Keep planning local - The LGA's open statement on planning

The Rural Services Network is part of the Keep Planning Local Statement from the LGA:

COVID-19 has demonstrated the incredible spirit of communities as they united to support each other and fight this deadly virus

As we move forward, it should be they who drive the national recovery with the power and voice to shape their local area so it is somewhere they are proud to live, work and enjoy their time in, and where everyone has an opportunity to reach their full potential.

People want their local area to have high-quality affordable homes built in the right places, supported by the right infrastructure, which provides enough schools, promotes greener and more active travel, and tackles climate change.

This can only be achieved through a local planning system with public participation at its heart which enables councils to deliver resilient, prosperous places that meet the needs of their communities. It means beautiful areas and better homes.

Any suggestion that planning is a barrier to housebuilding is a myth. Nine in 10 planning applications are approved by councils, while more than a million homes given planning permission in the last decade have not yet been built.

Taking further planning powers away from communities and councils will only deprive them of the ability to define the area they live in and know best and risks giving developers the freedom to ride roughshod over local areas.

If the country is to come back stronger from COVID-19, then local communities must be at the heart of the recovery.

If you would like to add your organisation's support to the list please email

Signatories include: 

Cllr James Jamieson
Chairman, Local Government Association (LGA)

Cllr Mark Crane
Lead member for stronger communities, District Councils' Network

Cllr Philip Atkins
Spokesperson for housing and planning, County Councils Network

Cllr Sue Baxter
Chairman, National Association of Local Councils

Victoria Hills
Chief Executive, Royal Town Planning Institute

Crispin Truman
Chief Executive, CPRE

Nigel Riglar
President, Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT)

Fiona Howie
Chief Executive, Town and Country Planning Association

Seán O'Reilly
Director, The Institute of Historic Building Conservation

Richard Morris
President, Planning Officers Society

Ian Harvey
Executive Director, Civic Voice

Peter Eversden MBE
Chair, London Forum of Amenity and Civic Societies

Gavin Smart
Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Housing

Alan Jones
President, Royal Institute of British Architects

Cllr Cecilia Motley
Chair, Rural Services Network

Jonathan Werran
Chief Executive, Localis

Cllr Adele Morris
Deputy Chair, LGA Environment, Economy, Housing and Transport Board

Cllr Liz Green
Vice Chair, LGA Improvement and Innovation Board

Baroness Thornhill MBE
Vice President, LGA

Cllr Phil King
Leader, Harborough District Council

Cllr Gavin Callaghan
Leader, Basildon Borough Council

Cllr Ben J Martin
Cabinet Member for Housing, Swale Borough Council

Cllr Theresa Burton
Runnymede District Council

Cllr Heather Kidd
Shropshire Council

Cllr Alan Connett
National Lead Member Peer, LGA Liberal Democrats

Cllr Ruth Dombey
Vice Chair, LGA


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