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What is the history of the National Planning Forum?

The National Planning Forum started life as the National Development Control Forum in 1991.

As the name implies the focus was purely on development control and the Forum had a relatively small membership. The Forum was re-launched as the National Planning Forum in 1998 and membership expanded.

The NPF was again re-launched in 2003 after a sabbatical of two years with a part-time Secretary jointly funded by ODPM and the Local Government association.

Since then, the NPF has expanded its work and attracts contributions in cash and in kind from a range of members including:

Communities and Local Government, the Local Government Association, Local Authority Building Control, Planning Inspectorate, Planning Advisory Service, Royal Town Planning Institute, British Property Federation, Environment Agency, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, Home Builders Federation, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, British Institute of Agricultural Consultants, English Heritage, and the Town and Country Planning Association.

Members are drawn from five sectors: government and its agencies, local government, business, the voluntary/third sector and the professions.  Representative organisations with an interest and involvement in planning within these sectors are invited to join the Forum to contribute to its work, in order to maintain broadly equal numbers, and balance between the sectors.

The NPF Executive Board - which drives the work of the Forum - comprises 5 Vice-Chairs, each directly elected by members of his/her own sector, and is supported by the Secretary. One of the Vice-Chairs acts as the Forum Chair for one year, on a rotational basis amongst the five sector groups.

Task and finish groups are established when necessary to deliver bespoke work on key issues outside meetings of the whole Forum.  The Vice-Chairs each lead one or more of the working groups and take forward their group's work and other issues as agreed by the Executive Board.

The Secretary liaises with the Chairs, Vice-Chairs and others including Communities and Local Government, LGA, and TCPA (our Treasurer) to secure the smooth running of the Forum and working groups.