Liverpool city region seeks views on emerging spatial development strategy

The Liverpool City Region has begun consultation on what is set to become the UK's first high-level spatial development strategy (SDS) outside of London, saying the document will aim to improve housing quality and combat climate change.

Canning Dock in Liverpool. Image by Gerald Murphy, Flickr
Canning Dock in Liverpool. Image by Gerald Murphy, Flickr

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has published a consultation covering six themes, asking residents for their views and priorities.

In March, Mark Dickens, lead officer for spatial planning at the authority, said the plan would be prepared within two years.

The consultation is seeking views on the main policy issues in six areas - environment and climate change, housing and communities, town centres, transport and connectivity, inclusivity and infrastructure.

On housing, the document said: "The quality of housing is a key determinant of our health and wellbeing.

"We therefore want to ensure that the quality of new housing provided in the city region is of a high standard – well located and designed, accessible, efficient and technologically linked."

On climate change, it said that the strategy would "play a central role in supporting and monitoring efforts to act on climate change; ensuring that new development is resilient to predicted impacts and contributes towards reducing greenhouse emissions".

It said that spatial planning can "play a key role in supporting the diversification and adaptation of our centres; helping them respond to change by recognising their unique characteristics".

It promised that transport measures would "be proactive in promoting sustainable forms of transport such as walking and cycling, low and ultra-low emission vehicles and public transport" and reduced reliance on cars.

The document says a local industrial strategy, which will form a key part of the SDS, will be published in March next year.

After the current consultation, a draft of the SDS will be prepared, after which specific policies will be consulted on again.

Spatial development strategies cover high-level strategic policies, with more detailed planning policies being dealt with by individual local plans prepared by local authorities.

When published, the Liverpool strategy will form part of the development plans of each of the six city region councils, and will be considered when determining planning applications.

In an introduction to the new consultation, Steve Rotheram, the Labour elected metro mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: "We are working hard to make sure that the Liverpool City Region is the best possible place to live, work, invest in and visit.

"As part of that work we are creating a spatial development strategy that will help shape our city region for the next 15 years."

The Liverpool City Region was established following the creation of the combined authority and the election of Rotheram in 2017.

The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework, which was published for consultation earlier this year, has so far been produced as a detailed local development plan but its authors hope to convert it to an SDS in the next round of its consultation.


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