Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP has expressed his appreciation for the ‘high quality, professional’ work of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).
He was speaking at the RTPI’s annual Parliamentary Reception yesterday, where President Ian Tant launched the RTPI's new report Serving the public interest? The reorganisation of planning services in an era of reluctant outsourcing.
Above: Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP (centre) with RTPI Chief Executive Victoria Hills and RTPI President Ian Tant
Mr Brokenshire said: “Since taking on my role, I've been incredibly grateful and reassured to have a partner in the RTPI – whether it's touring the country gathering views on the NPPF, making recommendations on the social housing green paper, or supporting Sir Oliver Letwin’s build out review.
“I look forward to working with the RTPI to strengthen the planning profession and taking that forward into better spatial design, better quality build and homes that we can be proud of, communities that are strong and places that are well planned and well thought out.”
He also reacted to the RTPI’s recent Chief Planning Officers study, which found that only 23% of local authorities have a head of planning service that reports directly to the Chief Executive.
He said: “That's clearly a missed opportunity, but I think it’s also much more than that – it’s a real impediment into how we are able to move forwards with the delivery of our homes agenda.”
MPs and peers from across the political spectrum attended the event, as well as some of the most senior figures from the planning, development and wider built environment professions.
Ian Tant also addressed guests. He said: “Our new report found that many UK planners – both public and private – feel that austerity has undermined planning’s ability to serve the public interest in some crucial ways.
“We believe that now, more than ever, is the time that the country needs to use the planning system and our highly qualified planners strategically to fully deliver in the public interest, to rebuild its places – to ensure quality homes, jobs and infrastructure and to mitigate climate change.”
To read Ian Tant’s speech, click here
To see more pictures from the evening, click here