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NEW PLANNING SYSTEM MUST CONNECT WITH COMMUNITY VOICE, SAYS ENTEC

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Community strategies differ so widely that no firm guidance can be given on how council planners should relate them...
Community strategies differ so widely that no firm guidance can be given on how council planners should relate them to the new land use planning system.

That warning came this week from consultant Entec, which investigated the issue for the ODPM.

It said the new local development frameworks, which take effect next year, were designed to 'give spatial expression' to community strategies where these affect land use.

But while the frameworks will be drawn up through a detailed process, councils have had far wider discretion over the two-year-old community strategies.

This makes it impossible to give firm guidance on how planners should use the frameworks to give effect to community strategies or to what extent they should pay heed to them, Entec said. It confined itself instead to a set of pointers.

Entec said: 'There is wide divergence in the form of community strategies . . . at one extreme some are highly developed with substantial content.

'At the other extreme, some are relatively simple visionary statements with minimal content.'

Planning minister Keith Hill said he hoped planners would work closely with colleagues developing community strategies.

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