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Coalition planning polices to face scrutiny

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Two separate inquiries will take place in Parliament to look at the impact of the Government’s new-look planning policies, it has been revealed.

The Commons Communities and Local Government Committee are behind the probes, which will take place later in the year.

The first of the inquiries, for which the deadline for written submissions in September 15, will look at the Coalition’s decision to abolish regional spatial strategies (RSS).

The review will examine the implications for house building, particularly the impact of targets, and the rate of development.

The all-party committee of MPs will also consider the arrangements in place between local planning authorities for issues such as waste, minerals, flooding, the natural environment and renewable energy.

Also on the agenda will be the Government’s proposal to incentivise local communities to accept housing developments.

A second investigation will examine the Government’s localism agenda. It will focus on how effectively decentralisation leads to better public service delivery.

The probe will also consider the limits of a shift to localism in planning policy.

Yesterday the RIBA announced it had joined an alliance of 29 national bodies concerned about the coalition government’s scrapping of regional planning policies. Led by the RTPI, the group wrote to communities secretary Eric Pickles to raise doubts about the government’s Decentralisation & Localism Bill and urging him not to overlook planning at ‘larger-than-local level’..

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