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RTPI briefing on Localism Bill

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has held a briefing with MPs on areas of the Localism Bill that it feels can be improved ahead of the report stage in Parliament.

RTPI president Richard Summers said that MP Greg Clark, minister of state for decentralisation, had worked with the body so far to improve the measures in the bill.

Officials at the RTPI claim that a proposed neighbourhood planning system is still too complicated and must be changed but said that an amended Clause 90 in the Bill, which strengthens the arrangements for planning at the larger-than-local level, should be supported.

According to the body, Clause 15 in the Bill, which makes financial considerations a material factor in the planning system, are ‘materially flawed’ and have to be withdrawn. The RTPI is also keen for the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to be embodied in the Bill as it believes the NPPF ‘will affect local and neighbourhood planning’.

Summers added: “We congratulate the Government on strengthening the duty to co-operate but believe other parts of the Localism Bill could still be improved.

“Further changes are needed if some of the key aims of the Bill are to be realised such as enabling communities to develop their vision for the future of their area through neighbourhood plans, to enable priorities for investment to be decided at both the local and national levels and to tackle the challenges of climate change, sustainable economic growth and social inequity.”

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