Local Development Orders: Impacts and Good Practice

A Welsh Government commissioned report has been issued which had the objectives of demonstrating the opportunities offered by LDOs and to provide practical guidance on designing and implementing LDOs.The study specification stated that the report should be based on results achieved and lessons learnt in a selection of case study LDOs elsewhere in Britain ; also that it should have regard to the Welsh planning context and focus particularly on the potential use of LDOs in EZs and town centres. Accordingly this report is based on four case studies of LDOs in England (there are no LDOs in Scotland or Northern Ireland ), of which two are in EZs and two in town centres. The report states that LDOs are promoted by the UK and Welsh Governments as an important tool to streamline the planning system and encourage growth and regeneration in priority areas, especially EZs. Research suggests that they can make a positive difference in a wide variety of places, helping to deliver a wide variety of policy objectives. The report found that in England , recent years have seen considerable growth in LDOs, with 47 Orders adopted since 2009 - partly due to a Government-sponsored pilot programme, but mainly in response to the 2011 Government requirement that EZs should include LDOs. By contrast, in Wales there were no adopted LDOs to date, although the Welsh Government has been encouraging authorities to introduce LDOs. Research and consultations have shown that LPAs' reluctance to adopt LDOs is largely due to concerns about loss of control, loss of planning fees, delay and complication. They have no practical evidence to show if these concerns are well-founded. By the same token they have no evidence to demonstrate if LDOs produce real benefits, or to gauge the balance of benefits against any adverse impacts.

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