For the first time since 1947, England is without a recognised strategic planning framework following the revocation of Regional Spatial Strategies (RSSs). Articles in the June and July/August issues of this journal have variously criticised the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government for opening up a ‘NIMBY charter’ and inviting ‘chaos’ through an ‘act now, think later’ policy approach of ‘rampaging through the English planning system’. By removing the layer of strategic planning in one fell swoop, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has left the planning fraternity to muddle through the mess. It is not our intent to retrace these arguments here. Instead we look, through a pragmatic lens, at the Coalition’s new policy innovation – the Local Enterprise Partnership – and consider how far this may go to filling the strategic void. We argue that there is a strong case for ‘the suggestion that Local Enterprise Partnerships may fulfil a planning function’, as currently being examined by the Communities and Local Government Committee (CLG) Inquiry into the Abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies. However, as we sketch out a role for planning in the Government’s economic transition plan, we draw attention to several potential pitfalls along the way.
|Town and Country Planning
|Published - 2010