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Draft Vision, Objectives and Suggested Policy Approaches

Stage 2 Engagement

 

What is the Spatial Development Strategy?

As part of its Devolution Deal with the Government, the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) will create a strategic plan called a ‘Spatial Development Strategy’ or ‘SDS’.

The SDS will be the first of its kind for the City Region. It will set out a strategic framework for the development and use of land looking ahead at least 15 years.

The SDS is a statutory planning document. This means that when it is published, it will form part of the ‘development plan’ for the six City Region local authorities alongside their own Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans. SDS policies, when finalised, will therefore be considered when determining planning applications across the City Region.

 

What will it contain?

The SDS will only deal with planning matters that are of strategic importance to the Liverpool City Region. Therefore its policies will be ‘high level’ with more detailed planning policies contained in the Local Plans prepared by the six local authorities, reflecting their local circumstances. In line with regulations, the SDS will not amend existing Green Belt boundaries.

In line with legislation, the SDS will need to have regard to:

  • The National Planning Policy Framework(setting out the national government’s policies on planning);
  • The health of people in the Liverpool City Region and the effect of the SDS on health inequalities;
  • Achieving sustainable development in the United Kingdom;
  • Climate change and its consequences; and
  • The need to ensure consistency with national policies and the EU obligations of the United Kingdom.

The SDS will serve to bring together the spatial development aspects of other Combined Authority policies or proposals presenting an integrated approach. This includes:

 

The SDS will also be underpinned by a range of evidence to support our proposed policy approach and an Infrastructure Plan will identify key pieces of strategic infrastructure to support delivery.

It is important that the SDS helps achieve sustainable development. This means taking an approach that carefully balances economic, social and environmental considerations. An ‘Integrated Impact Assessment’ or ‘IIA’ will be carried out to ensure that any impacts proposed policies may have on sustainability, health, equality and crime prevention are fully taken into account. An IIA Scoping Report has been prepared identifying the key sustainability issues and a proposed framework to assess policy development.

A Habitats Regulations Assessment will also be undertaken to assess any impacts on designated European nature conservation sites.

Additionally, the preparation of the SDS will be subject to a ‘Social Value Evaluation’ to ensure policy drafting takes account of wider community benefits and social aspects.

 

What is the purpose of this engagement?

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) is continuing work on developing its first Spatial Development Strategy (SDS).

Building on the feedback we received from our last engagement, we now seek further views on our proposed vision and set of objectives, along with approaches to several key policy areas. By establishing a collective vision and clear set of guiding objectives, we can progress the development of a spatial strategy to meet the challenges and priorities of the City Region.

The Metro Mayor and Combined Authority are committed to ensuring that local people have the opportunity to genuinely influence local decision-making. The overriding purpose of this second stage of the ‘Our Places’ engagement is to make sure the SDS continues to be shaped positively and meaningfully by the people of the Liverpool City Region.

 

Feedback from our last engagement

Between October 2019 and January 2020 we undertook an initial engagement to help us understand what you thought were the main planning challenges facing the City Region and what should be done to meet them. We received a considerable and positive response from a wide range of people, groups and organisations representing a cross section of the community. A report summarising our response to the comments made during the initial engagement can be viewed by following this link.

The scope of this engagement

The primary purpose of this (non-regulatory) engagement is to establish a shared vision for the City Region along with clear strategic objectives setting out what the SDS should achieve and deliver. Suggested approaches on certain strategic planning policies to support the vision and meet these objectives have also been set out for comment. These have been developed to reflect feedback received so far, existing and emerging evidence, and the priorities of the LCRCA’s other strategies, policies and proposals.

In addition, an Integrated Impact Assessment (IIA) Scoping Report has been prepared. This undertakes a review of the baseline evidence, presents the key sustainability issues faced by the City Region, and sets out a proposed framework to inform policy development as we progress.

We are not, at this stage, proposing strategic spatial options in relation to housing or employment needs in the City Region. This will be subject to a further, more detailed engagement next year in light of new evidence, taking into account implications of proposed reforms to the planning system by the Government and any revisions to national planning policy and guidance (see below). By undertaking this engagement stage now, we can progress the SDS further whilst maintaining a degree of adaptability in light of current uncertainties.

