An influential group of MPs is to conduct formal inquiries into the government’s ‘localism’ plans and the impact that the abolition of regional planning and housing targets will have on housing supply.
The inquiries will be the first carried out by the Communities & Local Government select committee since the election and will take place under the new chair Clive Betts, Labour MP for Sheffield South East.
The inquiry into the abolition of regional spatial strategies will look at both the impact of scrapping regional house building targets as well as the likely effectiveness of the government’s plan to incentivise local communities to accept new development.
The committee will also examine how best to ensure cooperation between local planning authorities on areas that were covered by RSSs, including flooding, the natural environment, and renewable energy.
The committee’s second inquiry, on localism, will look at the extent to which decentralisation can lead to more effective public service delivery and what the limits are, or should be, of localist approaches.
It will also examine the lessons for decentralisation from the previous government’s Total Place initiative, and the potential to build on the work done under that initiative, particularly through place-based budgeting.
The announcement of the CLG committee’s first inquiries follows that of the Business, Innovation & Skills committee, which will look at the impact of the abolition of the regional development agencies and the formation of Local Enterprise Partnerships in their place.