In its evidence to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee Inquiry on Local Plans, the RTPI has reiterated its wish to see shorter, more proportionate and responsive, local plans and a greater focus on planning collaboratively across boundaries.
The inquiry was established after the publication of the Local Plan Expert Group (LPEG) Report in March investigating how to improve the local plan-making process. The LPEG Report made a number of recommendations about how to improve the speed and quality of local plan production which were praised by the RTPI.
In its evidence, the RTPI maintained that local plan production has been stalled mainly because there have been too many changes in the way local housing need is assessed, driven by political and policy changes.
The Institute reiterated its own recommendations that were first put forward in the LPEG Report, including curtailment of knee jerk policy changes, a stronger duty to cooperate, and better incentives for local plan production by attaching plan-making conditions to devolution deals. It also warned of the unintended consequences for transport and community infrastructure if sustainability appraisals are scaled back.
The RTPI continues to promote the importance of local plans and how to improve their use and adoption. The Institute’s Chief Executive noted last year that “the reasons for slow local plan delivery are complex; in addition to the process challenges, these include a lack of resources and prioritisation, a fear of legal challenge, and the political difficulties inherent in making hard choices”.
More information: Local Plans Expert Group Recommendations Select Committee Inquiry