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PR 30 - RTPI inspired 'plan-based' infrastructure funding system replaces 'unworkable' planning gain supplement

10 October 2007

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) today welcomed clarification that the much criticised Planning Gain Supplement (PGS) tax proposals have been withdrawn and that a 'plan-based' system will be introduced in its stead. The RTPI has lobbied for just such a move since the PGS was first proposed and consulted with Government on plan-based alternatives, including the new 'statutory planning charge'.

The new, 'statutory planning charge' is designed to capture uplift in land value when planning permission is granted and used to provide the funding for much needed infrastructure for new housing. A 'plan-based' charge is a positive recognition of the spatial nature of planning and development, tying together local framework plans with provision of the services that allow a community to thrive.

The RTPI also welcomes the government's provision of significant new resources to plan for and service housing growth, through a £500 million housing and planning delivery grant and £1.7 billion targeted infrastructure growth fund. These announcements came as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007, released yesterday, Tuesday October 9 2007.

Rynd Smith, RTPI policy director said: \"planners have provided the government with clear evidence of the scale of expenditure necessary to support its housing growth plans, and the adoption of an alternative to PGS that is based on new local infrastructure plans within Council's local development frameworks is welcomed. However, housing and infrastructure development are not the only planning issues that communities are concerned about. We still call on the government to assure us that its spending provisions will develop and maintain high quality places across a wide range of social, economic and environmental measures. We welcome the avoidance of target-based regimes that reward only the speed of planning decisions, without rewarding the qualities that communities' value in their places.'

The new Public Service Agreement (PSA) target on the delivery of local development framework documents is a process-based target. It is important that progress continues to be made on the delivery of these documents and that funding flows to support those local planning authorities that maintain their commitment to plan-making. RTPI believes we must avoid PSA targets that reward the speed of development management decision making alone, as such targets have been demonstrated to reward speed over quality, in ways that do not support the delivery of high quality new places.

ENDS

For further information please contact:
Rynd Smith, Director of Policy and Communications, 0207 929 9474, email

Andrew Kliman, Communications Manager, 0207 929 9479, email

Notes to Editors

1. The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)
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 20,000 members, we constantly seek to create areas and places in which people want to live and work.

For further general information, visit the RTPI website at: www.rtpi.org.uk
41 Botolph Lane, London, EC3R 8DL, charity no. 262865

2. CSR 07 Specifics
Para 6.13: £500m Housing and Planning Delivery Grant.

Para 6.15: £1.7 billion of targeted funding for infrastructure in Growth Areas, the Thames Gateway, New Growth Points and eco-towns, including £300 million to continue the Community Infrastructure Fund over the CSR.

Box 6.3: Anticipated joining up of programmes by infrastructure funding departments at the national level is strongly welcomed, subject to detail. Similarly welcome is the government's flagging of proposals for changes to reinforce infrastructure planning through the LDF system. Both of these commitments represent positive responses to RTPI policies and proposals.

Para 6.17: The announced abandonment of the PGS as consulted upon to date, combined with a commitment to a development plan led means of identifying infrastructure contributions responds directly and positively to RTPI advice.

3. The RTPI Press Releases on Planning Gain Supplement can be seen at:

PR 25 - Coalition calls for speedy resolution to land tax uncertainty - http://www.rtpi.org.uk/item/959/23/5/3

PR 9 - Government's land tax proposals will not work say planners and tax experts http://www.rtpi.org.uk/item/554/pg_dtl_art_news/242/pg_ftr_art