News story

More communities getting control over local planning

East Midlands and the North East of England regional strategies to be abolished.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Planning aerial view.

Communities in these local areas are to be the latest to receive more control over local development when their regional strategies are revoked, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced today (18 March 2013).

The top-down approach of regional strategies from the last administration imposed centrally set building targets on communities and coincided with the lowest peace-time levels of housebuilding since the 1920s.

The abolition of these regional strategies reinforces the importance of the Local Plan produced with the involvement of local communities, as the keystone of the planning system. It is this approach that will help deliver the homes, jobs and infrastructure we need.

Planning and housebuilding works best when it is locally led and people have more control in shaping and deciding on development in the places they live. An Order will be laid in Parliament on Wednesday to revoke the East Midlands strategy. A similar Order for the North East will be laid at a later date.

The coalition government is determined to protect and safeguard our natural and cultural heritage and will not revoke the policy in the Northumberland plan that enables to extension of the Green Belt around Castle Morpeth.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:

“The flawed top-down targets of regional planning built nothing but resentment, and threatened the green belt in many local authorities. We are committed to decentralising as much power as possible to local people.

“The abolition of the East Midlands and North East regional strategy will bring a significant shift in power that will benefit the lives of local people in these areas.”

Further information

The government made clear its commitment to return decision-making on housing and planning to local councils and has introduced powerful incentives to ensure communities benefit from development.

The Localism Act 2011 legislated to provide powers to abolish the last administration’s regional strategies. European Union law requires strategic environmental assessments to be undertaken.

You can download the written ministerial statement (pdf, 64kb) on the revocation of these regional strategies from the Parliament website.

The ‘Strategic environmental assessment on revoking the East Midlands regional strategy: post-adoption statement’ will be available from the consultation page once the Order is laid.

Published 18 March 2013