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  6. Planners launch pro-planning campaign

Planners launch pro-planning campaign

Britain’s planners have launched a nationwide myth busting campaign in England designed to boost confidence in the local planning system and improve the understanding of the work of the planning profession.

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), which represents 23,000 of Britain’s planning professionals, hopes the campaign will enable local people to understand the system better and the roles that planners play.

Under the initiative members of the public can access a new web resource which seeks to challenge a number of ‘planning myths’ to give a truer picture of both how the planning system works in their area and of the profession generally.

RTPI president Richard Summers said: “It’s time many of the myths about planning were dispelled. Good planning can help provide new housing, act as a catalyst for growth and jobs, protect the environment, and give local people a genuine say in developing the character of the places where they live and work. It also prevents a free-for-all where anyone can build what they like, where they like, and when they like.”

The launch of the campaign, the first of its kind in the RTPI’s history, follows the recent debate in the national media about the draft National Planning Policy Framework and reforms to the planning system which has seen interventions from the Prime Minister and the chancellor,

One of the top ‘myths’ highlighted by the RTPI campaign is that “The default response to a planning application is ‘No’”.

The RTPI claims: “Government statistics show that for at least a decade more than 8 in 10 planning applications are granted. The figure for major commercial applications, critical for economic growth, is higher at around 90 per cent”.

In a related move, some 21 former institute presidents have signed an open letter published in a number of broadsheets calling for “a reasoned debate” over planning.

Read Myth Busting: The truth about planning on the RTPI’s website.

Roger Milne

8 September 2011