Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has invited members of the public to provide feedback to influence its draft of its Spatial Development Strategy for the next 15 years, known as Our Places.

According to the Combined Authority, “the overriding purposes of the ‘Our Places’ engagement is to make sure the SDS has been shaped positively and meaningfully from the outset, by the people of the Liverpool City Region.”

Questions posed to the public fall into six themes:

  • Environment and climate change; tell us how we should be planning for a greener, cleaner city region and and to meet the challenge of a changing climate
  • Healthier, safer and resilient homes and communities; tell us how we should be planning for better places to live to meet our present and future needs
  • A thriving and vibrant City Region; tell us how we should be planning for a vibrant city region and to revitalise our centres
  • A connected City Region; tell us how we should be planning to make connections in the city region better and fit for the future
  • An inclusive economy; tell us where you think new development should be focused to support a more inclusive economy
  • The infrastructure we need; tell us what key infrastructure should be identified as part of an infrastructure Plan

The SDS is a statutory planning document, which will form part of the development plan for the six City Region local authorities alongside their own Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans. When finalised, the SDS will be considered when deciding planning applications in the region.

The SDS will only deal planning matters of strategic importance to City Region as a whole, meaning that its policies will be at a higher level, and more detailed planning policies in Local Plans will provide more detailed factors and reflect their local circumstances. The SDS will not affect the Green Belt boundaries.

The framework will take into account the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework; the health of people in the LCR and the effect of the SDS on health inequalities; achieving sustainable development in the UK; Climate change and its consequences; and the need to ensure consistency with national policies and EU obligations.

Spatial development in context

The Our Spaces consultation follows on from the ‘LCR Listens’ exercise earlier this year which fed into Local Industrial Strategy for its economic development. The Local Industrial Strategy will be central to the way the SDS will position its policies.

The Industrial Strategy is set to be published in March 2020, and looks at how to improve the economy with five major priorities, which include providing people with opportunities; a foundation for businesses with growth opportunities;  a city region that transforms research into reality; a city region which connects communities to opportunity; and revitalised, distinctive places.

The Combined Authority said the SDS will be underpinned by ongoing evidence, and will create a plan to identify key pieces of infrastructure to support its delivery.

Sustainable development is also a factor in the SDS, which means considering proposals from an economic, social and environmental standpoint. An integrated impact assessment will therefore be carried out on the SDS to factor in any impacts that proposed policies will have on sustainability, health, equality and crime prevention.

After the consultations have taken place, the Combined Authority said it will review the submissions along with other evidence and take them into account when drafting policies.

A draft SDS will then be presented in 2020, followed by a 12-week consultation when the public will again be invited to comment on the proposals.

Our Places will end on the 14 January 2020, and responses can be submitted through the website, or by visiting one of the pop up events before Christmas.

The remaining dates include:

  • Liscard, Unit 25 in Cherry Tree Shopping Centre: 4 December, between 11.30am to 5pm, 5 December, between 2.30pm to 7pm, and 6 December between 11:30am to 5pm
  • Widnes Market public area: 11, 12, 13 Dece,ber between 9:30am to 3pm

The creation of the SDS is part of the City Region’s devolution deal with the Government, which it agreed in November 2015. This deal secured £900m of funding over 30 years for the region, and identified areas where decision making, and resources would be controlled locally. Areas included employment, housing and planning, transport, and business growth.

Steve Rotherham, Metro Mayor, 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.

“Devolution gives us the opportunity to take decisions closer to home to shape how our city region looks in the future. I launched this consultation so that our Spatial Development Strategy, which will inform how our city region is planned and developed over the next 15 years, reflects the priorities of the people who live and work here.

“This latest consultation exercise is part of our LCR Listens approach, which has seen us consult with more than 7,000 people since the summer as we develop our Local Industrial Strategy. We are committed to ensuring that we understand the 1.6m people we work for so that their priorities inform everything we do.”


source Chloé Vaughan