Image: Robert Jenrick MP
The chief executive of the Royal Town Planning Institute has written to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) calling for local planning authorities to be adequately resourced.
It follows a Cabinet re-shuffle by Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier today, which saw Robert Jenrick keep his role as Secretary of State and the appointment of two new ministers.
Ms Hills applauded the decision to keep Mr Jenrick in his position saying it would ensure much-needed stability for planners and the planning system.
She welcomed new ministers Chris Pincher, who replaces Esther McVey, and Simon Clarke who will lead on devolution, levelling up and the North following the resignation of Jake Berry.
The appointment of ex-housing minister Alok Sharma as Business Secretary and Minister for COP26 was also good news, she said.
“I look forward to consulting with the department on the forthcoming White Paper, which we hope will empower planners to deliver improved places that reflect the needs of local communities and meet net zero carbon and environmental targets.
“The RTPI has long campaigned for government and local authorities to assign more resources to planning teams, and we will continue to lobby for planning to be put back at the top table of corporate decision-making.”
In a letter she called on MHCLG to:
- Resource local planning authorities to enable them to deliver the government’s targets on net zero carbon, housing and infrastructure
- Remove barriers to the creation of city-regional spatial strategies and allow city regions to use their devolved planning powers
- Empower the planning profession to ensure that the UK leads on delivering climate and environmental action locally
- Uphold the right of communities to have a say in local development including codes and plans.
Ms Hills said she looked forward to working with the department to ensure town planners and the planning system were able to deliver sustainable, well designed, successful urban and rural places into the future.