Remaining stages of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, taking place Tuesday 13 December, could fundamentally change planning policy and practice, and “give communities a greater say over changes made to their areas, improve England’s planning system and drive better environmental outcomes,” according to the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).
Victoria Hills, Chief Executive of the Royal Town Planning Institute said: “Planning has been placed at the heart of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, and the remaining stages will provide the opportunity for Government to make a significant difference to livelihoods, homes, and communities across the country.
“However, the Bill includes fundamental changes to planning policy and practice, which we feel must be amended to give communities a greater say over changes made to their areas, improve England’s planning system and drive better environmental outcomes.
“If those living in newly devolved areas are going to truly benefit from the Bill, they need to be given planning freedoms to innovate and deliver planning policy that works best for them. We’ve seen that development management policies can be an effective tool to stimulate growth, provide energy, transport and housing decisions strategically, and experiment with different policy options to meet local needs.
“We believe each local authority should have its own chief planning officer to help proactively create places people can both live and thrive in. Using their placemaking expertise to help to guide an area, chief planning officers can help communities to become well-designed and sustainably developed, defending the public interest and navigating political challenges.
“Let’s not miss this once in a decade opportunity to put town planning rightly back at the top table of local government.”