The Regional Spatial Strategy

East Midlands Regional Plan

Under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 every region must produce a Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS), this forms part of the statutory Development Plan for Harborough District. The RSS brings together economic, social and environmental issues linked to planning and is used to determine planning applications and prepare Local Development Frameworks. The RSS is produced by the Regional Planning Body and the document is also known as The East Midlands Regional Plan. The current Regional Plan for the East Midlands was published on March 12th 2009. 

The Regional Plan provides a broad development strategy for the East Midlands up to 2026. It identifies the scale and distribution of provision for new housing and priorities for environment, transport, infrastructure, economic development, energy, minerals and waste.
The strategy also provides the longer term planning framework for the Regional Economic Strategy (RES) prepared by the East Midlands Development Agency (emda), and should be used to inform the development of relevant non land-use strategies and programmes in the region.

The Plan also sets out housing targets for Harborough District to meet in a 20 year period from 2006 to 2026. Policy 13a sets out an average annual delivery rate of 350 dwellings per year to be built in this time frame, as part of a total of 7,000 homes to be built before 2026. The RSS states that at least 800 out of the 7,000 dwellings need to be built within or adjoining the Leicester Principal Urban Area (PUA), while the majority of the remaining development should be located at Market Harborough.  

The Government has included provision in the new Localism Bill which is expected to be enacted by Parliament early in 2012 to revoke all existing Regional Plans and prevent any new plans coming forward.  The revocation of the East Midlands Plan is subject to the outcome of an assessment of the strategic environmental impact of its revocation.  Government is consulting on this assessment until the 20th January 2012 and will need to consider the outcome of consultation before deciding what to do next. 

If the Regional Plan is revoked by Government it will cease to guide future planning policy development in Harborough, although existing plans such as our Core Strategy which were prepared to be in conformity with the Regional Plan will remain in place.