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Governance and decision-making

ServingthePublicInterest2019CoverServing the Public Interest? The Reorganisation of Planning Services in an Era of Reluctant Outsourcing (January 2019) An in-depth qualitative study based on focus groups of planning professionals. Respondents said many LPAs have adapted to resource pressures by being more efficient and business-like, but raised concern that planning is increasingly seen as a commercial, revenue-generating tool which could skew decision-making on applications.


Environment After Brexit Front CoverEnvironmental Planning after Brexit: Working with the Legacy of EU Environmental Directives (January 2019) This research identifies ways of improving the relationship between inherited EU environmental legislation and planning. It shows where there may be opportunities for enhancement or simplification, in the way that environmental standards are achieved, and especially whether there is duplication between environmental and planning regimes.


Cover ImageThe Impacts of Brexit on UK Implementation of Key EU Legislation Affecting Land Use (July 2018) Understanding the implications of Britain's exit from the European Union is a key concern for planners. This briefing paper maps the full range of relevant directives and regulations affecting land use, and their applicability to different outcomes of the Brexit process. Published in conjunction with Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP).


Chief Planning Officers 2018CoverChief Planning Officers(June 2018) This research looks at the current corporate and strategic influence of planning in local authorities. Through a detailed analysis of management structures in 212 local authorities, this study found that only 23% of local authorities surveyed in the UK and Ireland had a head of planning service that reported directly to the local authority Chief Executive.



Investing In Delivery PageInvesting in Delivery (June 2018) A summary of research that considers the level of investment in public sector planning services in two English regions, RTPI North West and RTPI South East and how this relates to performance and delivery.  The study makes recommendations for best practice based on surveys and interviews with focus groups from local authorities.


Progressing Performance: Investing in Scotland's Planning Service (2015) A coherent, comprehensive and up-to-date evidence base on how the planning service in Scotland is resourced and the levels of performance attained. Finds despite a significant decrease in resources in the planning service, progress is being made in improving performance.

Investing in Delivery: How we Can Respond to the Pressures on Local Authority Planning (2015) Examines the resourcing of local planning authorities in the North West of England, whether a lack of resources is impacting on growth and development, and what can be done to respond to these pressures. Finds significant reductions in LPA budgets and staffing since 2010, with a third fewer planning staff overall.

Planning cultures in the South East of England (2016) This research, by Dave Valler, Oxford Brookes University, and Nick Phelps, Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, explores the role of past planning decisions and established local 'planning cultures' in shaping present day approaches to planning for growth in three case study areas in the South East region, namely South Hampshire, the Gatwick Diamond and Oxford/Oxfordshire. The full report and a summary briefing are available from this research.

Success and Innovation in Planning – Creating Public Value (2014) This research, conducted by Newcastle University, identifies innovation in the planning field – where people have tried to do things differently in a wide range of innovative ways. It illustrates how places can be transformed through planning intervention. The final report and research briefing are available.

Making Better Decisions for Places (2014) This Planning Horizons project considers how governance structures in public and private spheres can seriously affect how effective planning is, and how policy-makers need to adopt a new approach to decision-making in order to respond to major challenges such as housing, transport and economic growth. A full paper and summary are available.

Critical Perspectives on Devolved Governance (2015) Contributions from a symposium held at UCL which carried on the debate started in Making Better Decisions for Places by encouraging a critical perspective towards devolution and considering what the current devolution agenda means for policy.

Prospects for Cities (2014) A briefing based on ESPON research. It highlights the significance of core cities to the national economy and reflects on the approaches taken by Leeds and Manchester to generate prosperity beyond the capital.

Study into the Operation of Planning Committes in Wales (2013) Provides evidence on the efficiency and effectiveness of planning committees and to make recommendations for change in a report to Welsh Ministers. A full report, summary and Crynodeb Gweithredol are available.

Mediation in Planning: A Short Guide (2011) National Planning Forum with RTPI. Mediation is a cost effective way of resolving disputes and building consensus with the help of an independent thirs party. It is not a subsitute for good planning, but it can build trust and confidence in the planning system.