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RTPI Press Update, January 2008

06 February 2008

A brand spanking new year and the RTPI continues to feature widely in the media. Two radio appearances, three features in the local press, six mentions in the nationals and nine mentions in the trade press. All in all a raging success built on a platform of expertise, knowledge and good spatial planning.

The breakdown is as follows:

TV and Radio

BBC South East Today (25 January 2008)
Rynd Smith, Director of Policy and Communications, was interviewed by the influential regional radio show about the farmer who hid his castle, built without planning permission, behind a giant stack of hay bails. Thanks to Sue Taylor for her expert advice on enforcement issues.

BBC Radio Five Live Report (27 January 2008)
Rynd Smith offered the Five Live Report some real expert opinion on the issue of 'garden grabbing'. Rynd related the increase in impermeable surface area with effective water movement leading to a greater risk of flooding.

National Press

The Scotsman (08 January 2008)
'Skills crisis threatens planning reforms'. The RTPI was able to offer the journalist some guidance and help in identifying which universities were RTPI accredited and also what the RTPI was doing to help tackle the skills gap.

The Guardian (11 January 2008)
'Against'. As the Government announced the new reliance on nuclear power to 'keep the lights on' the RTPI was able to offer real insight into the upcoming major infrastructure consultation processes that will shape the UK and the success or otherwise of the Infrastructure Planning Committee and National Policy Statements. Our quote as set out in the Guardian in full was:

Robert Upton,
Royal Town Planning Institute
"The announcement highlights exactly how not to approach national policy setting. (The) government has failed to properly consult with communities who will be directly affected. They have also failed to demonstrate alternative options and why nuclear is the most effective way forward. They have failed to engage with communities."

The Sunday Times (13 January 2008)
The Planner. Michael Haslam offers up some more useful advice and tips on householder planning queries.

The Telegraph (22 January 2008)
'MP in conflict of interest claim on disputes'. Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk, wrote to the RTPI complaining that property consultancies often have had commercial relationships with both sides when there is a planning application, potentially undermining their independence. In response we set out our clear policy of declaring possible and existing conflicts of interest and directed the Telegraph to our good practice note.

The Guardian (30 January 2008)
'Disagreeable cost' The Guardian covered our campaign against the establishment of Local Member Review Bodies. These bodies will remove the fundamental idea of an independent appeal process for some people and add a cost which is estimated at about £120.

The Times (31 January 2008)
'Public confidence is in danger of being lost'. Alistair Stark gave evidence to the Scottish Government committee exploring the handling of Donald Trump's golfing resort planning application. Alistair told the Holyrood committee that the wave of criticism that followed rejection of the scheme was akin to "mob rule" and gave warning that public confidence in planning could be dented.

Trade press

• A mention in Building
• Five mentions in Building Design
• One mention in Inside Housing
• One mention in Property Week

• One mention in Public Service