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Planning and growth management in the South East

In recent years, cross-boundary and cross-sectoral planning concepts have become increasingly influential in the strategic planning of housing, population and economic growth. While in some regions this has mapped onto major city regions, innovative spaces in the South East region such as 'Urban South Hampshire', the 'Gatwick-Diamond' and 'Science Vale UK' in southern Oxfordshire reflect very different settlement patterns, administrative arrangements and political contexts. This project examines the governance scales, organisational forms and patterns of leadership across these three sub-regions, and compare and contrast the efficacy of these diverse arrangements in delivering growth.

The final report and research briefing are now available from this project, along with a press notice.

The report, from research conducted for the RTPI by Dave Valler (Oxford Brookes University) and Nick Phelps (University College London), suggests that 'larger than local' public sector leadership can be key to private sector growth. The research pinpoints the role local authorities play in devoting resource to 'spatial planning' and securing housing and employment land allocations across administrative boundaries as being the key to effective public-private partnerships. The research also suggests that the partnerships with the strongest business backing are not necessarily the best positioned to deliver private-sector growth.

The report also provides a checklist against which effective economic leadership through such partnerships can be judged. The researchers conclude that the fundamental factors are the identity and image of an area, the clarity and detail of development strategies, the ability to prioritise development and investment, stakeholder engagement, wider political influence, and resources.

The research was commissioned through the RTPI's Small Project Impact Research (SPIRe) Scheme, which encourages high quality research projects that have the potential to impact on policy and practice.