August 2010 – Scrapping Regional Spatial Strategy

On 6th July 2010, the collation Government revoked all Regional Strategies under section 79 (6) of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009. The Communities and Local Government secretary, Eric Pickles, concluded that the former top-down targets did not build homes, demonstrated by the lowest building rates since 1924, and a reform was essential.

The RSS acted as a guide for local authorities as to the level of new housing, which is required in specific areas. Now, with the announcement that these strategies are to be scrapped, local communities will now have the power to decide for themselves the number and location of new homes, which will be sufficient in enabling housing development.

Developers, especially house builders are concerned that this will inhibit development, as although communities agree and accept that there is a demand for additional homes, they generally resist any change and want development in someone elses backyard.

Research commissioned by the National Housing Federation shows that the Governments decision to allow Councils to ignore the regional targets has resulted directly, or indirectly in plans of around 160,000 new homes being scrapped, with this figure expecting to almost double within twelve months.

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