Town Planning Review

The demise of strategic planning? The impact of the abolition of Regional Spatial Strategy in a growth region

Town Planning Review (2013), 84, (6), 743–768.

Abstract

Strategic planning has long been at the heart of the post-war statutory planning framework. From 1968, this took the form of structure plans. In 2004, however, these were replaced by Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS). Then in May 2010, the Conservative Party announced it would abolish RSS and with it, we would argue, strategic planning in any meaningful sense of the word. The incoming Coalition Government followed through on this. This article looks at the implications of RSS abolition and the consequences, looking in particular at its implication for economic growth and investment in more prosperous, southern England.

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ODPM (OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER) (2004), Planning Policy Statement 11: Regional Planning Strategies, London, TSO. Google Scholar

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SALET, W. (2003), ‘Amsterdam and the north wing of the Randstad’, in W. Salet, A. Thornley and A. Kreukels (eds), Metropolitan Governance and Spatial Planning, Comparative Case Studies of European City-Regions, Oxford, Spon Press, 175-88. Metropolitan Governance and Spatial Planning, Comparative Case Studies of European City-Regions 175 88 Google Scholar

SALET, W. (2006), ‘Rescaling territorial governance in the Randstad Holland: the responsiveness of spatial and institutional strategies to changing socio-economic interactions’, European Planning Studies, 14, 959-78. ‘Rescaling territorial governance in the Randstad Holland: the responsiveness of spatial and institutional strategies to changing socio-economic interactions’ European Planning Studies 14 959 78 Google Scholar

SWRA (SOUTH WEST REGIONAL ASSEMBLY) (2006), The Draft Regional Spatial Strategy 2006-2026, Taunton, SWRA. Google Scholar

SOUTH WEST REGIONAL OBSERVATORY (2013), Housing, Planning and the Economy - Conference Proceedings. http://www.swo.org.uk/events/housing-planning-and-the-economy/ Google Scholar

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TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ASSOCIATION (2010), Making Planning Work: Briefing Paper 3. The Bigger Picture and the Longer View: Really Useful Strategic Planning, London, TCPA. Google Scholar

VALLER, D., PHELPS, N. and WOOD, A. (2012), ‘Planning for growth? The implications of localism for "science vale", Oxfordshire, UK’, Town Planning Review, 83, 457-88. ‘Planning for growth? The implications of localism for "science vale", Oxfordshire, UK’ Town Planning Review 83 457 88 Google Scholar

WEST OF ENGLAND LEP (WEST OF ENGLAND LOCAL ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIP) (2012), Quarterly Economic Bulletin, 3, October. Google Scholar

ALBRECHTS, L. (2010), ‘Strategy planning and regional governance in Europe. Recent trends and policy responses’, in A. Yeh and J. Xu (eds), Governance and Planning of Mega-City Regions: An International Comparative Perspective, London, Routledge, 75-98. Governance and Planning of Mega-City Regions: An International Comparative Perspective 75 98 Google Scholar

ALDEN, J. (2006), ‘Regional planning: an idea whose time has come?’, International Planning Studies, 11, 209-23. ‘Regional planning: an idea whose time has come?’ International Planning Studies 11 209 23 Google Scholar

ALLMENDINGER, P. (2011), New Labour and Planning: From New Right to New Left, London, Routledge. New Labour and Planning: From New Right to New Left Google Scholar

ALLMENDINGER, P. and HAUGHTON, G. (2012a), ‘Post-political spatial planning in England: a crisis of consensus?’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 37, 89-103. ‘Post-political spatial planning in England: a crisis of consensus?’ Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 37 89 103 Google Scholar

ALLMENDINGER, P. and HAUGHTON, G. (2012b), ‘Spatial planning and the new localism?’, Planning Practice and Research, iFirst article, 28, 1-5. ‘Spatial planning and the new localism?’ Planning Practice and Research 28 1 5 Google Scholar

ALLMENDINGER, P. and HAUGHTON, G. (2013), ‘The evolution and trajectories of English spatial governance: neo-liberal episodes in planning’, Planning Practice and Research, 28 (1), 6-26. ‘The evolution and trajectories of English spatial governance: neo-liberal episodes in planning’ Planning Practice and Research 28 6 26 Google Scholar

