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RTPI responds to Communities and Local Government Committee report

16 December 2014

Cath Ranson, President, Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) said:

“The Committee has placed great emphasis on the need for resources to be restored to local planning authorities and in particular to plan making.  We also back the MPs demands for proper provision of infrastructure. Lack of physical and social infrastructure has emerged in our own research as one of the major obstacles to housing supply.” 

“The Committee has placed great emphasis on the need for resources to be restored to local planning authorities and in particular to plan making.  We also back the MPs demands for proper provision of infrastructure. Lack of physical and social infrastructure has emerged in our own research as one of the major obstacles to housing supply.” 

See Cath Ranson’s response to the Autumn statement on resources

Clive Betts (pictured below), Chair of the Select Committee said:

"The NPPF has brought welcome simplification to the planning system but the Government must strengthen the planning framework to tackle emerging concerns about inappropriate and unsustainable development. The same weight needs to be given to environmental and social factors as to the economic dimension to ensure the planning system delivers the sustainable development promised by the NPPF."

Land supply and housing

  • We are particularly encouraged that the Select Committee report published today has taken on board our concerns around the blanket application of a 5-year land supply for sustainable development. However we would not go as far as saying that any site with permission should count. Our concerns were for a special exemption for communities which agreed to large-scale housing development as set out our housing policy

Incentives

  • Other recommendations include two related to the need for real incentives – and also penalties – concerning joint working. The RTPI gave evidence to the committee and has published its own proposals on this matter. We will be seeking meetings with ministers to discuss these further. Crucial is the need for grant regimes such as City and Growth Deals to reward cooperation on housing delivery. 

Better data and intelligence

  • We also welcome Committee’s call for better data on where development is taking place without which the Government will continue to make future policy decisions “in the dark”. The RTPI was a joint signatory to a letter from a number of organisations to the Committee calling for more robust evidence. The RTPI is most concerned around whether permissions are being granted in sustainablelocations and we are looking into how this can be measured as part of our 2015 work programme.

Strategic planning

  • Strategic planning is critical. We will be publishing new proposals on this shortly.

 Clive Betts

Select Committee Chair Clive Betts