The RTPI today called on the Chancellor to use his Pre-Budget Report to recognise the pivotal role planning can play in stimulating the economy and readying it for an upturn when he presents the Report on Monday. Our nation's needs for housing and infrastructure can only be delivered by maintaining our capacity to plan for these developments. Now is not the time to down-scale local planning expertise, when it can play a vital role in providing for our future prosperity.
The government is rightly considering investment in housing and infrastructure as key means of stimulating economic activity during the economic downturn. To achieve its objectives, it will be necessary for the government to maintain local authority planning capacity, to enable projects to be planned for and brought to fruition in ways that benefit people, the economy and the environment.
Rynd Smith, RTPI Director of Policy and Practice said; \"Good planning is essential to ensure the delivery of high quality homes and new transport infrastructure. Without it, we run the risk that poor quality homes will be built in the wrong places or that commitments will be made to transport projects that jeopardise our commitment to lowering carbon emissions.\"
\"The RTPI specifically called for an additional budget contribution to be made to local councils who deliver planning services. Several councils lost significant capital reserves in the Icelandic bank collapse. Many face a downturn in their planning application fee income as new development activity continues to slow as a result of the credit crunch. By supplementing the existing Housing and Planning Delivery Grant, the Government could ensure that local councils can recruit and retrain the skilled staff necessary to deliver the housing and infrastructure that the Government has called for, and plan for the upturn too.\"