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RTPI voices concerns over housing and development proposals announced by Housing Secretary

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has raised concerns over the recent housing and development proposals announced today by the Housing Secretary.

The institute has expressed reservations about the proposed updated planning rules for brownfield sites and the changes to Permitted Development Rights (PDR).

Responding to today’s announcements, Chief Executive of the RTPI Victoria Hills said, “While we have always welcomed the emphasis of development on brownfield, the minor adjustments to England’s planning system made today will not support the system at large to tackle the challenge of increasing housing supply. We need a long-term solution, including resourcing.”

In response to changes to Permitted Development Rights:

“Permitted Development Rights have had mixed results so far. As highlighted in RTPI’s written evidence submitted to the Parliament, many homes created through these routes are of poor quality and have little access to essential amenities like schools, GPs, and playgrounds. This issue is not limited to office blocks, as some of the worst living environments created this way have been on industrial sites."

In response to changes to developments on brownfield sites:

“In our response to the NPPF consultation last year, we made the case for statistically calculated, evidence-based assessments for new housing numbers. We will provide a more comprehensive consideration of this point in our consultation response.

“Moving forward, any plans to build on brownfield sites will require a consideration of job opportunities and the proximity of essential amenities, including access to sustainable transport. As our Location of Development research shows, planning oversight is essential, even if this includes rejecting unsuitable developments.”

 The RTPI will begin scrutinising the details of these proposals before issuing a full response.

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