North West regional plan environmental report published

A study into the likely environmental effects of the revocation of the North West regional strategy has found that its revocation would have little impact on the region.

The strategic environmental assessment (SEA), published by the Department for Communities and Local Government for consultation, is one of a series of studies being produced by consultancy AMEC to analyse the impact of its decision to scrap regional strategies.

Reports into the revocation of the South West, West Midlands, East of England, Yorkshire and Humber, South East, East Midlands and North East regional strategies have been already been published by the department.

The report says that the assessment of the revocation of the North West Regional Strategy shows that there will be "significant positive environmental effects". However, it adds that these will be "largely similar to those if the regional strategy were retained".

The study says that the only area where revocation of the regional strategy would lead to significant negative effects is in relation to material assets arising from development associated with policies for housing and employment provision.

However, it adds that it should be noted that "a similar policy performance is recorded for the retention alternative".

It says that the government’s encouragement to increase the supply of new housing, and promote economic growth "is likely to lead to a requirement for a significant amount of construction aggregates and materials. Similarly increases in households could lead to increases in waste".

But it adds that the effects "are likely to be minimised as far as possible through the application of policies in the National Planning Policy Framework which seek facilitate the sustainable use of materials and the actions and ambitions set out within the Government’s National Waste Policy Review".

Last week, communities secretary Eric Pickles announced that he had cleared the way to officially revoke the first regional plan, more than two years after he announced his intention to do so.

Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Revocation of the North West of England Regional Strategy can be read here.

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