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President defends planning at CLG Select Committee

03 November 2011

The Communities and Local Government Select Committee has today (3 November) published its report on regeneration.

The RTPI submitted written evidence and Richard Summers, President of the Institute, appeared before the Committee.

The section of the report that deals with planning refers to our evidence:

Richard Summers, President of the Royal Town Planning Institute, made a robust defence of the planning system when asked about criticisms by the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills:

Planners are not the enemies of enterprise. They are not the Town Hall bureaucrats who obstruct economic growth. On the contrary, they provide policies that are integrated across areas to promote both growth and regeneration. They provide land allocations to enable commercial and industrial uses to be developed where they are needed. They also provide a basis for co-ordinating delivery to make sure that things happen, so I reject the criticism."

Mr Summers also criticised the Government's proposals for neighbourhood planning, saying: "it will be very difficult for people to grapple with the enormous complexities of regeneration projects at a local level through that means".

The committee concludes the planning section of the inquiry stating:

The Government may have good reasons for its proposed reforms to the planning system, but it is not clear that they will have a significant bearing upon regeneration. We question their inclusion within Regeneration to enable growthand the emphasis placed upon them by the Minister. Planning has in fact brought significant benefits to regeneration, in terms of co-ordination, community involvement and town centre preservation.