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RTPI response to the Lords Built Environment Committee’s "Meeting Housing Demand" report

The new "Meeting Housing Demand" report released today by the Lords Built Environment Committee clearly highlights the urgency for greater resourcing in the planning sector. At the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), we will continue to echo this point until we see adequate funding within the industry.

We’ve seen first-hand how the lack of funding is putting severe strain on the industry. This has been highlighted to us by planners on the ground who have experienced critical difficulties and delays while trying to ensure the successful delivery of new homes where they are needed most.

Not only has under resourcing of planners shown to severely delay the process, but a clear imbalance of funding in the planning sector is proving to provide greater finance in well-off areas while hitting other areas with poor health and social outcomes. We are concerned that future cuts to local authority planning budgets will only put greater pressure on the industry.

At the RTPI, we believe that there must be a greater investment into ensuring planning departments are sufficiently well staffed and that ongoing investment in career development takes place, so as to ensure the successful delivery of new homes. It is our belief that the chief Placemaker post proposed by the government should be held by a chartered town planner.

We welcome the recognition within the report of the university degree accreditation from the RTPI as well as our more recent Chartered Town Planner apprenticeship scheme, however, more than recognition is required if we are to act and meet the housing demand. That’s why, in September last year, we called on the government to provide the English planning system with funding of £500m over four years. It is vital that the Government starts to meet this funding now, and that the funding be ringfenced for planning.

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