 

How do I respond?

Click on ‘share your views’ below to comment on each themeThis engagement will run from 10th November 2020 until 1st February 2021.

 

Next stages

Once we have received your views on the Vision and Objectives for the City Region, along with the suggested policy approaches, we will engage again with proposals on our spatial strategy for the City Region and supporting policies. This will include housing, employment and town centres along with strategic infrastructure, supported by necessary evidence. This further engagement is anticipated to be held in summer / autumn 2021.

 

Key considerations for the SDS’s development

COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic and the imperative need to safeguard our health has had widespread societal impact. Whilst many existing planning priorities and challenges remain, further challenges now lie ahead for the future of our health and well-being, livelihoods and economy, the role of our centres, and of our homes and communities.

The LCRCA has set out its commitment to support and facilitate economic recovery across the City Region in the Building Back Better Economic Recovery Plan. It outlines the vision for a globally competitive, environmentally responsible and socially inclusive City Region; setting out a wide range of opportunities and initiatives to achieve this ambition.

Whilst the SDS will look to a longer timeframe, the impacts of the pandemic are expected to endure and spatial planning must play its part in realising these opportunities and securing a sustainable recovery.

 

 

Planning White Paper August 2020

The Government has published its ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper proposing significant reforms to the existing planning system in England, particularly with regard to the role and scope of spatial planning.

Whilst further details on the specific role of Spatial Development Strategies are not available at this stage, and a timescale for the introduction of reforms (which will require new legislation to be passed) is uncertain, it is considered that the LCR SDS will now need to be progressed with a degree of adaptability in mind.

In addition, the Government has also released proposals on how local housing need should be calculated (in the interim period before more comprehensive reforms are introduced). The outcome of the Government’s consultation on this has yet to be determined.

 

 

Our vision

In 15 years we want to be a City Region where:

  • A proactive, collaborative Spatial Development Strategy has been instrumental in delivering the goal of inclusive growth alongside environmental responsibility;
  • Effective action to tackle Climate Change has been, and is being, taken; with measures put in place to increase our resilience to its effects;
  • Our health and wellbeing is fundamental in deciding how we shape the places we live, work and meet;
  • Opportunities for Building Back Better have been taken, creating a genuinely inclusive economy that is more competitive, connected, resilient, sustainable and greener; providing quality jobs, prospects and prosperity;
  • Our town centres, creatively re-purposed and reimagined, provide opportunities for businesses and communities to thrive and develop;
  • Homes are provided to meet all our needs, are well designed and fit for the future, forming safer and well-connected communities;
  • The value of new development looks beyond simple economic returns to deliver wider and lasting social and community benefits.

 

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this vision for the Spatial Development Strategy?

Strongly disagree      Disagree            Neutral                Agree              Strong Agree

 

In what way(s) if any, do you think we could improve this vision?

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                      

 

                                                                                                       

 

 

Climate Change and the Environment

Strategic Objective 1 – Tackling climate change and creating a greener City Region

This will be achieved by:

  • Driving up standards and securing opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, helping to meet the City Region’s target of net zero carbon by 2040.
  • Increasing resilience to the effects of Climate Change, ensuring its impacts do not lead to social and economic inequalities.
  • Ensuring the most effective use of land, maximising the potential to utilise brownfield land, reducing the need to travel and securing environmental improvements from new development.
  • Protecting and improving our valued green spaces (including within urban areas) and natural environment for the long-term benefit of all.
  • Facilitating a transition to greener transport and promoting active travel and public transport.
  • Managing and utilising resources in a sustainable and responsible way as part of a circular economy.
  • Facilitating clean and renewable energy generation and greater energy efficiency in buildings.

 

What you told us

The issue of the Environment and Climate Change received the highest number of responses as part of our initial engagement. Your feedback, in summary, told us:

·      We need to take action now to tackle the climate and nature emergencies.

·      The main challenge is to align economic development with improvement in the environment.

