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STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO THE SELECT COMMITTEE REPORT ON THE PLANNING GREEN PAPER

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Speaking for the Royal Town Planning Institute, secretary general Robert Upton said: ...
Speaking for the Royal Town Planning Institute, secretary general Robert Upton said:

'We agree with the Committee's view that parliament will not want to deal with major projects, and would not be able to do so effectively. We support the idea, which originated in the DTI Foresight Programme, that there should be a major projects evaluation commission - set up by parliament. This would call for evidence - in order to assess projects and propose mitigation measures against the background of stated government policy - and then put the considered case to parliament for decision. That will ensure proper public participation, and make proper and better use of parliamentary time.

'We note the Committee's concerns about structure plans. In fact there is an imperative need to strengthen strategic planning at the national, regional and sub-regional levels. This will address precisely the problems that Gordon Brown referred to in his Mansion House speech last week, that is the need to deal with the north-south imbalance and to tackle what has become an acute housing shortage. We look forward with interest as to how John Prescott will address this in his policy statement later this month.

'The county councils must have a major input into regional and sub-regional planning, but we need to see the big picture. This country needs an altogether more effective framework for strategic planning.

'We expect that the policy statement will confirm the intention to keep comprehensive land-use maps at the local level. It is pretty fundamental to good planning - the need to see 'what would go where', and how it relates to other intentions.'

NOTES

The RTPI is the professional body in the United Kingdom chartered to advance the science and art of town planning in all its aspects (national, regional and local) for the benefit of the public.

It has a membership of over 17,500 who work in local and central government, planning education, research and private practice.

For further general information, visit the RTPI website at: www.rtpi.org.uk

For more on this issue, see LGCnet.

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