It is clear from many DCLG announcements these days that the link between planning and economic growth is not only recognised, but seen as a link to be exploited. Planning decisions, on policy and applications, can have significant effects on the local economy and this is a message being received by local planning authorities who need to decide how to react.
Two recent examples of how this is panning out in practice can be found at Fenland DC and Cambridge City. Fenland has taken a very innovative and much more flexible approach in its core strategy in order to encourage growth, including a move away from development area boundaries in much of the district, towards a criteria based approach. Cambridge City Council has accepted a recent report on the Cambridge economy (including potential future constraints/risks related to planning policy) as not only valuable in the work being done towards the emerging core strategy, but also, with immediate effect, as a material consideration in planning decisions. Here is a link to our topic briefing on the Cambridge report.