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Improve policy on fundamentally important NPPF topics before further consultation, RTPI tells government

The chief executive of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has called for policy on fundamentally important topics to be improved before future consultation with the public, experts, and practitioners.

In a letter to Minister of State for Housing Rachel Maclean MP, Victoria Hills outlined how proposals for climate change, green belts, environmental protection, housing, transport, economic growth and plan-making policy should be improved before future consultations.

The letter comes one week after the RTPI’s consultation response to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which warned that immediate changes to national policy would allow Government to progress with planning reform at the expense of levelling up communities.

Drawing on opinions gathered from members across 16 mainly in-person roundtables in each region of England, the Institute stated that changes will further reduce the amount of homes and infrastructure delivered across England as they fundamentally upset the checks and balances that underpin the planning system.

Victoria Hills, Chief Executive of the RTPI said: “England’s planning system is struggling to deliver and adapt during the recently increased reform process. RTPI members across the public and private sectors tell us that open and early engagement with the profession and clear direction about the changing expectations of local planning authorities will help to significantly reduce the delays we are seeing to plans and projects.

“They have also expressed concern that future national policy decisions have been shared but not consulted on. We believe that these policies can be improved with planners’ input. We will continue a dialogue with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Housing Minister as Government’s planning reform agenda progresses, ensuring the voices of our members are being heard.”

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