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Local planning zones are 'blunt instruments', says RTPI Chief Executive

In a letter in today's Times, Victoria Hills says a wider spatial planning approach would allow us to plan the world we need

Dear Sir,

Re: Planning shake up will give us the homes we need by Martina Lees (The Times, 20 June 2020)

As the representative of some 25,000 planning professionals here in the UK and further afield, I take strong issue with the sentiment expressed by Ms Lees in her article on a report by Centre for Cities that the planning regime is a “socialist relic”.

In England, the planning system has been a political football for decades. However, dismantling it completely in favour of a zoning system will not result in faster permissions or better development. Tackling climate change through a zoning system will be well-nigh impossible. 

We need to create bigger spatial plans using joined-up thinking on infrastructure. We also require measures to tackle climate change, the housing crisis and to restart local economies. A wider spatial planning approach with stronger, locally agreed design codes would allow us to plan the world we need; the blunt instrument of local planning zones would simply throw the baby out with the bath water.

Yours faithfully,

Victoria Hills MRTPI FICE

RTPI Chief Executive

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