2.3 Setting the objectives:
National Planning Policy Framework

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The National Planning Policy Framework notes the Government’s commitment to securing economic growth in order to create jobs and prosperity, building on the country’s inherent strengths, and to meeting the twin challenges of global competition and of a low carbon future.

Central to this commitment is a planning system that does everything it can to support sustainable economic growth. Planning policies should recognise and seek to address potential barriers to investment, including a poor environment or any lack of infrastructure, services or housing. In drawing up Local Plans, local planning authorities should:

  • Set out a clear economic vision and strategy for their area which positively and proactively encourages sustainable economic growth.
  • Set criteria, or identify strategic sites, for local and inward investment to match the strategy and to meet anticipated needs over the plan period.
  • Support existing business sectors, taking account of whether they are expanding or contracting and, where possible, identify and plan for new or emerging sectors likely to locate in their area. Policies should be flexible enough to accommodate needs not anticipated in the plan and to allow a rapid response to changes in economic circumstances.
  • Plan positively for the location, promotion and expansion of clusters or networks of knowledge driven, creative or high technology industries.
  • Identify priority areas for economic regeneration, infrastructure provision and environmental enhancement.
  • Facilitate flexible working practices such as the integration of residential and commercial uses within the same unit.

Planning should operate to encourage sustainable growth and significant weight should be placed on the need to support economic growth through the planning system.

Please note that: The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) maintains the Planning Practice Guidance web-based resource to assist practitioners.

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Key takeaways

Strategic Economic Plans provide a vision for growth and the basis for a coordinated and transparent investment strategy for the local area.

Planning policies should recognise and seek to address potential barriers to investment, including a poor environment or any lack of infrastructure, services or housing.

Local Transport Plans should align with Strategic Economic Plans and Spatial Plans.

Individual projects show be aligned to create a programme of activities and expenditures to lead to sustainable and mutually reinforcing economic, social and environmental outcomes, creating attractive places to live and continue to invest in.

Setting clear economic objectives with aligned transport objectives will provide direction, facilitate planning and improve performance.

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2.4 Local Transport Plans