HL Deb 03 February 2005 vol 669 cc61-2WA
Lord Greaves

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the relationship between the policies set out in the Northern Way documents and the regional planning system; and whether regional spatial strategies must include policies set out in the Northern Way. [HL930]

Lord Rooker

Regional spatial strategies (RSSs) prepared under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 set out policies relating to the development and use of land. The regional assemblies in the three northern regions are formally designated as regional planning bodies and are currently preparing draft RSSs. It is therefore the assemblies, in consultation with stakeholders, that will determine the content of those draft strategies. Draft RSSs will be subject to statutory processes, involving sustainability appraisal, public consultation and examination in public, before they are finalised by the First Secretary of State my right honourable friend the Deputy Prime Minister.

The Northern Way steering group, of which the chairs of the three regional assemblies are members under Sir Graham Hall's chairmanship, prepared the Northern Way Growth Strategy (NWGS). This pan-regional strategy is based on an analysis of the north's economic assets, weaknesses and potential and how best to build on the north's strengths.

The NWGS forms an important part of the context for the three northern RSSs and sets out principles which the Northern Way steering group considers should feature strongly in each RSS. The RSS will be a primary delivery vehicle for the NWGS and it is important that the three regional assemblies take it properly into account. The Government expect the spatial implications of Northern Way to be further developed, tested and delivered through the statutory RSS process.