Compared with the constitutional changes introduced elsewhere in the United Kingdom, in the English regions a more cautious approach has been adopted based on administrative decentralisation. A key feature of the government's reforms has been the strengthening of regional spatial planning and the transfer of the regional planning function to unelected regional assemblies. We examine how far these reforms have assisted regions to achieve greater discretion over planning policies and a more corporate approach to spatial planning. Our central argument is that, given the absence of elected regional government in England, there are outstanding institutional, cultural, and resource obstacles to extending regional freedoms and flexibilities. Nonetheless, the introduction of new statutory regional spatial strategies, together with a greater commitment in Whitehall to coordinate regional budgets, offers a potential way forward.