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RTPI responds to announcement of new National Planning Policy Framework

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) expressed hope that the government's recently unveiled National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and performance measures will strengthen Local Planning Authorities working under strained conditions while promoting increased housing delivery.

Victoria Hills, Chief Executive of the RTPI said, “Today’s speech from the Secretary of State Michael Gove MP recognised the essential work of planners in shaping their local areas. If the government wishes to effectively implement England’s updated planning framework and ensure that communities benefit, it will need to empower experienced and professionally qualified planners who possess a unique understanding of their respective communities.

“It was encouraging to see the Minister stand up not just for the important roles planners play in Local Authorities, but call for greater respect and status of planners generally. This echoed the core message of our It Takes Planners & campaign, which recognises and celebrates the crucial work that planners undertake daily.

In response to the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF):

“Planners across England will be encouraged to finally see the long-awaited updated National Planning Policy Framework. We believe a robust and transparent planning framework is essential to address the climate emergency and housing shortages and create sustainable, thriving environments for current and future generations.

“Following extensive consultations on the NPPF with our members, we expressed concerns to Government that that there is a risk that local plans could lead to undersupply of houses due to Green Belt and other considerations under this framework. This means that proactive planning tools the Secretary of State mentioned today will become much more important for the delivery of much needed homes.

In response to the announcement of the Planning Skills Delivery Fund and Planning Fees:

“Over-worked and under-resourced planning authorities and the communities they serve will welcome the Planning Skills Delivery Funding awarded today. While we appreciate the effort to deal with application backlogs and increase council’s fee income for planning, this support will not cover the backlog of local plans, which was rightly given prominence by the Secretary of State and must be resolved quickly.

In response to Local Plan Making:

"It is encouraging to see that the Government is still confident about our plan led system’s ability to deliver. Local plans are an essential tool to ensure that new homes are delivered alongside infrastructure and other benefits and to deliver the quality design, environment and place-making and other benefits the Secretary of State mentioned.

“However, good performance isn't just about speed; it is also about making quality decisions taken in the public interest. We will consider the upcoming consultation and will offer our advice and expert view once these are available.”

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