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Jointly agreed housing numbers must be part of transparent process

Date: 9/10/2015

Sopme councils are being forced to engage with strategic issues and take on some housing need that neighbouring authorities cannot accommodate.

Catriona Riddell, the Societys Strategic Planning subject specialist, told Planning magazine that there are many approaches councils can adopt to jointly agree housing numbers across a sub-region, including joint core strategies and non-statutory spatial plans as well as memoranda of understanding. "Whatever form they choose, there must be a transparent process that starts from broad housing figures and it needs to allow space for difficult decisions," she said.

Riddell pointed to the successful cooperation in the Greater Cambridge and Peterborough sub-region, where councils have been working to a growth agenda for almost 20 years. She sdaid the seven local authorities established a joint officer group to oversee a joint strategic planning unit, which developed each plan's housing target. The councils agreed a memorandum of cooperation identifying major housing sites, presented to the inquiries into each plan.

By contrast, she added, "joint core strategies can be quite restrictive as detailed policy has to be agreed by several councils".

catriona-riddell-pos.jpg Catriona Riddell

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