"The new planning system came into effect on 28 September 2004. The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act makes the change from a system of regional planning guidance, structure, local, waste, minerals and unitary development plans to one of regional spatial strategies (RSS) and local development frameworks (LDF).
It is also a requirement that strategic planning authorities - in this area, Bournemouth Borough Council, Dorset County Council and the Borough of Poole - assist in the development of Regional Spatial Strategy.
How does the introduction of the new planning system and transitional arrangements affect the strategic planning scene in Dorset?
Regional Spatial Strategy and Regional Planning Guidance for the South West
In the new planning system, statutory Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) has replaced Regional Planning Guidance (RPG). At commencement of the Act the latest version of RPG (RPG 10 - Regional Planning Guidance for the South West), as issued by the Secretary of State, now constitutes the statutory regional planning document of the South West during the transitional period while revision is made to RSS.
It is anticipated that RSS for the South West will be submitted to the Secretary of State by the Regional Assembly towards the end of 2005. The key stages prior to that will comprise analysis of the consultation on spatial options; feeding in sub-regional joint studies (see below: Vision for South East Dorset) and undertaking technical work; and finally preparing a Pre-submission Draft Strategy and Draft Strategy
Main issues which are often at the heart of regional debates include:
Settlement strategy for the Region (including housing patterns, migration, population growth)
The regional economy (attracting investment in new jobs, promoting new skills);
Protecting the environment (wildlife habitats, countryside, coastal heritage);
Promoting sustainable development (protecting valuable environments, reducing car-based travel to minimise global warming, making best use of renewable resources etc.).
The Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Structure Plan, adopted July 2000
As an existing, adopted plan at the commencement of the Act, the policies of the Adopted Structure Plan will be 'saved' for a period of three years, subject to replacement by revisions to the RSS. The Structure Plan policies will still be a material consideration and will remain part of the development plan until superseded by RSS.
Looking to the Future: South East Dorset in 2026
As part of the preparation of the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS), for the South West, the Assembly has asked Bournemouth Borough Council, Dorset County Council and the Borough of Poole to lead a study to consider how South East Dorset should develop over the next twenty or more years.
As a first stage in this process, a Vision of how the area may look by 2026 is being put forward for consideration. Accompanying this are three Strategies that express, illustratively, ways in which the Vision may be achieved. The Assembly has also asked that the implications of significantly higher levels of housing growth be tested.
Views are sought on the vision, strategies and levels of growth and these views will help to shape the finally agreed vision, strategy and policies that will be fed back to the Regional Assembly. The Assembly will then use this work to inform the new RSS.
The Consultation Document
A consultation document called 'Looking to the Future: South East Dorset in 2026' has been prepared by the strategic authorities. This sets out a summary of the proposed Vision and the three possible Strategies.
A longer version of the Vision For South East Dorset in 2026 is also available. It includes more detail on how the Vision could be made a reality and progress monitored via outcomes and indicators.
From the 4th January, paper versions may be obtained, free of charge, from the Borough of Poole, Strategic Planning, Civic Centre, Poole, BH15 2RU; and, from all public libraries in the South East Dorset area.
How to make Your Views Known
Please make your views known on the Vision for South East Dorset and the accompanying strategies. Consultation forms for this purpose will be available
Please let us have your views by the 31st January 2005, at the latest. The timetable for preparation of RSS is very tight and we regret that we cannot guarantee to take into account any submissions received later than this date.