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Regional Planning (Abolition)

Volume 560: debated on Monday 18 March 2013

I am pleased to announce the coalition Government’s decisions to revoke the regional strategies for the east midlands and the north-east. These decisions follow region-specific assessments as outlined in the written ministerial statement of 25 July 2012, Official Report, House of Lords, columns WS66-68. Orders giving effect to these decisions will be laid in Parliament shortly.

The revocation of these regional strategies is another step forward for localism. It completes the decentralisation of planning powers in the former Government office regions of the east midlands and north-east and sends a powerful message to local councils and local people across those parts of the country. It says that we trust them and believe that they, and not central Government, are best placed to plan and deliver communities that reflect the aspirations of local people. Once the regional strategies are revoked, development plans across these two areas will comprise local plans, and where they exist, neighbourhood plans. This is a significant shift of power that will benefit the everyday lives of people.

Policy S5 of the Northumberland County and National Park Joint Structure Plan First Alteration (February 2005) will remain in place because it enables the extension of the green belt around Castle Morpeth and so plays an important role in preserving the cultural and environmental heritage of the local area. This reflects the Government’s commitment to safeguarding green belt protection.

The reasons for the decision to revoke these regional strategies are set out in the post-adoption statement for each region, which will be placed in the Library of the House and published on the Department’s website at:

East Midlands

North East

These decisions follow the revocation of the regional strategies for the east of England, Yorkshire and Humber and the laying of an order to revoke the regional strategy for the south-east.

Further decisions on the remaining regional strategies will be made in due course.