·      Green / blue infrastructure is essential to tackle Climate Change and alleviate flooding.

·      More renewable low carbon energy should be generated in the LCR.

 

 

What you told us

The issue of the Environment and Climate Change received the highest number of responses as part of our initial engagement. Your feedback, in summary, told us:

  • We need to take action now to tackle the climate and nature emergencies.
  • The main challenge is to align economic development with improvement in the environment.
  • Green / blue infrastructure is essential to tackle Climate Change and alleviate flooding.
  • More renewable low carbon energy should be generated in the LCR.
  • We need to plan to reduce car dependency and provide realistic alternatives for greener, healthier travel such as cycle lanes.
  • Regenerating brownfield land must be the first priority for development to alleviate pressure on the Green Belt.
  • We need to protect our green spaces as they are invaluable to health and our wellbeing.
  • We need to protect and improve our wildlife habitats to stop the further decline in species and secure nature’s recovery.
  • Plant more trees to help absorb carbon and slow Climate Change.
  • We must manage our waste and resources prudently.

 

Key reasons behind this objective

The Metro Mayor and Combined Authority have set the ambition for the LCR to be the cleanest, greenest city region in the country, promoting a balanced and sustainable land use strategy. The LCRCA has declared a Climate Emergency and is committed to making the City Region net zero carbon by 2040.

COVID-19 and the measures to control its spread have had a huge impact on our lives and economy. The LCRCA is fully committed to Building Back Better, taking opportunities to progress a greener recovery built on a sustainable and low carbon economy.

The draft LCR Local Industrial Strategy sets the ambition for the City Region to be a pioneer of the zero carbon economy, committing to investment and support in delivering long-term renewable energy and clean transport with associated jobs.

The LCRCA is committed to delivering greener, active travel and the creation of a strategic cycle route network to help reduce the City Region’s carbon footprint.

The Spatial Development Strategy must address Climate Change and its consequences as part of its legal framework. The need to plan for the challenges of Climate Change, the natural environment, the effective use of land and prudent use of natural resources is set out in national planning policy.

The impacts of Climate Change, such as flooding, poses a threat to homes and livelihoods in the LCR. Planning plays a key role in reducing risks and building resilience across all our communities.

The LCR comprises 80% blue / green space, providing a unique and valuable asset estimated to be worth £100bn. This ‘Green Infrastructure’ provides multiple benefits for our health and wellbeing, ecology, economy and in tackling Climate Change.

It is important to get the most use and value out of material resources, improve resource efficiency and minimise the amount of waste generated; working towards a circular economy.

The Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan sets out the need to halt and reverse the decline in natural species, use resources sustainably and prevent waste. The Environment Bill introduces new legal requirements for development to improve the natural environment.

 

How we will use this objective

This objective will serve as a guiding principle to shape the SDS as it is developed. A number of suggested policy approaches have also been put forward as part of this engagement that would directly or indirectly help us achieve this objective.

 

Tell us what you think

Please provide your views on this draft objective by answering the questions below.

 

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this vision for the Spatial Development Strategy?

Strongly disagree           Disagree            Neutral                Agree              Strong Agree

 

In what way(s) if any, do you think we could improve this vision?

 

 

 

 

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this vision for the Spatial Development Strategy?

Strongly disagree             Disagree            Neutral                Agree              Strong Agree

 

In what way(s) if any, do you think we could improve this vision?

 

Health and wellbeing

Strategic Objective 2: Addressing health inequalities and creating a healthier City Region

This will be achieved by:

  • Improving the conditions in which people and our future generations are born, live, work and age.
  • Ensuring that development contributes to reducing inequalities in health and wellbeing.
  • Shaping the environment to enable healthy and active lifestyles.
  • Protecting and supporting the delivery of facilities that promote health, wellbeing and social cohesion.
  • Tackling poor air quality by raising standards and improving air quality.

What you told us

From our initial engagement, your feedback, in summary, told us:

  • Tackling poor air quality is a major issue for residents across the City Region.
  • That health matters and that more could be done across the City Region to improve it.
  • There is recognition that the built environment can help tackle poor health outcomes.

