Reply from the Communities and Local Government Secretary

Dear John

Abolition of Regional Strategies

Thank you for your letter of the 17 May 2010 and for your congratulations on my appointment as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government; it is a post I am pleased to hold so that I can implement the Coalition Government’s radical policies on devolving power from Whitehall to citizens, communities and local councils.

I can assure your constituents that the Government is absolutely committed to abolishing Regional Strategies. This intention is in the Coalition agreement and was announced in the Queen’s speech that we will progress legislation to do it.

I am very keen to move in advance of legislation and I am currently considering the implications of revoking Regional Strategies ahead of taking legislation through Parliament. I have also written to all local planning authorities and the Planning Inspectorate clearly setting out our intention to rapidly abolish Regional Strategies and return decision making powers on housing and planning to local councils. Consequently, decisions on housing supply will rest with Local Planning Authorities without the framework of regional numbers and plans. I will make a formal announcement on this matter soon. However, I expect Local Planning Authorities and the Planning Inspectorate to have regard to this letter as a material planning consideration in any decision they are currently taking. I believe this will be a big step in devolving power over housing and development back to local people, communities and local councils.

Yours ever