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29 national bodies concerned about planning reforms

29 national bodies − including the ICE and IStructE − have requested a meeting with communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles to ensure planning does not become too localised.

A wide ranging group of 29 national bodies this week wrote to Pickles to urge national and local government to work with them to ensure that planning system reforms in the name of localism retain some planning at the “larger-than-local level”.

The letter said: “First, we wish to ensure that any new Government policies truly improve the ability of the system to deliver positive outcomes for communities.

“The most pressing issues facing the nation cannot be dealt with solely at a local level.”

Ann Skippers, RTPI

“Secondly, we wish to ensure that this larger than local planning and investment – which we term strategic planning – is carried out to address the most pressing issues facing the nation.”

Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) president Ann Skippers said transport, waste and flood projects require strategic thinking beyond the local level.

“The most pressing issues facing the nation, for example, such as the housing crisis, economic recovery, climate change and biodiversity loss, cannot be dealt with solely at a local level,” she said.

“We have come together to offer to work with the Coalition Government and local authorities to … support joint planning across local authority boundaries.”

The 29 signatories to the letter represent key voices in the environment, enterprise and business, communities, development, the professions and planning.

“We have come together to support joint planning across local authority boundaries.”

Ann Skippers, RTPI

The organisations said some aspects of the government’s planning reforms may hinder solutions to providing a lead to tackle climate change and to rapidly expanding renewable energy infrastructure.

The 29 organisations that wrote to Pickles are:

  • Association of Building Engineers
  • Association of Consultant Architects
  • Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport
  • British Property Federation
  • British Urban Regeneration Association
  • Campaign to Protect Rural England
  • Campaign for Better Transport
  • Chartered Institute of Housing
  • Construction Industry Council
  • Country Land and Business Association
  • Environmental Protection UK
  • Freight on Rail
  • Friends of the Earth
  • Institute of Historic Building Conservation
  • Institution of Civil Engineers
  • Institution of Structural Engineers
  • Landscape Institute
  • Local Government Technical Advisers Group
  • National Housing Federation
  • Planning Officers Society
  • Rail Freight Group
  • Royal Institute of British Architects
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
  • Royal Town Planning Institute
  • Shelter
  • Sustrans
  • Town and Country Planning Association
  • UK Green Building Council
  • WWF-UK

Readers' comments (1)

  • Does anyone else find it incongrous that there are so many "national" self constituted institutions (often covering/overlapping the same content areas) seeking to retain their place in the sun? And this list is far from complete.

    No wonder it takes so long and costs so much to get through a consultation/approvals process.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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