Stronger Role for SPP?

Development Planners today seem to be spending a lot of time drafting policies based upon the requirements of SPP as part of the LDP review. Would it not be more efficient for SPP to be drafted in such a way that it contains the policy framework against which all applications are assessed and that Local Planning Authorities focus on producing a regional spatial strategy and Supplimentary Guidance that details how national policies will be applied locally?

Granted, this would seem to some as an attempt to centralise planning but, in truth, we already have this with the current SPP and the resources of LAs could be better spent preparing Urban Design Frameworks and Masterplans whilst working locally to unlock development opportunities with landowners.

Why the contribution is important

With continuous budgetary cuts in recent years, and many planning teams under pressure to take on additional responsibilites regarding Community Planning and Marine Spatial Planning, it seems perverse that the bulk of Officer time is spent regurgitating the aspirations of SPP. Reviewing whether there is actually a need for LDPs in their current form may result in a situation where there could be a greater focus on the application of the National Framework/Policies on a local level.

by PA1 on February 04, 2016 at 10:05AM

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  • Posted by ScottReid February 08, 2016 at 09:18

    I'd agree, given by the time the plan has been through Examination, the DPEA will have made most polices reflect what SPP says anyway. Would be quicker and more effective to agree that certain policies can be applied regardless of local authority area from the outset. As you say, this would allow greater opportunity to better consider local policy matters where there is scope for variation.
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