President of the RTPI, said: "The RTPI welcomes the speed and
comprehensiveness of the Taylor Review's work. Writing on
behalf of six major organiastions we raised the issue of extant
planning guidance in summer 2011 when the draft National Planning
Policy Framework was published and are very pleased that Government
has begun to tackle this issue.
A proliferation of guidance from a wide span of decades serves
no one's purposes and brings planning into disrepute by
association. We welcome the concept of a Chief Planner as
gatekeeper to a single fit-for-purpose guidance portal.
We welcome the Government's consultation on the report and will
again be working in partnership to help ensure we secure a range of
guidance which meets the needs of the wide range of users of the
The Taylor Review is a significant step
towards meeting one of Colin's ambitions for the year, which is he
announced in January, of getting a workable planning system in place in
RTPI responses to recommendations
Government should be clear what is government planning guidance,
and what is not.
- The RTPI has consistently called for a (limited) government
role in planning guidance and we would take this as being an
implicit recognition that there should be some.
- The RTPI agrees guidance should provide essential information
and exclude best practice. It should not repeat statutes and
regulations. We called for this in 2011 and are pleased to
see this recommended.
There should be a web-based live resource hosted on a single
site, accessed via links within the NPPF, kept under annual review
and free of charge.
- We welcome this suggestion, and indeed there is a small
precedent in the form of the Plan Making Manual hosted by the
Planning Advisory Service. On charging we are concerned at the
apparently increasing amount of planning data - even data pertinent
to Parliamentary discussions - which is no longer collected by the
public sector and which therefore is charged for. At least
planning guidance should be exempted from this.
The Taylor review was not charged with reviewing guidance badged
by departments other than CLG (unless jointly badged), However the
Taylor review sensibly suggests that the only government planning
guidance to be afforded that title must be on the single
- We wholeheartedly support a recommendation that it should be
the government's Chief Planner who manages a sign-off process for
any guidance badged as government planning guidance, and therefore,
we would hope, constitutes a material consideration in
The Taylor Review was tasked with considering the scope of the
"planning sector" to produce appropriate guidance. The Review
recommends that the guidance website could signpost best practice
guidance produced outside government, stopping short of endorsing
- Many organisations are eager to produce advice on planning
matters. There was a risk at one point that there could be a
proliferation of (maybe even conflicting) "guidance".
- We are concerned that signposting to best practice risks being
seen as a kind of low-level Government endorsement. The amount of
time and effort CLG would need to commit to maintaining signposting
and deciding which material merits sign posting should not be
underestimated, and we would not wish to see resources unduly
diverted from the more important task of updating Government
The Review contains four annexes covering guidance to be
cancelled, revised, retained temporarily, and actually created
afresh to respond to current conditions such as the NPPF.
- The RTPI sent a list to Greg Clark, former planning minister on
behalf of six leading organisations in the sector in May. We are
pleased to see some of that list appearing in the Taylor Review
list such as flood risk, updating housing assessments (SHMAA
and SHLAA) and creating viability guidance.
The Taylor Review recommends an urgent consultation on the
planning guidance question.
- We would welcome the opportunity to respond to a consultation
on the work of the review. We continue to promote the very best in
planning practice and look forward to continuing to work with
other organisations to achieve this.
Lord Taylor of Goss Moor was asked to review Government of practice
guidance in October this year, an issue that the RTPI raised in 2011.
Trudi Elliott, the RTPI's Chief Executive, sat on the review
group in a personal capacity along with Simon Marsh (from the Royal
Society for the Protection of Birds), Andrew Whitaker (from from
the Home Builders Federation) and Councillor Mike Jones (Leader of
Cheshire West and Chester Council).
Remit of the review
The group was tasked to consider:
- the existing suite of planning practice guidance either owned
by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), or
owned jointly by DCLG and other government departments or
- what new practice guidance may be needed to support effective
implementation of the National Planning Policy Framework
Drawing on any appropriate expertise they may wish to consult,
the group was asked to make recommendations as to:
- the scope and form of practice guidance that should be provided
in future by government to support effective planning
- what new or updated practice guidance should be published, with
- what guidance should be cancelled
The group was also asked to consider the scope to encourage the
planning sector to produce appropriate guidance.
RTPI page on Taylor Review