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Continual reforms leave planners without powers they need: RTPI

Continual changes in the planning system have left planners without the powers they need to drive public sector-led development, the Royal Town Planning Institute has warned.

It said 73% of planners in England felt changes to the planning system had reduced their ability to deliver, and 53% thought the numerous changes had made it more difficult to ensure sufficient housing was built, while 70% felt their position was worse than it was a decade ago.

The report, Delivering the Value of Planning, warned that deep budget cuts and continual changes had left England with a system that was complicated and uncertain, with planners possessing too few powers to ensure that development is well-planned and connected to transport and facilities.

RTPI president Phil Williams said: “For too long planning has been relegated to a reactive, bureaucratic function, instead of being able to plan strategically to drive development, jobs and growth.

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“Public sector planners’ ability to be proactive is especially important in these uncertain times. It is absolutely crucial we resource councils’ planning teams properly, so that planners can operate strategically.”

He said planning should be more closely integrated with councils’ economic development teams, with stronger public sector-led management of land supply but also a stronger private sector role in development partnerships.

Mark Smulian

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