Planning priorities sought from northern councils

24 Jun 15

Councils in the north of England have been urged to set out their planning priorities for the region as part of a project that will consider the creation of a strategic spatial plan.

Launching a call for evidence today, the Royal Town Planning Institute and the IPPR North think-tank said there was a need for an overarching strategy covering infrastructure, planning and economic development to deliver the government’s Northern Powerhouse plans.

The two bodies said they were looking for contributions from local government, as well as businesses, planners, academies and civil society, on what should be included to improve resilience, sustainability and connectivity.

Submissions will be collected ahead of a Northern Summit, to be held in Leeds later in the year, which will consider how to develop the scheme further.

IPPR North director Ed Cox said there was now a need for a new form of spatial framework.

“The north of England needs infrastructure projects capable of genuinely transforming the northern economy as it makes the journey from an industrial past to a more connected future,” he said.

“The government’s focus on the Northern Powerhouse means the region has a unique opportunity to shape its destiny and tip the balance in the north’s favour. Our partnership with the RTPI will help influence this thinking and we would urge the best and brightest minds to put their proposals forward.”

RTPI honorary secretary Bob Wolfe agreed that the Northern Powerhouse offered immense opportunities for communities to work together across housing, transport, infrastructure and environment for the whole of the north of the England.

“We have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get it right and this debate, culminating in a Northern Summit, will be crucial in setting the ideas and thinking in motion,” he added.

Submissions are sought in answer to two questions:

  • what should be the nature and scope of a strategic spatial planning framework for the north of England?
  • what might be the process and timetable for the development of such a framework?

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