 

Key reasons behind this objective

The Spatial Development Strategy must address health and health inequalities as part of its legal framework.

The Metro Mayor and Combined Authority have set out the ambition to address health issues by encouraging healthy and active lifestyles, promoting sport, walking and cycling, supporting lifestyle changes, tackling childhood obesity, delivering joined-up initiatives with local authorities and NHS Trusts, and by being an advocate for mental health and dementia.

LCRCA has a number initiatives and strategies that support health including the LCR Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan, the Local Journeys Strategy, a Transport Plan, a Health and Care Skills for Growth Action Plan and the creation of an Air Quality Task Force.

Based on the critical mass of scientific assets within the City Region, open health innovation is recognised as a transformational opportunity in the draft LCR Local Industrial Strategy.

The recently published Building Back Better Recovery Plan notes that long-standing health and equality issues have held back the potential of the City Region, and these issues mean that COVID-19’s impact is more severe than elsewhere. Health, wellbeing and equality is one of six principles set out in the recovery plan.

The importance of vibrant and healthy communities and the promotion of healthy lifestyles and healthy living are recognised in national planning policy. National policy also sets out that strategic policies should make sufficient provision for infrastructure and community facilities.

The Government’s recent Obesity Strategy highlights the link between obesity and the risk of becoming ill and dying from COVID-19.

Based on the Government’s 2019 English Indices of Deprivation, almost half of the City Region’s neighbourhoods are within the top 10% most health deprived within England.

How we will use this objective

This objective will serve as a guiding principle to shape the SDS as it is developed. A number of suggested policy approaches have also been put forward as part of this engagement that would directly or indirectly help us achieve this objective.

Tell us what you think

Please provide your views on this draft objective by answering the questions below.

 

 

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this vision for the Spatial Development Strategy?

Strongly disagree           Disagree            Neutral                Agree              Strong Agree

 

In what way(s) if any, do you think we could improve this vision?

How we will use this objective

This objective will serve as a guiding principle to shape the SDS as it is developed. A number of suggested policy approaches have also been put forward as part of this engagement that would directly or indirectly help us achieve this objective.

Tell us what you think

Please provide your views on this draft objective by answering the questions below.

 

 

 

 

 

An Inclusive Economy

Strategic Objective 3: Delivering an Inclusive Economy

This will be achieved by:

  • Transforming the City Region economy so that it is competitive, environmentally clean, well connected, socially inclusive and future ready.
  • Supporting the growth of innovative, sustainable and socially responsible enterprises of all sizes and types.
  • Redefining economic growth so that it values and involves the prosperity of all people and places.
  • Connecting businesses, visitors and communities through enhanced access to digital networks.
  • Revitalising town centres so that they are renewed focal points for communities and businesses.

 

What you told us

From our initial engagement, your feedback, in summary, told us:

  • A lack of high-quality jobs available, particularly for local people and graduates, and a need to focus employment development around transport nodes.
  • The cost of brownfield remediation, potentially resulting in unaffordable housing and future workspaces.
  • The importance of equality and inclusive growth.
  • The need to promote digital infrastructure and support businesses in creating new and additional jobs and support key sectors.
  • The need to support and regenerate declining high streets.

 

Key reasons behind this objective

The Metro Mayor and Combined Authority have set the ambition for the City Region to punch its weight on the national and international stage, and for a prosperous economy that creates wealth for our nation and opportunity for our people. The LCRCA is committed to creating a high-skill, high-value economy, and an exemplar for a fair, progressive and sustainable economy.

The inclusive economy is defined ‘as one that creates purposeful economic success, measured not just by GDP but by the health and wellbeing of all citizens. It is an economy with opportunities for all people and places to prosper, and an economy that is strengthened by this inclusivity.’ LCRCA’s draft Local Industrial Strategy sets a Grand Challenge for the City Region to be the most inclusive economy in the UK.

LCRCA’s Recovery Plan ‘Building Back Better’ sets out a vision for a globally competitive, environmentally responsible, socially inclusive economy remains valid and that addressing health, inequality and the climate emergency are critical to achieving this vision.

