National Strategic Planning has a Future – If we keep its goals limited

Imagine the scenario – we only have a lightweight National Statement on Strategic Planning carried out by the National Infrastructure commission

Its roles would be expressly limited to those instances where strategic planning above the city/combined authority level to coordinate with national infrastructure and economic development programmes (the Midlands Engine and the Northern Powerhouse)

It would only:

  1. Deal with the overspill on OAN from the Major cities of London, Greater Manchester, South Sussex and Greater Bristol to broad locations on transport corridors
  2. Provide the national support to a strategy for the Oxford-MK-Cambridge-Northampton-Eastern Ports Arc linked to new rail capacity and existing rail capacity released on the WCML by HS2 seeNational Infrastructure Commission
  3. Release the potential for auction of development rights along HS1 and HS2, Crossrail 2, the Varsity Line and WCML.
  4. Support the Northern Way and Midlands Engine including supporting Major Growth poles for HFE and research
  5. Ensure each of these objectives are achieved whilst securing the strategic purposes of the Green Belt and protecting nationally important landscapes.


Is this not the kind of national strategy / strategic planning the May government could stomach?

Indeed the true synergies of this approach in areas like the Atlantic Gateway,  Crewe, Northampton and Lakenheath would be apparent.  The economic growth potential would be increased and environmental downsides decreased through taking a joined up approach.



One thought on “National Strategic Planning has a Future – If we keep its goals limited

  1. This looks like common sense, compatible with Localism and so not revolutionary.

    There’s a black hole in strategic planning at present. Growth should happen where there’s the appropriate transport capacity or potential capacity. National Rail demand forecasts are frightening and should influence where there is more\less growth.

    The Brain Belt does seem to have a lot of growth potential and it makes sense to link the arc to the eastern ports, however I don’t think the eastern ports make suitable housing growth locations due to the limitations of the Gt Eastern part of the rail network.

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