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RTPI provides further guidance post European Union Referendum

01 July 2016

The RTPI represents 23, 000 members across the nations of the United Kingdom, Ireland and internationally.  As a registered charity we maintain a neutral position in all pre-election (including referenda) periods (known as election purdah)  and cannot seek to influence how individuals vote. This applied during the pre European Union Membership referendum period.

Too early to fully understand impacts

It is too early to understand yet what the full long and short term impacts of the EU referendum result will be on our profession, in terms of its work and the legal and economic context in which it operates.    We know that economic confidence has taken a severe shock which has implications for development, sectoral share values, sterling  and government revenue. Many key projects, large and small, in the UK rely in some part from direct EU funding and European funding contributes to research activity particularly collaborative activity including in accredited planning schools.

We will be continuing to call on politicians of all parties to access and value the expertise of planners to be able to deliver economically and environmentally sustainable developments that benefit communities and to avoid the continuance of further legislation and revision to the planning system.

Many EU Directives have been transposed into law in UK nations. It is our understanding these remain law unless the UK parliaments/assemblies remove them.  Most of the planning laws incorporating European law are in the main from EU Directives that relate to environmental matters.  Exit from the EU will be two years after a notice is given by the UK Government under Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union (the Article 50 notice) to the European Council.  The UK will continue to be bound by the above Directives and other EU laws until then. 

We must continue to invest

Uncertainty and change have historically slowed down development. Whatever the current economic uncertainty it is imperative we all work to ensure we continue to invest in infrastructure and development to relieve the housing crisis, ensure economic growth and create great places. 

We will continue to promote the value of planning

We will continue to promote the value of planning, whatever the constitutional arrangements and we will continue our campaign to promote the necessity of government and politicians to properly resource planning. 

In his recent speech at the Planning Convention, RTPI President Phil Williams said: “The issues that many people expressed during the EU debate relating to migration and population growth, unaffordable housing, the pressure on health and educational services, the need for economic growth...require planned solutions. In addition, the referendum results highlight the great divisions between the different nations of the UK and the regions of England in terms of their needs and unfulfilled aspirations…”.

RTPI calls on politicians to value expertise of planners

We will be continuing to call on politicians of all parties to access and value the expertise of planners to be able to deliver economically and environmentally sustainable developments that benefit communities and to avoid the continuance of further legislation and revision to the planning system. In doing this we are exploring the implications for environmental, social and economic policy across the nations of the UK.  This will give us an evidence base to take forward our policy work. 

In the last year or so we have published a number of manifestos for the United Kingdom, Irish, London,  Northern IrishScottish and Welsh elections that set out our key asks of governments.  We will continue to work to achieve these aims through our ongoing engagement with politicians across the UK. The Institute’s asks haven’t changed though there is now a different context for them.