The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has joined forces with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Royal Institute of British Architects to offer its help to the government in this time of national emergency.
In an open letter to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the three organisations said that their members have access to a wide range of buildings that could be used by the NHS or other key workers and are keen to meet with senior officials to discuss how they could make a difference.
RTPI Chief Executive Victoria Hills said:
“Town planners stand ready with all built environment professionals to do what we can to help mitigate this pandemic, and help our country get back to social normality and economic productivity afterwards.”
In the letter, the organisations also sought government support for the UK’s construction and infrastructure sectors, saying that long-overdue legislation currently going through Parliament – such as the Fire Safety Bill and the Building Safety Bill – must not be interrupted.
Built environment professionals are also very concerned about the rapid cancellation of early stage projects which are at inception or early design stage, and site inspections, the organisations say.
The letter asks the government to introduce a range of measures to provide support and assistance for built environment practices during the pandemic, including a temporary relaxation of time limits for planning applications and greater flexibility around the operation and submission of evidence to planning committees.