Ahead of the General Election on 8 June, the Royal Town Planning Institute has released its manifesto. It calls on the next government to create an inclusive, economically successful and resilient society with jobs, homes and infrastructure where they are needed after Brexit through planning.
The manifesto covers four key areas the government must act on to ensure Britain secures a successful future.
Promote fairness and equity by:
1. Incentivising cooperation between local authorities so that land for development is made available on the right scale and in the right locations – close to jobs, services, public transport and amenities.
2. Giving local authorities the power to capture the uplift in land value that follows when land is earmarked for development, allowing the benefits of growth to be reinvested into high quality affordable housing and infrastructure for communities.
Planning is a positive force that delivers better and more inclusive places, providing people with jobs, opportunities, security, health and wellbeing.
Conserve and enhance our heritage and environment by:
5. Tackling dangerous air pollution and promoting energy efficiency by investing in public transport, walking and cycling.
6. Ensuring our built heritage is conserved through investing in sensitive re-purposing for current and future needs.
Planning supports the responsible use of land by ensuring that development is in the right places, while conserving our heritage and enhancing the environment.
Represent and engage communities by:
3. Devolving spending powers from central government so that city and county-regions have the tools to create economic growth and invest in affordable housing and infrastructure and that allows decisions to be made closer to where people live.
Planning puts community needs and aspirations at the heart of the process, through democratic representation to enable local voices to be heard.
4. Increasing transparency in the land market, so local authorities and communities can see who owns the land needed to grow.
Meet the needs of current and future generations by:
7. Developing an industrial strategy to empower local areas to deliver growth and jobs that includes a mission to deliver one million homes, as well as a mission to make all buildings zero carbon.
8. Implementing rigorous plans to deliver on our international commitments, including the Sustainable Development Goals and climate obligations. Maintaining high environmental standards and strong leadership on climate change after we leave the European Union.
Planning increases resilience to long-term challenges such as rapid urbanisation, climate change, demographic change and resource limits.
NB: Planning is a devolved function of UK Nations, and the proposals set out above relate almost entirely to England.
Download the manifesto here.
How do we make this happen?
Government must implement measures to support the next generation of planners, through education, apprenticeships and research and secure a continuing supply of built environment professionals. By valuing and investing in local planning departments the next government can create the conditions for future growth and productivity. Government must ensure that the UK maintains its international reputation for high skill and professional standards - a valuable export opportunity.
Our work demonstrates how planning can:
Make places work better today
16 Ways to Address the Housing Crisis
Where should we build new homes?
Delivering Large Scale Housing
Better Planning: Housing Affordability
The Value of Planning
Planning for the Growth of Tech
RTPI Survey: What people want from their communities
Promoting Healthy Cities
Place, Poverty and Inequality
Linking Spatial Planning with Community Planning
Create productive city-regions
Map for England
The Location of Development
Capturing the Wider Benefits of Transport Investment
Better Planning: Smart City-Regions
The Role of Local Enterprise Partnerships
Prepare society for a challenging future
Future Proofing Society
The Worldwide Value of Planning
Delivering Better Development
Better Planning: Climate Change
Download the manifesto here.
How do we influence government?
Our ongoing conversations and close working relationships with ministers, shadow ministers and key stakeholders means that we have continued to build trust and respect across the built environment industry, as leaders in the field. We track what the parties are saying on planning related topics.
We have been engaging with politicians from all parties on a formal and informal basis. This work includes:
Working with built environment institutes on Brexit
The RTPI is a part of a coalition of professional bodies representing the construction and built environment sectors. The RTPI, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) are working together to express their concerns about six priorities that the UK Government should focus on during Brexit negotiations.
The six priorities are: access to skills, common standards, research excellence, infrastructure investment, devolution commitment, and community development.
Read updates for members from January and March.
What the RTPI can do as a charity during the elction: what the law says
While there are clear boundaries about what we can do as a charity, we are encouraging our members to engage with the election debates to promote the value of planning and help us advocate our position on important policy issues such as housing, strategic planning and devolution.
The RTPI's objective as defined by its Charter is, "to advance the science and art of planning (including town and country and spatial planning) for the benefit of the public".
We operate under charitable law - there is law governing what charities are permitted to do in relation to elections.
Broadly, the principles are that a charity can seek to further its object(s) by campaigning so long as it does not influence or seek to influence the way that people vote or the outcome of the election.
The RTPI does not and should not seek to influence how its members or the public vote. We work with politicians from all political parties to promote good planning and good planning policy in line with our objective and in accordance with the law.
For information about charities and elections see the Charity Commission (for England and Wales) and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator and the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland.