Revised spatial strategy for East Midlands

The regional spatial strategy (RSS) for the East Midlands providing the planning framework for the region's development over the next 16 years has been published this week by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

It outlines a broad strategy for the region until 2021 and includes the blueprint for what the Government calls sustainable housing growth in the region. It highlights the need for planned, sustainable communities with adequate infrastructure such as transportation, health and education services.

Keith Hill, Minister for Housing and Planning said: “The Government’s strategy has been to promote the building of sustainable communities and the East Midlands strategy will go some way to promote that vision. It promotes and reinforces the need for planners throughout the region to look towards a more sustainable pattern of development. The guidance is more concise, more regionally specific and more focused on delivery.”

Specifically, the strategy includes:

  • An annual average regional housing provision of 15,925 houses;
  • New policies to promote sustainable economic growth consistent with the region’s economic strategy;
  • A regional transport strategy which has been informed by a number of major studies in the region;
  • A criteria based policy dealing with renewable energy proposals; and
  • A new appendix indicating how policies are to be implemented and measures.

    Housing in the Milton Keynes and South Midlands areas will concentrate on six growth towns to avoid wasteful sprawl, ensure high density building and ensure that brownfield land is used first.

    In addition, Minister for regeneration and regional development, Jeff Rooker said it would improve the environmental efficiency of homes, create new green spaces and living places that will stand the test of time.

    By David Hopkins

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