AGMA (ASSOCIATION OF GREATER MANCHESTER AUTHORITIES) (2012), Greater Manchester Growth Plan. http://www.agma.gov.uk/agma/publication-library/index.html?page=2 Google Scholar

AYRES, S. and PEARCE, G. (2012), ‘Back to the local? Recalibrating the regional tier of governance in England’, Regional and Federal Studies, 22, 1-24. ‘Back to the local? Recalibrating the regional tier of governance in England’ Regional and Federal Studies 22 1 24 Google Scholar

BAKER, M. and WONG, C. (2006), ‘Pressure for housing in the English regions: back to the future’, in P. Allmendinger and M. Twedwr-Jones (eds), Territory, Identity and Spatial Planning, London, Routledge, 185-204. Territory, Identity and Spatial Planning 185 204 Google Scholar

BAKER, M. and WONG, C. (2013), ‘The delusion of strategic spatial planning: what's left after the Labour government's English regional experiment?’, Planning Practice & Research, 28 (1), 83-103. ‘The delusion of strategic spatial planning: what's left after the Labour government's English regional experiment?’ Planning Practice & Research 28 83 103 Google Scholar

BODDY, M. and HICKMAN, H. (2013), Stakeholder Views on Prospects for Growth in the Cambridge Sub-Region under Localism: Project Report. http://people.uwe.ac.uk/Pages/person.aspx?accountname=campus%5Cm-boddy Google Scholar

BODDY, M., BASSETT, K., FRENCH, S., GRIFFITHS, R., LAMBERT, C., LEYSHON, A., SMITH, I., STEWART, M. and THRIFT, N. (2004), ‘Competitiveness and cohesion in a prosperous city region: the case of Bristol’, in M. Boddy and M. Parkinson (eds), City Matters: Competitiveness, Cohesion and Urban Governance Bristol, Policy Press, 51-70. City Matters: Competitiveness, Cohesion and Urban Governance 51 70 Google Scholar

BREHENY, M. (1991), ‘The renaissance of strategic planning?’, Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 18, 233-49. ‘The renaissance of strategic planning?’ Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 18 233 49 Google Scholar

CAMBRIDGE AND PETERBOROUGH JOINT STRATEGIC PLANNING UNIT (2012), Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Joint Strategic Planning and Transport Member Group - Committee Papers - 15 October 2012. http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/CMSWebsite/Apps/Committees/Meeting.aspx?meetingID=552 Google Scholar

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CLG (COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT) (2011b), Communities and Local Government Committee - Written Evidence. Abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies: A Planning Vacuum? Memorandum from Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA). http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmselect/cmcomloc/517/517we27.htm Google Scholar

CLG (COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT) (2012a), National Planning Policy Framework, London, Department of Communities and Local Government. Google Scholar

CLG (COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT) (2012b), Ministerial Statement on Housing and Growth. http://www.communities.gov.uk/statements/corporate/housingandgrowth Google Scholar

CULLINGWORTH, B. and NADIN, V. (2006), Town and Country Planning in the UK (14th edn), London, Routledge. Town and Country Planning in the UK Google Scholar

DEAS, I. (2012), ‘Towards post-political consensus in urban policy? Localism and the emerging agenda for regeneration under the Cameron government’, Planning Practice and Research, 28 (1), 65-82. ‘Towards post-political consensus in urban policy? Localism and the emerging agenda for regeneration under the Cameron government’ Planning Practice and Research 28 65 82 Google Scholar

FALUDI, A. (2010), ‘Centenary paper: European spatial planning: past, present and future’, Town Planning Review, 81, 1-22. ‘Centenary paper: European spatial planning: past, present and future’ Town Planning Review 81 1 22 Google Scholar

FEATHERSTONE, D., INCE, A., MACKINNON, D., STRAUSS, K. and CUMBERS, A. (2012), ‘Progressive localism and the construction of political alternatives’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 37, 177-82. ‘Progressive localism and the construction of political alternatives’ Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 37 177 82 Google Scholar

GLASSON, J. and MARSHALL, T. (2007). Regional Planning: Concepts Theory and Practice in the UK. Routledge. Regional Planning: Concepts Theory and Practice in the UK Google Scholar

GOSW (GOVERNMENT OFFICE FOR THE SOUTH WEST) (2008a), The Independent Panel Report of the Examination in Public of the Draft Regional Spatial Strategy for the South West, Somerset, TSO. Google Scholar

