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2.0 Introduction

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This work follows on from report 1 of RTPI research[3], which found that only 23% of the 212 local authorities we investigated in the UK and Ireland had a head of planning that reported directly to the Chief Executive. This study also found that 9% of local authorities had no clear role assigned to the head of the planning service. The response from the RTPI membership to this research has supported our impression that there has been a reduced corporate presence of spatial planning in local authorities in recent decades. Following on from the positive response to the initial work, it is important that we examine opportunities that can be unlocked by reinstating planning at the heart of corporate decision making in local authorities.

Through in-depth conversations with some of the most esteemed local government leaders throughout the UK and Ireland, this work explores the value that quality leadership and the corporate presence of planning can bring to local areas and sets out key recommendations to achieve this.


[3] RTPI (2018) Chief Planning Officers – the corporate and strategic influence of planning in local authorities. Available here:

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