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RTPI responds to publication of Conservative Party plans to reform the planning system

22 February 2010

Responding to the Conservative Party's release of their Green Paper on planning reform, Matt Thomson, Acting Director Policy & Partnerships at the Royal Town Planning Institute said:

'We welcome the publication of the Conservatives' planning green paper, which demonstrates that the party takes very seriously the important role of planning in addressing the issues facing communities today, and we are particularly pleased that they are proposing a National Planning Framework, a key RTPI policy which we have campaigned for over many years.

However, we do not believe the planning system is 'broken'; the system itself is basically sound, but has been over-engineered and centralised. Few of the Conservatives' stated aims actually need a radical change to the planning system, change which could lead to a period of uncertainty, resulting in serious consequences for the provision of housing, employment and key infrastructure, as well as for overall economic recovery.

We will be looking very closely at proposals that we have concerns about such as abolishing regional planning, enabling so-called third-party rights of appeal and introducing a presumption in favour of sustainable development, and will advise the Conservatives accordingly.'