Scales Of Planning - Regional Studies Association

RSA Research Network
Governing Metropolitan Regions within a Localist
University of Westminster, 21 September 2012
Scales of Planning: theme of presentation
• The Regional Scale in England
Greater London
English Regions
Comparisons : Paris, Berlin
Situation in 2012
• The Sub-Regional Scale
Conceptual: functional geographies
Within London
In the wider metropolitan region
Rest of England: move to city-regions
• The Local Authority Scale: Boroughs and Districts
London: 33 LAs make Local Plans, within London Plan context
In wider region: LAs make Local Plans; ‘duty to cooperate’
• Conclude: future of planning for the metropolitan region
Regional Planning in England: Advantage London 1
 Devolved Mayoral London continues to have its statutory London Plan
2011 Localism Act leaves London situation intact
 Regional Planning system introduced in 2000 being abolished
Regional Spatial Strategies finalised 2007-2009: short life!
Flaws: artificial regions; ‘democratic deficit’;
Central Government influence (housing) and control
Facilitated 2010 Government’s intent to abolish Regionalism in favour of Localism
Abolition includes RSSs in the wider metropolitan region
Regional Planning in England: Advantage London 2
 Only administrative London now has ability to bid for strategic
transport and other infrastructure investment
 Rest of England’s main growth region loses its voice
 Key upcoming issues: housing provision; airport capacity; rail
capacity (commuting); water supply and management; waste
 Compare Paris: city related to wider Ile-de-France region
- wide research/evidence-based strategies
Berlin: joint Berlin-Brandenburg state planning regime
functional growth geographies
Sub-Regional Planning in England: towards City-Regions
 London: London Plan recognises 5 functional/geographic sub-regions:
Central (growth); East (regeneration); North, West, South (outer London)
Groupings of Boroughs > Sub-Regional Partnerships
 Outside London: RSSs included sub-regional policies
based on functional areas or sharing common issues
now: some use in Local Plan preparation (‘duty to cooperate’?)
Local Enterprise Partnerships established, but effectiveness?
 In rest of England: move to City-Regions
e.g. Greater Manchester; Greater Leeds... ‘combined authorities’
devolution starting: ‘city deals’ by Government
- transport; economic development
The Local Authority Scale: Boroughs and Districts 1
Contrasting situations in London & the wider metropolitan region
 In London 33 LAs – Boroughs – produce Borough Plans within the
framework of the London Plan
- with which they must ‘generally conform’
An established and stable planning regime.
 Outside in the wider region the Boroughs and Districts prepare
Local Plans
With the abolition of RSSs, wider strategic issues rely on
inter-LA cooperation
The Local Authority scale: Boroughs and Districts 2
 Localism Act ‘Duty to Cooperate’
expected to include: housing needs assessments; economic
development; infrastructure including delivery
For LAs to decide its scale and extent
Must satisfy Examining Inspector has occurred
but does ‘cooperation’ mean ‘agreement’?
 Present indications (early days)
can work in city areas, given political will
uncertain/unclear in more rural areas
- including parts of the south-east outside London
little sign of cooperation across the London boundary
Relating London to the wider Metropolitan Region 1
The big outstanding issue
 London boundary set in early 1960s; retained for 2000 Mayoral regime
8 million population within
biggest concentration of UK employment at centre, by far
 Wider functional metropolitan region extends for further 50-100 km.
10-14 million population outside;
supplies 15% of London’s workforce
polycentric employment structure, strongest to west
No effective ability to relate together
Relating London to the wider Metropolitan Region 2
 Initial need is for a funded research programme
- to define the real extent of the wider functional region
- to assess the key linkages between London and its hinterland:
migration & housing; labour markets and commuting; location of economic
growth; transport, water etc. capacities; environmental challenges and
green belt
 Alongside this, work towards a governance regime jointly to
manage new forms of spatial planning
- for London and the wider region as a whole
- at the sub-regional scale, between four quadrants of London