Responses to a recent survey of approved LEPs (undertaken by Planning) shows the wide range of views taken by LEPs in relation to a possible planning role. Only 2 LEPs replied to say that they will take a lead on strategic planning - 12 confirmed they definitely would not, while 11 remain uncertain. Of course this is to be expected in the context of Localism - at the very heart of the LEP concept. Different areas will take different views.

It would be wise to remember, however, as my colleague Christine de Ferrars Green described so well on our blog (7 March), strategic planning has always formed an important part of modern town and country planning. Given that the Localism Bill will, when enacted, scrap RS, leaving us with the duty to cooperate (however that emerges from the parliamentary process), many of us were looking to LEPs to perform some strategic role. This does not seem to be likely - unless things change, including in the funding of LEPs which is still lacking.