By Daniel Hunter

Communities in East Midlands and the North East of England are to be the latest to receive more control over local development when their regional strategies are revoked, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced.

The top-down approach of regional strategies from the last administration imposed centrally set building targets on communities and coincided with the lowest peace-time levels of housebuilding since the 1920s.

The abolition of these regional strategies reinforces the importance of the Local Plan produced with the involvement of local communities, as the keystone of the planning system. It is this approach that will help deliver the homes, jobs and infrastructure we need.

Planning and housebuilding works best when it is locally led and people have more control in shaping and deciding on development in the places they live. An Order will be laid in Parliament on Wednesday to revoke the East Midlands strategy. A similar Order for the North East will be laid at a later date.

The coalition government is determined to protect and safeguard our natural and cultural heritage and will not revoke the policy in the Northumberland plan that enables to extension of the Green Belt around Castle Morpeth.

“The flawed top-down targets of regional planning built nothing but resentment, and threatened the green belt in many local authorities. We are committed to decentralising as much power as possible to local people," Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said.

“The abolition of the East Midlands and North East regional strategy will bring a significant shift in power that will benefit the lives of local people in these areas.”

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