Planners’ skills in plan making and facilitating public engagement mean that they have a key role to play in the current resurgence of local authority housebuilding. That’s the view of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), whose new practice advice note considers how local authority planners can balance supporting and promoting local authority-led development with impartial scrutiny of all developments.
RTPI Policy Officer Tom Kenny described the new advice as both a best practice guide and a call to action. Tom said: “This practice advice comes after almost three years of RTPI research on the resurgence in local authorities returning to housebuilding and the role of planners within it. We’ve heard about the experience of planners and other officers from local authorities of all kinds in every region of England. Now it’s time to move from research to action.
“Planners have a duty to support developments which can deliver social, environmental and economic benefits, through plan making and by using their expertise in areas like site assessment, public engagement and relationship building.
“We hope this advice can convince planners and their colleagues of the crucial role planners can play in delivering a new generation of housing which responds to local needs and pushes the market towards more sustainable development.”
The guidance features a range of case studies from around England showing exciting work already underway. Although the focus is on the policy context in England, much of the learning will be valuable to planners in other nations.
This note is largely based on two pieces of research published by RTPI in 2017 and 2019, conducted by Professor Janice Morphet and Dr Ben Clifford from UCL’s Bartlett School of Planning.
To download the new practice advice note click here.