This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best possible experience. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with this. You can find out more about how we use cookies here. If you would like to know more about cookies, or how you can delete them, click here.

RTPI Planning Convention 2015

The New Politics for Planning.

Planning Convention Register Your Interest


You can pre register for Planning Convention 2016

Over 450 attended this year's event on the theme 'The new politics for planning' in our new venue, the very modern 155 Broadgate in London.

Planning minister Brandon Lewis spoke to the convention via video-link. "Hundreds of thousands of homes were built over the last parliament," said Lewis. "House building is increasing and first time buyers are now back to almost record levels. That's good news, but we still have much work to do. We cannot afford to sit and rest on our laurels. We need to build more homes. We need to make those homes are well built, well designed, well laid out, well planned for."

Eugénie Birch, chair of the World Urban Campaign (pictured, far right), spoke of the UN's Sustainable Development Goal 11 – 'to make cities and human settlements safe, inclusive, resilient and sustainable.' Principles include affordable housing, sustainable transport, preserving cultural and natural heritage reducing environmental impact of cities.

GenieThe hardest aim to get the world's diplomats to understand? The importance of planning. "They just don't understand it," she says. "We have a big job in front of us to get out of our jargon and get into everyday language. We've got to stop talking to ourselves we've got to start talking to the world ad be persuasive about the important of planning."

Birmingham City Council's director of planning and regeneration, Waheed Nazir, spoke on the topic of leadership in planning and his own approach. In terms of planning for a growing population and supply of housing, he told convention of how, having used up all the available brownfield land, his department has had to look at green belt to the north of the city. Birmingham is going for a sizeable urban extension with schools, surgeries - everything a community needs. "Why do communities object to growth? It's because you're putting pressure on infrastructure."

WaheedBirmingham itself, said Nazir (pictured far right being interviewed), is becoming a housing developer, with some 1,000 completions so far. When asked about managing relationships with politicians, Nazir described the example of a half day seminar with council members during which the city's planning team led them through the rationale for expanding local schools (rapid population growth that would lead to many children in the city with no school place). "Allowing members to engage early on is critical. It's too easy for planners to hide behind politicians and say 'They are the reason we can't have growth'.

Further sessions from barrister Nathalie Lieven, Amey's Dr. Rick Robinson and NHS England's Sir Malcolm Grant, rounded off as productive morning of stimulating sessions. The RTPI Planning Convention continues this afternoon.

You can download the speaker presentations here

View photos on Flickr


Join the RTPI

Both planners and non-planners can benefit from membership of the RTPI. Find out which level is right for you.

Use the membership wizard
Knowledge and best practice

Find the RTPI's latest policy and practice information, publications and core issues

Learn more
Get involved

Contribute to your Institute. Join a network, become a Mentor, volunteer for Planning Aid England, stand for an RTPI committee … and more

See what you can do