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RTPI blog round-up: All go for self-build?

Words: RTPI

A round-up of RTPI blogs: 7 August-3 September, 2021

All go for self-build?

The UK has a smaller self- and custom-build housing sector than many comparable countries. Although around 13,000 houses are built this way annually, elsewhere it often accounts for a third of total housing supply - in some cases, such as in Germany, it is the dominant method of delivering new housing (55 per cent).

Expanding custom- and self-build is seen by many as a means of increasing housing supply...

By Richard Blyth, head of policy at the RTPI

Green Growth Boards and the need to be ‘larger than local’

Although I am relatively new to planning – having joined the RTPI just over four months ago and worked in infrastructure strategy consultancy prior to that – I already feel immersed in the challenges and opportunities within planning policy.

Local authorities are facing some of their greatest challenges in delivering upon the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda, addressing the housing shortage, leading the post-Covid economic recovery and combatting climate change.

However, whilst the prominence and visibility of planning continues to grow, the system has been severely under-resourced for decades, with local government planning departments having to cope with a 42 per cent reduction in funding over the past decade alone...

By Harry Steele, infrastructure specialist at the RTPI

Giving Year 12 students a flavour of the planning profession

How can we make our workforce more representative of the borough we serve? This was the starting question which sparked a team of 40 planning and engineering officers at Wandsworth and Richmond Councils to facilitate a pilot work experience programme earlier this year.

When three of us in the department’s equality and diversity working group were given this question, it was hard to know where to start. Do we do a piece of work focused on existing professionals, graduates, high school leavers or primary school children? What would have the most impact? In the end, we settled on Year 12 students – students who were at the cusp of choosing university subjects or other post-school education routes. We decided to offer the work experience opportunity to the three schools in each borough with the highest percentages of BAME students...

By Becky Howarth, transport strategy programme coordinator in the Environment and Community Services Directorate at Richmond and Wandsworth Councils

‘Levelling up’ - what’s it all about?

Is ‘levelling up’ a new game in town?

Since 1934, we have had support for regions with weaker economies, although it was noted at the time that the budget for ‘special areas’ was less than half the sugar beet subsidy.

Moving on to this century, the 2004 Spending Review PSA7 target was to "make sustainable improvements in the economic performance of all the English regions by 2008 and over the long term reduce the persistent gap in growth rates between the regions, demonstrating progress by 2006".

It’s good to have targets, but this one (as you can see) tried to do two things at once. Which is more important?...

By Richard Blyth, head of policy at the RTPI

Image credit | RTPI