Authorities are under increasing pressure to sign up to larger-than-local plans, by Richard Garlick

Strategic planning across areas larger than a single local authority was anathema to the coalition government's champions of localism. When then communities secretary Eric Pickles announced that he was abolishing the regional spatial strategies (RSSs) that required such larger-than-local work, he said that he was freeing communities from "failed Soviet-style top-down planning targets".

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