment, using spatial planning to manage competing pressures on our built environments and the very real effects on our space.  Through our members, we constantly seek to create areas and places in which people want to live and work.

As well as promoting spatial planning, RTPI develops and shapes policy affecting the built environment, works to raise professional standards and supports members through continuous education, training and development.

For further general information, visit the RTPI website at: www.rtpi.org.uk

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