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Planning is essential to deliver our successful future, RTPI says ahead of election

03 May 2017

Ahead of the General Election on 8 June, the Royal Town Planning Institute has today released its manifesto. It calls on the next government to create an inclusive, economically successful and resilient society with jobs, homes and infrastructure where they are needed after Brexit through planning.

Stephen Wilkinson, RTPI President said:

“If the next government is to succeed, it must draw on planners’ expertise to help deliver a successful future for this country. Only planning can weave together the social, economic and environmental priorities to deliver better and more inclusive places."

The manifesto covers four key areas the government must act on to ensure Britain secures a successful future.

Manifesto for the 2017 General Election

Promote fairness and equity by:

1. Incentivising cooperation between local authorities so that land for development is made available on the right scale and in the right locations – close to jobs, services, public transport and amenities.
2. Giving local authorities the power to capture the  uplift in land value that follows when land is earmarked for development, allowing the benefits of growth to be reinvested into high quality affordable housing and infrastructure for communities.  

Planning is a positive force that delivers better and more inclusive places, providing people with jobs, opportunities, security, health and wellbeing.


Conserve and enhance our heritage and environment by:

5. Tackling dangerous air pollution and promoting energy efficiency by investing in public transport, walking and cycling.
6. Ensuring our built heritage is conserved through investing in sensitive re-purposing for current and future needs.

Planning supports the responsible use of land by ensuring that development is in the right places, while conserving our heritage and enhancing the environment.   

Represent and engage communities by:

3. Devolving spending powers from central government so that city and county-regions have the tools to create economic growth and invest in affordable housing and infrastructure and that allows decisions to be made closer to where people live.
4. Increasing transparency in the land market, so local authorities and communities can see who owns the land needed to grow.

Planning puts community needs and aspirations at the heart of the process, through democratic representation to enable local voices to be heard.

Meet the needs of current and future generations by:

 7. Developing an industrial strategy to empower local areas to deliver growth and jobs that includes a mission to deliver one million homes, as well as a mission to make all buildings zero carbon.

8. Implementing rigorous plans to deliver on our international commitments, including the Sustainable Development Goals and climate obligations. Maintaining high environmental standards and strong leadership on climate change after we leave the European Union.

Planning increases resilience to long-term challenges such as rapid urbanisation, climate change, demographic change and resource limits.

NB: Planning is a devolved function of UK Nations, and the proposals set out above relate almost entirely to England.

Download the manifesto here.

How do we make this happen?

Government must implement measures to support the next generation of planners, through education, apprenticeships and research and secure a continuing supply of built environment professionals. By valuing and investing in local planning departments the next government can create the conditions for future growth and productivity. Government must ensure that the UK maintains its international reputation for high skill and professional standards - a valuable export opportunity.

Our work demonstrates how planning can:

Make places work better today

16 Ways to Address the Housing Crisis

Where should we build new homes?

Delivering Large Scale Housing

Better Planning: Housing Affordability

The Value of Planning

Fostering Growth

Planning for the Growth of Tech

Promote wellbeing

RTPI Survey: What people want from their communities

Promoting Healthy Cities

Place, Poverty and Inequality

Linking Spatial Planning with Community Planning

Create productive city-regions

Strategic Planning

Map for England           

The Location of Development

Capturing the Wider Benefits of Transport Investment

Better Planning: Smart City-Regions

The Role of Local Enterprise Partnerships

Prepare society for a challenging future

Future Proofing Society

The Worldwide Value of Planning

Delivering Better Development

Better Planning: Climate Change

Download the manifesto here.