Planning Minister Bob Neill outlined some of the main proposals for planning to be contained in the Decentralisation and Localism Bill in the keynote speech to this year's Politicians in Planning (known as PIPA) Conference, held on Saturday 6th November at Sheffield Hallam University.
RTPI President Ann Skippers welcomed the Minister's attendance: \"Nearly 150 councillors from across the country and from parish, district, town and metropolitan authorities got an opportunity to quiz the Minister. It was refreshing to see genuine enthusiasm for planning's role in shaping the vision of local areas. The plans to give councillors greater freedom to represent their constituents and express views was, as one might expect, very well received by councillors!\"
The Minister spent considerable time explaining what people might expect over the coming weeks including:
- widespread consultation on the National Planning Framework;
- changes in the law allowing councillors greater freedom to represent their constituents on planning issues;
- a bottom-up approach to dealing with planning, a more consensual system with fewer appeals;
- greater opportunity for people to shape the future of their communities through neighbourhood and local plans.
Cllr David Smith from the Local Government Group revealed their latest thinking on the benefits and potential issues arising from a more bottom-up approach to planning, and Cristina Howick from Roger Tym & Partners introduced the assembled councillors to the new possibilities arising from the recently published Local Growth White Paper.
Nearly 150 people attended the event, and more than 25 presenters led plenary and workshop sessions.
The presentations made at the event will, as far as possible, be made available to PIPA members via the PIPA web pages.
PIPA membership for local Councillors at County, District and Town/Parish levels is free.