Planning magazine reports that the scope of the government's proposed intervention in local plan-making could be extended to target local authorities which have not kept the policies in their local plans up to date, as well as councils that have failed to produce a plan by early 2017: last week's consultation document proposes that authorities "which have not kept the policies in their local plan up-to-date will be a high priority for intervention".
POS strategic planning specialist Catriona Riddell welcomed the proposal to have regard to how authorities are working cooperatively to get plans in place when making decisions on prioritising intervention in plan-making. She said this suggested that in areas where a devolution deal is being developed and part of the agreement is about strategic planning, "there is more opportunity for not falling foul of the criteria".
Riddell said that areas of high housing pressure "tend to be the areas around the big cities and tend to be green belt". She said that, in such areas, politics tends to be at the heart of a council's failure to move forward with local plans. "It's not about the ability of planners and the technical evidence base," she said.