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Prof Gavin Parker delivers prestigious annual RTPI Nathaniel Lichfield Lecture

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The lecture was on the 50th anniversary of the Skeffington Report on ‘People and Planning’ – covering the highly topical area of public participation in planning. Professor Parker discussed the context when Skeffington was produced, what the landscape looks like now and what needs to be done to ensure more effective engagement in the future. He made a series of key points and recommendations including:

  • That efforts to date to build trust and engage widely and effectively with communities have largely failed;
  • Trust in planning, in developers and in both local and national government continues to be very low;
  • The need to explore in a systematic way how to engage effectively, when, with whom and the basis for community input;
  • To accept that front-line planners in Local Authorities cannot perform as participatory agents alone and that the private sector may not be in position to oversee balanced engagement;
  • He called for a review and an independent national body to inform, organise and support participatory activity.
Published 22 November 2019