New patterns of governance in the English region: Assessing their implications for spatial planning

Graham Pearce*, Sarah Ayres

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-927
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironment and Planning C
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006


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