Greg Clark MP at the Society's "Planning and the Localism Bill" Conference on 24th January told delgates that "Planning is more than a job: it is a vocation. It helps people articulate their aspirations and ambitions for the place where they live. It promotes local prosperity, safeguards the environment, and expresses the unique character that makes different places special. This is a unique and incredibly valuable form of public service."
The Minister explained how "With the abolition of regional strategies, local plans will show where and how different authorities intend to make common cause on strategic planning issues. And they will set the wider context for neighbourhood plans. It is important for people to have the opportunity to express their ambitions for their very local area, but it's also important that those ambitions are consistent with the needs and ambitions of the residents of the wider area. So those authorities who have complete or well-developed plans should continue to use them, and those who do not should look to make swift progress as a matter of urgency."
He went on to thank the Society since it "has already done much to inform our proposals. Your constructive input - including your paper at the end of October - has been very helpful as we've finessed and refined our plans. Many of the points that you made then - about the importance of local plans, about the crucial role of parishes, the need for leadership in planning authorities - are reflected in our proposals."
Greg Clark speaks to POS delegates at the Localism Conference
The Minister for Decentralisation was joined by Steve Quartermain, Chief Planner at DCLG, together with David Morris, Michelle Banks and Miles Gibson to answer questions and explain the impact of the Bill on planning.
To read the Minister's speech in full click here
To find out more about the event and what was discussed click here