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RTPI Cymru launches Value of Planning tool

07 June 2018

RTPI Cymru and the Welsh Government have jointly launched a new tool  that captures, for the first time, the economic, social and environmental value of planning delivered by local planning authorities across Wales.

Infographic FINAL

It finds that in 2016/17 public planning services brought about £122.4m of developers’ contributions to public infrastructure and projects; some £2.47m of recreational benefits as a result of open spaces; at least £750,000 of community benefits in health; and over £17m of fees which helped to support local authority planning departments amid growing financial pressure.

According to the tool, granting planning permissions and enabling the completion of developments also lifted land values by more than £2.2billion, which helped to create a positive investment environment for the economy for the delivery of homes and infrastructure.

The tool estimates that 29% of houses constructed were ‘affordable’.

Launching the figures at RTPI Cymru’s annual conference in Cardiff today (7 June), Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, said:

“We need to ensure local authorities, communities and developers value planning and the economic and social benefits it can bring. That is why I supported this work to further our understanding of the role planning plays in creating value.

“It is clear from the research that planning plays a vital role and in 2016-17 alone its value was estimated to be £2.35bn to Welsh society.  Alongside the report, the new tool developed will enable local authorities to estimate their own values and I encourage each planning authority to use the resource.”

Tom Watson, RTPI Cymru Chair, said:

“It is important that society values more what planning does and how it contributes to the making of a sustainable and prosperous Wales. This tool we are launching today makes an important and practical first step.”

“The value of planning can never be wholly conveyed in quantitative terms. Things like well being, quality of life and investment confidence have much to do with good, consistent planning, but it is not yet practical to measure these factors”

Performance dashboard

The tool looks at wider data and captures the key tangible outputs of local authority planning functions across Wales in 2016/17, including:

  • 558 full time jobs in local authority planning services
  • 22,569 planning applications processed
  • 797 Listed Building Consents processed
  • 175MW of renewable energy generation constructed
  • 18 Local Development Plans adopted

Individual local planning authorities (LPA) can use it to track its output, or various LPAs can use it jointly to give a regional picture.

It does not take account of investment by developers and other parties, particularly during the construction phase, or the wider influence of planning in economic development and regeneration.

The tool, developed by Arup in partnership with JLL, was piloted by a number of LPAs including Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Cardiff Council, Merthyr Tydfil Council, Monmouthshire County Council, and Snowdonia National Park Authority.

Find out more

If you are interested in knowing more how the tool works please get in touch with Roisin Willmott, Director RTPI Cymru, at