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Measuring Planning Outcomes

This research will consider how local authorities can measure the outcomes of planning in order to track and improve the impact of planning.


MPO ITT Front CoverThe research will explore how local authorities and national Governments can go beyond simple metrics like speed of processing applications and number of homes delivered. This means assessing planning on the explicit aspirations of planners and politicians, in terms of placemaking and social, economic and environmental value.

It will go beyond principles to actually propose and test methods for measuring outcomes. It will also demonstrate how this information can be used to assess local and national performance.

The research will build on RTPI's previous work around the Value of Planning as well as the Scottish Government's 2018 report Monitoring the Outcomes of Planning.

The research is funded by RTPI along with:

  • Major contributions from the Scottish and Irish Governments (the latter jointly with the Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR))
  • Minor contributions from the Welsh Government and the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government in England.

The deadline for tenders for this research has now passed and we will appoint the successful supplier soon.

Project documents

Questions and Answers

We invite potential suppliers to contact us with questions. All of these will be posted below (anonymously) alongside our answers.

Q: Can we base our approach on an existing social value toolkit?

A: We welcome any approach so long as it can be justified as useful and feasible ways to measure planning outcomes in all of the Nations the research focuses on (see also 2.5 of the ITT).

Q: What are the specific skills you are looking for in a consortium?

A: These are set out in 2.9 and 2.10. Particularly (1) the ability to produce the deliverables required, and (2) expertise on each of the planning systems the research focuses on.

Q: Why wouldn't this project focus on individual Nations if funding is coming from individual Nations and the planning systems are different in each?

A: While the research involves particular focuses on individual nations (including particular depth on Ireland and Scotland), we believe there is enough similarity between the systems to make a joint project worthwhile (See also 1.4 and 2.5 of the ITT). The RTPI exists to further the art and science of town planning in general and also to enable learning within and outside the UK.

Q: What is required for Northern Ireland?

When we refer to 'All Nations' in 2.5 of the ITT, this should be understood as including Northern Ireland. Therefore there is a requirement to scope planning outcomes in Northern Ireland and options for measuring them, but there is no requirement to develop a draft toolkit for Northern Ireland.

Q: What are your expectations for the proposal in terms of granularity of methods/ technicality number of words or pages? Is there a standard template?

There is no specific template or suggested length for bids though we advise you make sure to respond to each bullet point in 2.9 (Application process) and anticipate evaluation according to meeting the criteria set out in 2.10. We are looking for sufficient detail to convince us that your expertise and proposed methodology will enable you to deliver the project outcomes we are looking for. We understand further project planning and methodology development will go on after the successful bidder is selected, and in reaction to our inception meeting.

Q: Will it be possible to reallocate where funds are spent after the project has begun?

Obviously we expect suppliers to be as accurate as possible when writing bids, but if relatively minor changes to allocation are necessary we will approve this assuming there is a good reason for it.

Q: Have pilot local authorities in Scotland and Ireland already been identified?

We have not yet identified pilot local authorities. This will be a priority on starting the project. Heads of Planning Scotland and the Irish Office of the Planning Regulator have agreed to help with this.

Q: To what extent you would prefer the consortiums to be established prior to the bid? Can additional contributors be sought after the successful supplier is chosen?

We would prefer the consortium identified in the bid to be as close to the final consortium as possible. However, if there is clear value to extending the winning consortium after submitting the bid then this should be ok. We obviously want to secure as much expertise as possible for this project. We would prefer that changes are adding additional expertise rather than changing the core team.