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RTPI GIVES 'THUMBS UP' TO THE GREATER LONDON AUTHORITY BILL

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The Royal Town Planning Institute has warmly welcomed The Greater London Authority Bill, currently going through th...
The Royal Town Planning Institute has warmly welcomed The Greater London Authority Bill, currently going through the Standing Committee of the House of Commons.

The Institute considers there are three key matters, which require careful attention as the Bill proceeds through Parliament. These are:-

The relationship of the Spatial Development Strategy (SDS) to the Mayor's other statutory plans and strategies, such as the local transport plan;

The relationship of the SDS and the Mayor's development control powers to the statutory Unitary Development Plan (UDP) and the development control powers of the London borough councils;

The scope, of the Mayor and the authority, to integrate their transport planning and implementation powers with those of the adjoining areas in the South East.

The role of the new authority will be both regional and strategic, and the provision of a Spatial Development Strategy is critical to its coherence. It is a new approach, which clearly recognises the essential balance between democracy and action.

The Spatial Development Strategy must inspire action and encourage investment - it must identify and promote clear outputs and benefits. The way in which the Mayor, and others involved in the planning process, take up this challenge is critical.

The planning profession must play a distinct role in influencing and implementing the strategy. The profession can provide the skills required for synthesising the range of development activities, when balancing competing demands and needs for land and its uses.

The Royal Town Planning Institute, as the chartered body for the planning profession, looks forward to its members participating in the Spatial Development Strategy, which it regards as a positive working document for London.

Brian Raggett, president of the Institute, commented, 'Our primary concern is to see the Mayor as playing a positive and promotional, rather than a regulatory, role in the London planning process - he or she must be able to lead from the front, not second guess or control from the rear'.

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