GOSW (GOVERNMENT OFFICE FOR THE SOUTH WEST) (2008b), The Draft Revised Regional Spatial Strategy for the South West Incorporating the Secretary of State's Proposed Changes - For Public Consultation July 2008, Somerset, TSO. Google Scholar

HAMIDUDDIN, I. and GALLENT, N. (2012), ‘Limits to growth: the challenge of housing delivery in England's "under-bounded" districts’, Planning Practice and Research, 27, 513-30. ‘Limits to growth: the challenge of housing delivery in England's "under-bounded" districts’ Planning Practice and Research 27 513 30 Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. (2009), ‘In search of the "strategic" in spatial strategy making’, Planning Theory and Practice, 10, 439-57. ‘In search of the "strategic" in spatial strategy making’ Planning Theory and Practice 10 439 57 Google Scholar

HESELTINE, M. (2012), No Stone Unturned in Pursuit of Growth. http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/corporate/docs/n/12-1213-no-stone-unturned-in-pursuit-of-growth Google Scholar

HM GOVERNMENT (2011a), Localism Act 2011, London, HMSO. Google Scholar

HM GOVERNMENT (2011b), Unlocking Growth in Cities, London, Cabinet Office. Google Scholar

HM TREASURY/BIS (HM TREASURY/DEPARTMENT FOR BUSINESS ENTERPRISE AND REGULATORY REFORM AND DEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT) (2007), Review of Sub-National Economic Development and Regeneration, London, HMSO. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

HBF (HOME BUILDERS FEDERATION) (2012), South West Housing Crisis Report. http://www.hbf.co.uk/fileadmin/documents/research/South_West__Housing_Crisis_Report_-_June_2012.pdf Google Scholar

HOLMAN, S. and RYDIN, Y. (2012). ‘What Can Social Capital Tell Us About Planning Under Localism’, Local Government Studies, 39 (1), 71-88. ‘What Can Social Capital Tell Us About Planning Under Localism’ Local Government Studies 39 71 88 Google Scholar

HOUSE OF COMMONS SELECT COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT (2011), Abolition of Regional Spatial Strategies: A Planning Vacuum, Second Report of Session 2010-11, London, HMSO. Google Scholar

INCH, A. (2009), ‘Planning at the crossroads again: re-evaluating street-level regulation of the contradictions in New Labour's planning reforms’, Planning Practice and Research, 24, 83-101. ‘Planning at the crossroads again: re-evaluating street-level regulation of the contradictions in New Labour's planning reforms’ Planning Practice and Research 24 83 101 Google Scholar

KRUEGER, R. and GIBBS, D. (2010), ‘Competitive global city regions and "sustainable development": an interpretive institutionalist account in the South East of England’, Environment and Planning A, 42, 821-37. ‘Competitive global city regions and "sustainable development": an interpretive institutionalist account in the South East of England’ Environment and Planning A 42 821 37 Google Scholar

LOWNDES, V. and PRATCHETT, L. (2012), ‘Local governance under the coalition government: austerity, localism and the "big society"’, Local Government Studies, 38, 21-40. ‘Local governance under the coalition government: austerity, localism and the "big society"’ Local Government Studies 38 21 40 Google Scholar

MARSHALL, T. (2007), ‘After structure planning: the new sub-regional planning in England’, European Planning Studies, 15, 107-32. ‘After structure planning: the new sub-regional planning in England’ European Planning Studies 15 107 32 Google Scholar

MARSHALL, T. (2009), ‘Planning and New Labour in the UK’, Planning Practice and Research, 24, 1-9. ‘Planning and New Labour in the UK’ Planning Practice and Research 24 1 9 Google Scholar

MAWSON, J. and PEARCE, G. (2009), ‘Governance in the English regions: moving beyond muddling through?’, International Journal of Public Sector Management, 22, 623-42. ‘Governance in the English regions: moving beyond muddling through?’ International Journal of Public Sector Management 22 623 42 Google Scholar

ODPM (OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER) (1999), Planning Policy Guidance 12: Development Plans, London, TSO. Google Scholar

ODPM (OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER) (2004), Planning Policy Statement 11: Regional Planning Strategies, London, TSO. Google Scholar

ONS (OFFICE FOR NATIONAL STATISTICS) (2010), Subnational Population Projections, 2008-Based Projections. http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/snpp/sub-national-population-projections/2008-based-projections/index.html Google Scholar

