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Regional Development Agencies: Planning

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 15 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what plans there are to designate regional development agencies (RDAs) as regional planning bodies; how conflicts of interest between RDAs’ planning and economic roles will be prevented; and what estimate he has made of the likely costs to RDAs of making such changes. (178008)

The Review of Sub-National Economic Development and Regeneration, which was published in July 2007, indicated that the RDAs outside London would in future be responsible for producing a single integrated regional strategy for their regions, encompassing the existing economic and spatial strategies; and that they would be designated as the regional planning body. These integrated strategies will result in greater alignment of economic and spatial planning at the regional level and will need legislation. A consultation document on how this will be implemented will be issued shortly. The Government will consider the likely costs to the RDAs in the light of the responses to consultation but intend that overall the process of producing the single strategy will be streamlined, compared with the current process for producing two separate strategies.