The Government has published proposals for new regional strategies as part of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill, which is currently going through Parliament.
The Bill establishes a new regional strategy for each region outside London. They will replace the current regime by combining regional spatial strategies (RSSs) and regional economic strategies into a single document.
The Government has not provided a model plan for these strategies because the aim is to keep them very much region specific. However the strategies are expected to plan for the next 15-20 years and set out the key regional challenges. Local authorities and regional development agencies will be jointly responsible for monitoring and reviewing the strategies approximately every five years, unless important legislative changes require amendments to be made sooner.
However if the Tories win the next general election they plan to abolish existing RSSs. They call regional planning "bureaucratic and undemocratic" and advise councils not to rush into implementing controversial elements of RSSs. If in power the Tories aim to introduce new primary planning legislation within a year, but prior to that they will consider using the Secretary of State's executive powers to revoke RSSs.
The consultation ends on 30 October.