CONFERENCE TO TACKLE
chiefs from across the East Midlands will be at the University of Lincoln
tomorrow (Thursday) for a conference aimed at improving the planning process.
Andrews, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Housing and Planning, will
give the keynote speech at the ‘Progress Towards the Planning
the university’s Vice Chancellor, Professor David Chiddick, the event will bring
together chairs and vice chairs of planning committees from all over the
The conference will address the difficulties
in filling vacancies for qualified planning staff and will encourage elected
members to get involved in the challenges faced by planning officers and make
the changes needed to adopt better working practices.
The East Midlands has 46 local planning authorities, the
majority of which are small councils. About half have reported difficulties in
recruiting qualified planning staff and in some cases this is affecting authorities’
ability to make faster planning decisions.
Office East Midlands (GOEM) has been working closely with partners including
the University of
Lincoln, the Planning
Advisory Service and the East Midlands Local Government Association to tackle
conference will begin in lecture theatre ARM201 in the Lincoln School of
Architecture building at 10am tomorrow (Thursday 23rd February).
welcome by Professor Chiddick Baroness Andrews will give her keynote speech on
the importance of
members and officers working together to deliver a
first-class planning service.
speakers will include Sarah Richards, Head of the Planning Advisory Service, Professor Peter Roberts, OBE, Chair of the
Academy for Sustainable Communities, Andrew Turner, Chief Executive of Regeneration
East Midlands, Eamon Mythen from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Sam
Maher of the East Midlands Local Government Association.
Andrews will be welcomed to the university by Professor David Chiddick at
9.05am and there will be an opportunity for photographs and interviews from
9.20am until 9.40am in the Alstom Atrium, main academic building, Brayford Pool campus.
the Planning Renaissance
University of Lincoln
23rd February 2006
- An effective planning
system is at the heart of the government’s aim to create sustainable
communities. Well made, timely planning decisions contribute to
sustainable development and help to deliver a built environment which
raises the quality of people's lives.
- Conversely, a
planning system that is slow and cumbersome and fails to demand
high-quality design, stifles growth and disadvantages local people both
economically and socially.
- The good news is that
many local authorities throughout England are raising their game
on planning, helped by the ODPM's Planning Delivery Grant and direct
support from the Planning Advisory Service.
- But there are still
too many councils who take too long to make
planning decisions, or who are prepared to accept mediocre design. This
situation must improve.
- Central government
wants to work with local authorities to help the poorer performers to
improve. But because the goal of an excellent planning system is so
important, government is prepared to be tough on councils who fail to
tackle under-performance in this area. Poor planning performance is now a
key factor in the Audit Commission's CPA assessment of councils' overall
performance. Government will withhold Planning Delivery Grant and name and
shame those authorities who fail to respond positively.
- But it is important
to be clear: this is not just about doing things more quickly. It is about
changing planning culture to ensure things are done differently and
better; it is about setting a clear policy context.
- Improvement depends
on everyone from local councillors to chief executives and planning
officers providing strong leadership, securing the resources and the
skills to deliver and ensuring a well managed process.
For more information contact:
Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager
01522 886042 firstname.lastname@example.org
Leonard, Government News Network