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PR 50 - Taylor Report offers clear guidance

23 July 2008

The Taylor Report on rural communities provides clear guidance for Government and local authorities on the direction rural policy should take, according to the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).    

The Report, which was released today, contains a number of strong recommendations including the call for a Planning Policy Statement to set out development guidelines for sustainable community growth, with a specific focus on how to create new neighbourhoods, community extensions and new towns [1]. The RTPI also welcomes the recommendation to reassess the use of short term delivery targets to assess the performance of local authority planning departments in favour of a more long term approach [2].

RTPI Policy Director Rynd Smith said: \"We are particularly pleased that the report recognises the need to provide a clear and coherent national framework to guide growth. A Planning Policy Statement which sets out how new neighbourhoods, community extensions and towns should be brought through the planning system would be a good step toward ensuring the nation's future housing need is achieved in a locally appropriate way. The government should adopt this recommendation.

\"The report correctly identifies the need to move away from using short-term delivery targets as the sole means of assessing whether local authority planning departments are providing a good service. A short term focus is not conducive to providing long term positives and the assessment process needs to be adjusted accordingly.\"

The Report also calls on Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and regional planning bodies to \"support the further development of rural enterprise hubs and live/work units\" (Recommendation 29). It also recommends that live/work exemplar projects be set up in one or two willing regions to test their feasibility and identify best practice.

RTPI Policy Director Rynd Smith said: \"Combining work life with home life makes sense, particularly in rural areas where technology has made it possible to overcome the tyranny of distance.  Drawing the live/work concept out of its traditional urban setting into rural areas is something that should be expedited because it has enormous potential in helping to develop rural communities that are both economically and environmentally sustainable. We urge local authorities and RDAs to adopt the recommendation.\"

The RTPI is also pleased that the Report recognises the need to incorporate community input into the planning system [3].

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Dale Atkinson, RTPI Communications Manager, 0207 929 9479

Notes to Editors:

1.       The full report is available from here

2.       Recommendation 4

3.       Recommendation 5

4.       Recommendation 7

5.       The RTPI is a dynamic organisation leading the way in the creation of places that work now and in the future. We understand that just as people develop places, so places develop people.  We are committed to the enhancement of our natural and human environment, using spatial planning to manage competing pressures on our built environments and the very real effects on our space.  Through our 20,000 members, we constantly seek to create areas and places in which people want to live and work.

For further general information, visit the RTPI website at:

41 Botolph Lane, London, EC3R 8DL, charity no. 262865.

Charity registered in Scotland: SC 037841