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Planning is a means to growth and prosperity, Shadow Minister tells fringe event

28 September 2015

Roberta Blackmanwoods Tweet2

RTPI and the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation(CIHT) hosted a packed lunch time fringe event during the Labour Party Conference in Brighton today. Both Labour's Shadow Housing and Planning Minsiter, Roberta Blackman-Woods and Clive Betts, Chair of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee spoke on how planning and transport can deliver the infrastructure the UK needs.

The Shadow Minister said that planning is a means to the growth and prosperity that the UK needs. She reaffirmed her's and Labour’s ongoing commitment to planning. 

The full panel included (below, left to right) Lynda Addison, Chair of CIHT’s Sustainable Transport Panel, Shadow Minister for Housing and Planning, Roberta Blackman-Woods,  Dr Susan Sharland, CIHT President, RTPI Immediate Past President Cath Ranson (panel chair), Clive Betts, Chair of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee and RTPI Chief Executive Trudi Elliott.


After an introduction from Cath Ranson, Dr Susan Sharland made the opening remarks, highlighting the importance of planning and transport to deliver the infrastructure the UK needs.


Clive Betts spoke broadly about the devolution of various powers and responsibilities to local authorities, noting that the UK Government has accepted in principle that planning should fit within functional economic areas. He also argued that while devolution is about counties and regions as well as cities, cities should be the focus given their relatively low gross domestic product (an indicator of economic activity) compared with comparable European cities. He expressed concern about the governance arrangements being required by the UK Government on newly formed combined authorities, explaining elected Mayors may cause problems. He also noted that it should not be just funnelling funding in silos from central to local government but a combined coordinated approach is needed.

Lynda Addison called for a paradigm shift in the way we integrate planning, transport and infrastructure delivery. She highlighted the multiple benefits of transport planning citing economic growth as well as social and environmental gains such as healthier communities and cleaner environments. She expressed concern that there is still a fragmented approach to planning for transport infrastructure and that we need a long term view. She noted that current transport planning is not spatial.


Trudi Elliott (pictured, right) opened by calling for proper appraisal of transport projects. She referred to the important recommendations in the RTPI’s Transport Infrastructure Investment policy paper and made reference to a range of upcoming policy and research publications investigating local planning authority resourcing, the location of housing in relation to infrastructure and housing and the work the Institute is doing with other organisations on land value capture.

The joint RTPI CIHT fringe event was attended by planners, conference delegates, local councillors, engineers and members from the RTPI and CIHT.

Read Transport Infrastructure Investment

Listen to a podcast of the event, Part 1 and Part 2 


Conservative Party Conference event

The RTPI and CIHT are holding their next event on Tuesday 6 October in Manchester during the Conservative Party Conference. How can planning and transport help deliver the infrastructure we need? will be held at The Palace Hotel from 1-2PM. Book your free place now.


RSVP for the Politicians in Planning Association’s Annual Conference in Birmingham on 28 November