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New approaches to growth planning on larger-than-local scales

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Approaches to growth planning and spatial governance on larger-than-local scales are matters of entrenched contention. Following the annulment of regionalised patterns of working and policy coordination across England during the early 2010s, much of the country was left without suitable larger-than-local scales of spatial governance and planning arrangements for delivering growth ambitions. This paper analyses the emergence of new approaches to planning for growth that have arisen on larger-than-local scales since the abandonment of regionalised policy working. Specifically, the nature and capabilities of strategic economic plans are examined, derived from a national comparative analysis of all of them. The findings draw attention to some of the defining challenges of informal growth planning on larger-than-local scales, as the research considers the extent to which these plans address an apparent strategic void. A key distinction is drawn between plans resembling bidding documents and those that could be considered to be plans for the area. In doing so, the intent is that the research contributes new knowledge to the evolving practice of strategic planning and economic strategy.

Keywords: economic development; growth planning; local enterprise partnerships (LEPs); regional planning; spatial governance

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2016

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  • Journal of Urban Regeneration & Renewal is the essential peer-reviewed journal for all professionals concerned with physical, economic and social regeneration of urban communities. It publishes in-depth articles and real world case studies on the latest strategy, policy making and current and best practice in the field. Guided by its expert Editor and Editorial Board, each quarterly 100-page issue does not publish advertising but rather in-depth articles written by and for urban regeneration professionals analysing current and best practice in the planning, consultation, funding, delivery and long-term management of regeneration programmes, as well as the latest policy making, developments and research in the field.

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