Last edited 21 Jan 2021

Delivering the value of planning

On 16 August 2016, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) published “Delivering the Value of Planning”, one of a series of policy and research reports setting out the Institute’s thinking on better planning.

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The report was written by Professor David Adams, Michael O'Sullivan, Dr Andy Inch, Professor Malcolm Tait, Professor Craig Watkins and Dr Michael Harris. It was based on research conducted by The University of Glasgow, The University of Sheffield and the RTPI, and followed previous work on the economic value of planning, published in 2014.

The report explains how good planning can deliver sustainable economic growth and housing, and points out why we are not realising the value of planning in practice compared to parts of continental Europe. It suggests that strategic leadership is needed from local authority planners to spur public sector-led development.

A survey of planners working in England, published in the report, revealed:

The report warns that budget cuts and continual changes in planning policy over the last 30 years have stripped public sector planners of the powers and resources, resulting in a system that is ‘…more complicated and more uncertain, with a reduced ability to ensure that development is well-planned and connected to transport and facilities, and a narrower range and number of affordable housing to rent or buy’.

The report calls for:

Phil Williams, RTPI President, 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… It is absolutely crucial we resource councilsplanning teams properly, so that planners can operate strategically. We want to see closer integration of planning activities with councils’ economic development and devolved areas of responsibilities to guide private sector investment and keep up the momentum for building.”

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