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Malthouse keen to empower planning profession

Words: Laura Edgar
Malthouse keen to empower planning profession

The housing and planning minister has told planners he is ‘keen’ to empower the profession.

Speaking at the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) Annual Conference, Malthouse said the planning system is critical to delivering the government’s target of building 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s, and it “has to be right” and it has to be resourced. Malthouse cited RTPI research that found that planning is absent from the top table in 83 per cent of councils across the UK. This, he insisted, “has to change”.

Thought needs to go into how skills are moved about, because some local authorities don’t receive enough large projects to warrant getting a senior planner. Additionally, Malthouse wants to illustrate to teenagers that planning is an interesting, fulfilling, long-term career.

The minister also encouraged planners to get involved with design and to think about adaptability. “Victorian buildings are adaptable – they’ve been family homes, two beds, bedsits, they have been extended up and down, and expanded.”

Finally, Malthouse reflects on the neighbourhoods that people want to live in, saying that it needs to be ensured that in 40 years, “we aren’t looking at them through the screen of a bulldozer”.

Image credit | Laura Edgar