Liverpool city-region devolution deal includes strategic planning powers

Powers over strategic planning, including the responsibility to create a single statutory city-region framework, are included in a devolution deal agreed between the Liverpool city-region and the government.

Liverpool: devolution deal includes strategic planning powers (picture by DncnH, Flickr)
Liverpool: devolution deal includes strategic planning powers (picture by DncnH, Flickr)

The agreement, published today, says that a Liverpool city-region mayor "will exercise strategic planning powers to help accelerate economic growth and new housing development throughout the city-region".

The planning powers will include the development of a "single statutory city-region framework supporting the delivery of strategic employment and housing sites throughout the city-region", the agreement says.

It adds that the framework "would require approval by a unanimous vote of members appointed to the combined authority by the constituent councils". The agreement stresses that this approach "must not delay the development of local plans".

The mayor’s powers will also include the "power to be consulted on and/or call-in planning applications of strategic importance to the city-region, subject to the consent of the relevant combined authority member for the individual authority area".

The agreement adds that, as a step towards a statutory framework, the city-region will "commit to the identification of key economic sites for housing and for employment, at the city-region level, by 2017, to support a mayoral development corporation approach. the city-region will also create a brownfield register to support this work".

The agreement also says that the powers will include the creation of a mayoral development corporation, "which will support the delivery of key sites through mayoral development zones in the Liverpool city-region. This will include the ability to undertake compulsory purchase orders to aid scheme delivery".

The chancellor has also agreed a devolution deal with local leaders in the West Midlands, which will see the region become the first outside the North of England to sign up to a devolution deal with an elected mayor.

The agreement between the government and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) says that planning powers "will be conferred on the mayor, to drive housing delivery and improvements in housing stock, and give the same competencies as the Homes and Communities Agency. The government will also work with the WMCA Land Commission."

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