Hogan Lovells Submits Evidence to Select Committee Inquiry into the Revocation of Regional Strategies

LONDON, 16 September 2010 - Hogan Lovells has submitted evidence on behalf of various organisations to the inquiry by the Parliamentary Select Committee for CLG in to the abolition of regional planning.

On 19 August the Communities and Local Government Committee launched an inquiry into the abolition of regional spatial strategies.  The Committee will be focusing particularly on the implications of the revocation and abolition of regional spatial strategies for house building.  Hogan Lovells has submitted evidence to the inquiry on behalf of a number of commercial organisations involved in the development industry.  The evidence has highlighted the following issues:

·         The policy vacuum which has been created by the revocation of regional strategies and the consequential delays in local planning authority development frameworks being progressed and planning applications being determined.  It also highlights that some development projects have been put on hold or abandoned.

·         The slowdown in the delivery of housing development and the effects on economic growth.

·         The lack of detail regarding the proposed incentives based system and questions as to whether financial incentives will lead to better planning.

·         Other consequences of the abolition of regional strategies including uncertainty regarding the delivery of important infrastructure which underpins housing and other development.

Michael Gallimore, head of planning at Hogan Lovells, commented:

"The abolition of regional strategies has caused grave concern in the development industry, particularly in the absence of properly thought through proposals to replace regional planning.  The policy vacuum has put at risk many important development projects.  The concept of financial incentives is interesting but it is difficult to put it any higher than that until we see the all important details around the idea.  There is a serious risk that no amount of financial incentives will be enough to incentivise some communities to support and welcome major development.

This is a vital issue for the development industry generally and those involved in house building in particular and we thought it important to submit evidence to the CLG Committee inquiry.  We shall be monitoring the work of the inquiry with interest."


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