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Bids open to research planning outcomes

Words: Laura Edgar
Planning research / iStock-621728016

The RTPI has issued an invitation to tender (ITT) for research that aims to identify the most important outcomes in spatial planning and feasible ways to measure them.

In the ITT, the institute points out that in recent years, the assessment and monitoring of planning in the UK and Ireland has mainly focused on a limited set of most process-based outcomes.

This research intends to explore how local authorities and national governments can go beyond simple metrics, such as speed of processing applications and number of new homes delivered. Ultimately, it will aim to produce outcome measures and monitoring toolkits that can be adapted and adopted by local authorities.

RTPI policy officer Tom Kenny said: “It is often said about organisations that ‘you are what you measure’. If this is the case then it is not surprising that local authorities with limited resources and a focus on numbers and speed are shifting attention towards facilitating development control at the expense of proactive placemaking.

“The planning system should be assessed on the outcomes it is designed to deliver, such as the social, economic and environmental value of development, to help demonstrate the value of planning in a richer way. This is no easy task but advances in planning technology and the availability of data bring new opportunities to measure a wider set of outcomes.”

The RTPI, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government, the Irish Government and England’s Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government will fund the research. It will build on the RTPI's previous work on the Value of Planning as well as the Scottish Government's 2018 report Monitoring the Outcomes of Planning.

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