I have today laid in Parliament an order to revoke the last Administration’s regional strategy for Yorkshire and Humber. This follows an assessment as outlined in the written ministerial statement of 25 July 2012, Official Report, House of Lords, columns WS66-68.
The revocation of the regional strategy for Yorkshire and Humber and its flawed top-down targets heralds another important step for localism. It delivers a decentralised planning system where local councils and local people can own the planning agenda for their communities and so shape and deliver development where they live. Such engagement is the key to creating a planning system that works with, not against, local communities.
The City of York does not currently have a local plan in place with defined green belt boundaries. The environmental assessment process indicated that revocation of the York green belt policies before an adopted local plan was in place could lead to a significant negative effect upon the special character and setting of York. Following careful consideration of the consultation responses received, we have concluded that the best solution would be to retain the York green belt policies. This approach expresses the importance that the coalition Government place upon the green belt and our recognition of its invaluable role in protecting our treasured environmental and cultural heritage.
Once the order takes effect, development plans across the former Government office region, with the exception of York, will comprise the relevant local plan, and where they exist, neighbourhood plans. In York, the development plan will continue to include the regional strategy’s green belt policies.
The reasons for the decision to retain the York green belt policies, and to revoke all other parts of the regional strategy, are set out in a post-adoption statement, which has been placed in the Library of the House and is available online at: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/ strategic-environmental-assessment-about-revoking-the-yorkshire-and-the-humber-regional-strategy-environmental-report
The order is laid under the negative resolution procedure and will take effect on 22 February. Further announcements on the other regional strategies will be made in due course.