Something I have been banging on about for several years is that many of the joint working arrangements for plan making would ultimately prove unworkable and fall apart. Well all of the evidence is now in with the last few weeks alone several models falling apart.
Lets look at the evidence:
–Simply working together: That really worked in Stevenage/North Herts and Harlow didnt it.
-‘Aligned’ Plans: Insuperable legal problems. How is the SEA on jointly arrived at policies to be assessed and consulted on, by the first EIP only? Of course all it takes is one LPA to fall out, and a harsh inspectors report, as we found in Rushcliffe recently and its back to square one. Also rather oddly results in some LPAs have two core strategies one for outside the joint planning area and one for inside.
-A Joint Plan but no Joint Committee: Completely fell part in Greater Worcester. Looks permanently on the point of collapse in Cheltenham/Gloucester/Tewks
-A Joint Committee but 50:50 voting rights: Completely fell apart in Luton/South Beds
Indeed there is only one joint model that has been tested and proven to work (relatively), as in Northants, A statutory joint committee with a voting structure that ensures that there can never be deadlock.