RTPI Junior Vice President Colin Haylock yesterday (25 October) appeared before the Department of Communities and Local Government's Select Committee to give evidence on their enquiry into the abolition of the regional spatial strategies (RSS).
Colin Haylock's oral evidence covered a wide range of topics including the RTPI's 'larger than local' campaign supported by thirty organisations, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), climate change, housing targets, and financial incentives to councils.
He told MPs, basing his judgement on years of experience working in the North East, that the manner in which RSS had been abolished \"at best introduced a hiatus\".
Colin also explored whether the economic focus of LEPs would neglect the importance of environmental and social factors in creating sustainable communities, and whether LEPs were any more democratically accountable than the old Regional Development Agencies. Examining such voluntary arrangements and the proposed duty to co-operate, Colin sought an understanding of how the duty would be policed, asking \"What happens when reasonable agreement is not reached?\"
On the effectiveness of incentives in the planning system, Colin indicated that the thirty five year experience of Planning Aid was that working with communities to help them understand the benefits of development was potentially more effective than offering incentives.
The RTPI, along with the TCPA, were the first witnesses in the second session of the select committee which can be seen here.
The Institute has submitted several responses to Select Committees. A full list can be seen here.