Planning magazine reports that the Local Plan Experts Group report, published alongside last week's Budget, proposes a host of far-reaching recommendations, including making local plans a statutory requirement, changing the test of soundness, strengthening the duty to cooperate and reducing the evidence base required. The report also proposes a two-year deadline for plan-making and introducing government powers to direct joint plans.
Catriona Riddell, the Strategic Planning Subject Specialistf or the Planning Officers Society, told a Planning reporter a key recommendation was the proposal to encourage more joint strategic planning and to strengthen the duty to cooperate.
She said: "There are some strong messages about strategic planning and the fact that the current duty to cooperate is not enough to deal with the big cross-boundary issues. But the proposals are about improving the system we've got rather than saying we need a completely different approach." Riddell said it was important that the recommendations were acceptable to government.