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Government asks RIBA for planning reform advice

ODPM minister Yvette Cooper has asked the RIBA to investigate potential reforms to the planning system, the AJ can reveal.

The politician - who has particular responsibility for housing - met with the institute's president Jack Pringle and members of his policy team last month to discuss the issue.

Following talks, the minister asked the delegation to put together a strategy document that will assess potential changes to the planning protocols.

The request represents another success for Pringle's presidential strategy of engaging with senior government figures to push through reform.

Last week it emerged that Pringle and his policy wonks had won the support of the Treasury for a more design-focused Private Finance Initiative model.

It is understood that the planning research will involve two major strands. The first will be a study comparing the current English system to those of other European countries.

The second will see Pringle host a policy summit, possibly over two days, that will mirror the gathering he held at the beginning of the institute's campaign to reform PFI.

At that meeting he invited delegates and stakeholders from the entire construction industry to a 'round-table' discussion on potential changes to the initiative.

by Ed Dorrell

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