Planning and the Rural Challenge

Organiser: RTPI
Location: The Midland Hotel, Morecambe
Phone: 0161 969 3815

Rural policy, including planning policy, is facing an uncertain but challenging future, with the aim of producing a set of appropriate and implementable local structures from within the 'chaos' of current change.

The rural challenge today includes supporting new and diverse employment opportunities; providing the homes needed for those who live and work in rural areas on low incomes, and maintaining and evolving the services they rely on. Such a challenge is hard enough on its own, but it becomes even harder when placed alongside and inter-meshed with further challenges and parameters that will genuinely enhance rural communities; increase local and national sustainability in the context of climate and biodiversity changes, and continue to conserve the countryside so that environmental security, food security, landscape character and access to open countryside and woodlands can be enjoyed by communities and visitors alike. The powerful voice of the people has already been heard on the issue of public forests and woodland and may yet speak on other issues. Local perspectives within a wider government strategic vision and framework play key parts here.

This event will provide, in a fast moving situation, an up-to-date assessment of the key rural challenges and the contribution that planners might be expected to make in conjunction with wider rural policy colleagues. Participants will be encouraged, individually and in groups, to mix and share thoughts and ideas, better understand rural challenges and influence meaningful ways forward for planning within the rural policy mix. Above all, a clear vision and common goal may be identified – or more likely a plethora of different ways of implementing that vision -appropriate for the future of different rural areas. Might that vision be an austerity one? Might the implementation measures be very different from those employed in the past?

How far might it be a test of strength between local neighbourhood agendas and that of the paramount local plan prepared by local authorities?

The training and continuing professional development service of the Royal Town Planning Institute North West Region. Delivered in partnership with the RTPI Accredited Planning Schools in the North West


9.30 am Registration and refreshments

10.00am Welcome; Mike Eastham, RTPI North West Host

10.05 am Introduction by the Chair; David Alexander freelance planner specialising in rural and environmental issues

10.20 am Keynote Address -Planning and the Rural Challenge: in the light of the Localism Bill. Nigel Curry, Professor of Countryside Planning and Director of Countryside and Community Research Institute, University of Gloucestershire

10.55 am Questions to the keynote speaker

11.00 am Refreshments

11.25 am Rural Challenge: Setting the parameters – Future for the Natural Environment: A Stock Take. Environment White Paper, Stewardship, future of Forestry. Stuart Pasley, North West Team Delivery Leader: Landscape, North West Regional Advocacy and Partnerships Team, Natural England

12.00 noon Rural Challenge: Exploring the opportunities -A New Future for Rural Employment, Housing and Services. Ian Butter, BSc (Hons), FRICS, MRTPI, the Rural & Urban Planning Consultancy

12.35 pm Morning questions and comments

12.50 pm Lunch

1.50 pm Rural Challenge: Implications of the Localism Bill for rural planning and community empowerment, including the parish plans model and the rural dimension of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Andy Yuille, Senior Policy & Campaigns Officer, CPRE, North West Region.

2.20 pm Workshop session: Rural challenge: Implementing rural practice in the North West. A series of discussion topics and questions. Workshop Chair; Mike Eastham, BA, MTp, Team Leader, Forward Planning, South Ribble Borough Council

3.30 pm Refreshments

3.50 pm Feedback from workshop session

4.20 pm Chair's closing remarks


Please fill in the form below, indicating payment method preferred. (Cost – RTPI members £85 per person +20% VAT = £102.00, Non-RTPI members £90 per person +20% VAT = £108.00).

Cancellations must be received at least 7 days before the event or may be subject to a £20 cancellation fee. No refund will be given for non-attendance but substitutions are acceptable at any time.

To book places or seek further information:

Ring Bev Watson on 0161 969 3815

Email or post it to the address below

Bev Watson, RTPI NW Regional Coordinator, Friars Court, Sibson Road, Sale, Cheshire, M33 7SF

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