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RTPI calls for action on local plans

11 July 2012

Royal Town Planning Institute President Colin Haylock has called for action on local plan making, announcing an initiative by the Institute to identify barriers to councils getting their local plans adopted, and remove blockages through influence and example.

The plan led system is under significant scrutiny and if it is to rise to the challenge then everyone involved in the planning system needs to pull together to support councils in their efforts to get plans adopted.

In March, councils were given a twelve month transition from the publication of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to have up-to-date local plans in place, after which time the planning applications will be determined according to the NPPF.  The Institute see the next nine months are a key opportunity to demonstrate the superiority of the plan-led system, but to do this it is vital that good plans get adopted in good time.

Colin Haylock said: \"The plan led system is under significant scrutiny and if it is to rise to the challenge then everyone involved in the planning system needs to pull together to support councils in their efforts to get plans adopted. Through influence and example the RTPI will encourage the timely adoption of good local plans.\"

The RTPI will:

  • make contact with DoH, DEFRA, BIS, DfT and CLG regarding the fullest participation of statutory bodies, including utility companies, in the local plan process.
  • seek to promote local plan making to meetings of local authority chief executives at regional and national level.
  • seek to work with Local Enterprise Partnerships to alert them to the importance of supporting local plans and the necessary cooperation between local planning authorities.
  • work with its regional branches and networks to showcase best practice on local plan production.
  • work with Government with the aim of ensuring that Government to consider the impact of new guidance on local plan production, and seek a carefully-managed timetable with sufficient warning, and preferably aligned start dates for changes, much along the lines of the approach used for statutory instruments. The RTPI will work with PAS, PINS and the POS to ensure that all involved in local plan making are appraised of all the support mechanisms available to enable the rapid adoption of local plans.

The policy paper Local Plan Delivery in England was published by the RTPI in June and provides more information about what the Institute is seeking to achieve regarding encouraging local plan making.