Strategic planning: what goes around, comes around

Click on the picture to download PPT presentation.

In 2010, with the abolition of regional strategies, the local level was left with “Duty to Cooperate” to establish local partnerships and joint actions. On Monday 5 February 2018, Catriona Riddell, former Director of Planning at the South East England Regional Assembly and now Director at Catriona Riddell & Associates, spoke about the evolution of planning since the removal of the regional tier in England.

Click here to download PPT presentation slides.

She presented three stages that followed the end of regional planning:

2010 – 2015:  The wilderness years

  • DtC fails to deliver effective strategic planning, particularly around London and other major cities – has significant impact on Government housing ambitions and delivery of local plans

2016:  The winds of change

  • Political acceptance that the strategic planning void needs to be filled – Local Plan Expert Group
  • Some groups of authorities develop non-statutory strategic planning frameworks to guide local plans within
  • Strategic planning focus for National Infrastructure Commission and Devolution Deals

2017- 2018: Reinventing the strategic planning wheel

  • Housing White Paper highlights new approach to joint (strategic) local plans – to be introduced through revised NPPF
  • Regional planning reintroduced by Government through back door
  • Statutory strategic plans pre-requisite of new housing deals

Catriona discussed three levels where actors are leading in joint planning initiatives:

  • National with the Oxford- Cambridge corridor
  • Regional with Cambridge and Peterborough combined authority
  • Local with a series of local authorities working together on a joint plan.

A very interesting point made by Catriona is that strategic planning has and is producing results in terms of housing numbers and cooperation between local authorities. These new joint planning experiences will hopefully keep on delivering better housing numbers in the future.

Catriona Riddell is a chartered town planner with over 25 years’ experience working within and with local authorities. In 2011 Catriona established her own company providing support on a wide range of planning issues but specialises in local plan support and advice on strategic planning, working with local authorities at Member and officer levels on joint planning arrangements and the Duty to Cooperate.

Previously Catriona was Director of Planning at the South East England Regional Assembly and before that, Head of Strategic Planning at Surrey County Council.

Catriona is the Strategic Planning Specialist for the Planning Officers’ Society (POS), is a Trustee of the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), and an external examiner for Liverpool University.

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