Based on national planning policy, planning policies should help create the conditions in which businesses can invest, expand and adapt, place significant weight on the need to support economic growth and productivity, and support town centres.

The City Region is a growing economy, generating £32.5bn of economic output per year, an increase of over £1.5bn in real terms over the last decade, against the backdrop of the deepest recession the UK has experienced since the Second World War (draft Local Industrial Strategy).

The Government’s 2019 English Indices of Deprivation show that almost a third of the City Region’s neighbourhoods are within the top 10% most deprived in England.

 

How we will use this objective

This objective will serve as a guiding principle to shape the SDS as it is developed. A number of suggested policy approaches have also been put forward as part of this engagement that would directly or indirectly help us achieve this objective.

 

Tell us what you think

Please provide your views on this draft objective by answering the questions below.

 

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this vision for the Spatial Development Strategy?

Strongly disagree           Disagree            Neutral                Agree              Strong Agree

 

In what way(s) if any, do you think we could improve this vision?

 

 

 

 

Placemaking and Communities

 

Strategic Objective 4: Creating high quality buildings and places that allow our communities to flourish

This will be achieved by:

  • Facilitating the provision of the right homes to accommodate our needs, creating new and revitalised communities.
  • Ensuring high design standards to deliver beautiful buildings and places that are future ready, safe, sustainable, energy efficient and enable healthier and happier lives.
  • Positively shaping development so that it responds to and respects the City Region’s unique characteristics, creating high quality and attractive places where people want to live, work, visit and meet.
  • Protecting and utilising our built heritage and cultural assets for the benefit of current and future generations.

 

What you told us

From our initial engagement, your feedback, in summary, told us:

  • Ensuring that design standards promote for accessible and inclusive design for all.
  • The role of the SDS establishing and meeting housing need for the City Region.
  • How the SDS should consider development viability.
  • What is considered to be the poor-quality design of developments.
  • Improving energy efficiency of housing stock and the accessibility of homes.
  • The link between economic growth and the number of houses required in the City Region.
  • Increasing tree-planting.
  • Improving health and wellbeing outcomes related to poor quality housing.
  • The lack of affordable and safe housing, and housing not meeting current and future needs of City Region residents.

 

Key reasons behind this objective

The Metro Mayor and Combined Authority want to promote good design, support concerted action to improve the quality and attractiveness of neighbourhoods and devise a sub-regional spatial strategy to ensure new homes are built in the right places. He also plans for a fairer and greener housing market, the development of eco-friendly and energy efficient housing, to tackle homelessness and street sleeping working in partnership, and ensure everyone has access to a decent affordable home.

The Metro Mayor has appointed Stirling Prize-winning architect Paul Monaghan as the City Region’s first design champion to promote good design.

LCRCA’s Housing Statement sets out that we want to ensure that the quality of new housing is of a high standard, well designed, accessible, thermally efficient, technologically linked and future proof. It also sets priorities that relate to delivering more homes and improving choice and quality, supporting our ageing population, regenerating our neighbourhoods, improving rental quality, and tackling homelessness.

National planning policy recognises that good design is a key aspect of sustainable development that creates better places to live and work, the importance of safe, inclusive and accessible development which promote health and well-being, and need to conserve and enhance the historic environment.

National planning policy also sets out that plans should as a minimum provide for objectively assessed needs for housing, meet the needs of different groups in the community, set an overall strategy for the pattern, scale and quality of development, and make sufficient provision for housing and affordable housing and community facilities, such as cultural infrastructure.

The Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission have set out that beauty must become the natural result of working within the planning system, which to achieve requires three aims; ask for beauty, refuse ugliness, and promote stewardship.

 

 

How we will use this objective

This objective will serve as a guiding principle to shape the SDS as it is developed. A number of suggested policy approaches have also been put forward as part of this engagement that would directly or indirectly help us achieve this objective.

 

Tell us what you think

Please provide your views on this draft objective by answering the questions below.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this vision for the Spatial Development Strategy?

Strongly disagree           Disagree            Neutral                Agree              Strong Agree

 

In what way(s) if any, do you think we could improve this vision?

