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RTPI blog round-up: Culture and heritage inspire planning in Suffolk

Words: RTPI

A round-up of RTPI blogs: 4 May-7 June, 2019

Culture and heritage inspire planning in Suffolk

Historical and cultural heritage formed the central thread to my recent visit to the East of England RTPI.  Focusing on Suffolk, the visit began in Bury St Edmunds and Lavenham, stunning examples of Britain’s historic settlements, which also reveal the power of planning to deliver much-needed development whilst conserving the very best of the buildings and places in which we develop...

By Ian Tant, president of the RTPI.

Local design panels need planners

I am one of four planners representing RTPI Scotland on the Edinburgh Urban Design Panel. The panel is one of five design panels (Inverness, Aberdeenshire, Edinburgh, Glasgow and West Dunbartonshire) set up by local authorities across Scotland to give design advice on the quality of new buildings, streets and spaces.

With design getting higher on the Government’s agenda, it is worth highlighting the value of planners on these panels and sharing some thoughts on what it is like to be a panellist, with the hope that more planners devote time to such work...

By Graham Marchbank, a member of the RTPI Scottish Executive Committee and a director and volunteer at Planning Aid Scotland.

Lessons from Australia

“I pay respect to the Yacumbeh people on whose un-ceded land we meet and acknowledge their elders, past present and emerging.”

It was with these important words that many speakers began their presentations at the recent Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) Congress in the City of Gold Coast. I follow suit and their significance will become [in this blog]...

By Ian Tant, president of the RTPI.

Happy at home

Every year Rightmove surveys people from across Britain to find out where the happiest place to live is. The most recent ‘Happy at Home’ survey asked 21,000 people how happy they are where they live based on 12 happiness factors...

By Sarah Lewis MRTPI, planning practice officer at the RTPI.

Supporting small home builders in Wales

The National Assembly for Wales has launched an inquiry into barriers facing small house building firms.  I recently appeared on behalf of RTPI Cymru in one of several oral sessions held by the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee to explore this issue in more detail.

Many small home build firms were impacted by the recession and the numbers have not returned to the levels they previously were. Small build firms have an important role in delivering housing across Wales; however, a skills shortage within the construction industry and access to finance have been major issues, highlighted in the Federation of Master Builders House Builders’ Survey 2018...

By Ian Stevens, planning policy specialist at Telford & Wrekin Council and a member of the RTPI Cymru Policy and Research Forum.

What is beauty and is it important?

Two key questions related to beauty are what is it and is it important, and for planners this includes the additional issues of what is its role in good places and does a place need to look beautiful as well as being functionally good or successful?...

By Michael Vout, planner, urban designer and landscape architect, and Hon Secretary of RTPI West Midlands.

Roads less travelled?

If there is a theme to my presidential visits this year, it’s to visit those places past Presidents haven’t reached – in the words of Robert Frost to take the paths 'less travelled by'.

I’m not sure there is really anywhere in London that would class as ‘less travelled by’ but there are places that have missed out and not just on Presidential visits: investment, growth and their benefits have too often passed them by as well. Such might be the unifying theme behind my recent visit to London, taking in Brixton, Peckham and Waltham Forest...

By Ian Tant, president of the RTPI.

Local government is not a part time job

As we approach the local government elections again, I’d like to share one or two thoughts on what I learnt at a recent meeting of town and city mayors in Europe.

I was invited to contribute to the grandly-titled “5th European Congress of Local Governments” in Kraków in April. It lived up to its billing – the modern congress centre was packed for two days...

By Richard Blyth, head of policy, practice and research at the RTPI.