Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS’s)
Below is an article which recently appeared on the Plan-It Law website (www.plan-it-law.com)
“On 27 May Eric Pickles wrote to all local authorities confirming the new Government's intention to abolish RSSs, and advising that, with immediate effect, this was to be considered as a material consideration for planning applications. He suggested that regional figures for housing supply were now irrelevant and that local authorities were free to set local targets. Our conundrum was going to be "what on earth does that mean for core strategies that are being consulted or examined on now?"
However, we now have the benefit of the guidance to inspectors, which sets out what they should do depending on what stage of the examination process they have reached and have also been told that a full announcement will be made on 22 June. We look forward to hearing in more detail quite how the government will action their intentions. In the meantime, perhaps the real conundrum is that even if there are no RSS targets, there is every chance that the planning authority will agree that some new housing is needed, but with an eye on the importance of "localism", where are these new homes to go? Local authorities will be reluctant to give up their Green Belts and that does not sit happily with the fact that most sustainable sites are on the edges of towns and cities ... i.e., in the Green Belt. Is there a real conflict between localism, housing needs, climate change and sustainability? “