Policy successes 2004

Describe the RTPI's 2004 English policy successes in two hundred words. It will be hard but here goes, says Kelvin MacDonald.

First, there is the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act, which contains two sections introduced after RTPI lobbying, including the need for a regional spatial strategy at regional level.

Then there is the ministerial advisory group on planning contributions, initiated by the RTPI, which met six times and advised on policy emerging from the ODPM. The highly influential Barker review followed many meetings between the RTPI and Kate Barker and her team, which is reflected in the recommendations, although the meetings continue.

There was dedicated involvement in steering the drafting of guidance on the reformed planning system. The guide for schools on education for sustainable development was published and we continued developing the practical case for a UK-wide spatial development framework, a case that is now being accepted much more widely.

Four "think pieces" on the four themes of the New Vision were produced by leading external thinkers and will soon be on the web. The productive work with the Chartered Institute of Housing bore fruit in a joint report on integrating planning and housing. We gave verbal evidence to two select committees and we still managed to give constructive responses to more than 60 consultation documents.

Kelvin MacDonald is RTPI director of policy and research.

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