PICKLES, E. (2010), Ministerial Statement: Revoking Regional Strategies (6th July), London, CLG. http://www.communities.gov.uk/statements/corporate/regionalstrategies (accessed 18 September 2013). http://www.communities.gov.uk/statements/corporate/regionalstrategies Ministerial Statement: Revoking Regional Strategies (6th July) Google Scholar

PLANNING INSPECTORATE (2012a), Preliminary Findings: South Gloucestershire Core Strategy. http://consultations.southglos.gov.uk/gf2.ti/f/251202/7552773.1/PDF/-/Interim%20statement.pdf Google Scholar

PLANNING INSPECTORATE (2012b), Bath and North East Somerset Core Strategy Examination Inspector's Preliminary Conclusions on Strategic Matters and Way Forward - June 2012. http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/sites/default/files/sitedocuments/Planning-and-Building-Control/Planning-Policy/Core-Strategy/Examination/id-28_preliminary_conclusions_final_21_june_2012.pdf Google Scholar

PUGALIS, L. and TOWNSEND, A. (2013), ‘Rescaling of planning and its interface with economic development’, Planning Practice and Research, 28 (1), 104-121. ‘Rescaling of planning and its interface with economic development’ Planning Practice and Research 28 104 121 Google Scholar

RACO, M. (2012), ‘A growth agenda without growth: English spatial policy, sustainable communities, and the death of the neo-liberal project?’, GeoJournal, 77, 153-65. ‘A growth agenda without growth: English spatial policy, sustainable communities, and the death of the neo-liberal project?’ GeoJournal 77 153 65 Google Scholar

SALET, W. (2003), ‘Amsterdam and the north wing of the Randstad’, in W. Salet, A. Thornley and A. Kreukels (eds), Metropolitan Governance and Spatial Planning, Comparative Case Studies of European City-Regions, Oxford, Spon Press, 175-88. Metropolitan Governance and Spatial Planning, Comparative Case Studies of European City-Regions 175 88 Google Scholar

SALET, W. (2006), ‘Rescaling territorial governance in the Randstad Holland: the responsiveness of spatial and institutional strategies to changing socio-economic interactions’, European Planning Studies, 14, 959-78. ‘Rescaling territorial governance in the Randstad Holland: the responsiveness of spatial and institutional strategies to changing socio-economic interactions’ European Planning Studies 14 959 78 Google Scholar

SWRA (SOUTH WEST REGIONAL ASSEMBLY) (2006), The Draft Regional Spatial Strategy 2006-2026, Taunton, SWRA. Google Scholar

SOUTH WEST REGIONAL OBSERVATORY (2013), Housing, Planning and the Economy - Conference Proceedings. http://www.swo.org.uk/events/housing-planning-and-the-economy/ Google Scholar

STORY, C. (2009), ‘MPs frustrated by regional plan delays’, Inside Housing, 29 July, http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/mps-frustrated-by-regional-plan-delays/6505633.article (accessed 17 May 2012). http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/mps-frustrated-by-regional-plan-delays/6505633.article ‘MPs frustrated by regional plan delays’ Inside Housing Google Scholar

SWAIN, C., MARSHALL, T. and BADEN, T. (2012), English Regional Planning 2000-2010 Lessons for the Future, London, Routledge. English Regional Planning 2000-2010 Lessons for the Future Google Scholar

THERIVEL, R. and ROSS, B. (2007), ‘Cumulative effects assessment: does scale matter?’, Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 27, 365-85. ‘Cumulative effects assessment: does scale matter?’ Environmental Impact Assessment Review 27 365 85 Google Scholar

TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ASSOCIATION (2010), Making Planning Work: Briefing Paper 3. The Bigger Picture and the Longer View: Really Useful Strategic Planning, London, TCPA. Google Scholar

VALLER, D., PHELPS, N. and WOOD, A. (2012), ‘Planning for growth? The implications of localism for "science vale", Oxfordshire, UK’, Town Planning Review, 83, 457-88. ‘Planning for growth? The implications of localism for "science vale", Oxfordshire, UK’ Town Planning Review 83 457 88 Google Scholar

WEST OF ENGLAND LEP (WEST OF ENGLAND LOCAL ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIP) (2012), Quarterly Economic Bulletin, 3, October. Google Scholar

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Boddy, Martin

Hickman, Hannah