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Spatial plan for the North moves forward

Words: Huw Morris

A strategic spatial plan for the north of England to shape the future of the region’s economy has moved a step forward under an initiative by the RTPI and think tank IPPR North.

They are inviting leaders in the region, including businesses, planners, academics, councils and civic society – take part in the development of a ‘Great North Plan’ to deliver a Northern Powerhouse.

The move is line with the strategic spatial plan for Scotland, which has been developed to address how the country’s economy can become more resilient, sustainable and connected.

The consultation will consider how a spatial framework for the North could deliver infrastructure beyond transport and cover innovation, skills and higher education.

Under the consultation, key components of the strategic plan will look at land-use, energy, transport, water and pollution, the geographical area it should cover and how it fits in with local authority plans. The time taken to develop the plan, how it would be funded and how it should be branded and promoted will also be considered.

The consultation will conclude with a Northern Summit to be held in Leeds later this year.

“The Northern Powerhouse offers immense opportunities for communities to work together and think beyond their own boundaries to create the housing, transport, infrastructure and environment that will benefit the whole of the North of England,” said Northern Summit project board chair Bob Wolfe.

“We have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get it right and this debate will be crucial in setting the ideas and thinking in motion.”

The call for evidence is open until 30 September with submissions of no more than 5,000 words to be sent to infrastructure@ippr.org