 

 

Social Value

Strategic Objective 5: Maximising Social Value from all aspects of development

This will be achieved by:

  • Requiring those who propose development to measure the social and environmental change they cause in order to maximise an increase in social value.
  • Ensuring that social value generated by development benefits the users, occupiers and surrounding communities, particularly those that are most deprived and excluded.
  • Creating a framework that enables the scope and consideration given to the social dimension of sustainable development to be fully realised.

 

What you told us

The social dimension of sustainable development is a wide-reaching objective, and the majority of relevant feedback to our previous engagement included a number of ‘tags’ related to health, wellbeing, community, education, employment, crime, and natural space.

However, some comments specific to social value were made and suggested that:

  • Social value should be achieved through providing employment opportunities and requiring training and apprenticeships to be provided by new development.
  • There should be more emphasis on social value, on how this would be achieved, and that the Combined Authority should monitor and report on the levels of social value produced by the strategy.

 

Key reasons behind this objective

The Metro Mayor and Combined Authority place a strong emphasis on achieving social value, with a focus on equality social justice, inclusiveness, fairness, rewarding and promoting fair and ethical business, and the use of procurement to promote social value.

LCRCA will be the first in the country to incorporate an evaluation of social value in its SDS with the Metro Mayor and Combined Authority keen to ensure that economic growth benefits everyone and that the social and environmental impact of any future development is considered alongside the more traditional economic measures.

The Metro Mayor and Combined Authority have launched England’s first land commission focused on Community Wealth Building, tasked to make radical recommendations on the best use of publicly owned land to make the fairest and most socially inclusive City Region in the country.

LCRCA has joined calls for a Community Wealth Fund which would support communities at a neighbourhood level to take spending decisions.

Social value underpins the LCRCA’s approach with the Fairness and Social Justice Advisory Board (FASJAB) providing an independent sounding board, ensuring that issues of fairness and social justice are considered in every strategy developed.

LCRCA’s draft Local Industrial Strategy (LIS) sets a Grand Challenge for the City Region to be the most inclusive economy in the UK, with inclusivity identified as a key driver for policy making, investments and commissioning. The LIS notes the City Region has a thriving and effective social economy which is a key asset and the use of Community Wealth Buildings principles to support the shift to an inclusive system.

Social value is one of six principles in LCRCA’s Economic Recovery Plan. The recovery plan also sets out our aim to push forward wider objectives relating to community wealth building, social value and the creation of a more diverse and ethically responsible business base.

National planning policy’s definition of sustainable development involves a social objective, which includes supporting strong, vibrant and healthy communities by a range of means. National policy also sets out that planning policies should, amongst other things, take into account and support delivery of local strategies to improve health, social and cultural well-being.

The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 requires public authorities to have regard to economic, social and environmental well-being in connection with public contracts and for connected purposes. The Government Civil Society Strategy sets out that the Government will explore the suggestion that this Act should be applied to public decision making such as planning.

The Social Value Portal have set out the benefit of using the Social Value Act in the planning process and make a number of recommendations for how to integrate social value into planning.

The Government’s 2019 English Indices of Deprivation show that almost a third of the City Region’s neighbourhoods are within the top 10% most deprived in England.

 

How we will use this objective

This objective will serve as a guiding principle to shape the SDS as it is developed. A number of suggested policy approaches have also been put forward as part of this engagement that would directly or indirectly help us achieve this objective.

 

Tell us what you think

Please provide your views on this draft objective by answering the questions below.

 

 

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this vision for the Spatial Development Strategy?

Strongly disagree           Disagree            Neutral                Agree              Strong Agree

 

In what way(s) if any, do you think we could improve this vision?

 

 

 

Natural Environment and Green Infrastructure

 

Liverpool City Region is home to a wealth of natural spaces, from our rivers, coastlines and rural landscapes, to our parks, allotments and woodlands. Our natural environment is a priceless asset that we must protect for future generations. The Spatial Development Strategy (SDS) can work to protect, maintain, and expand the natural spaces and biodiversity of the City Region, ensuring that nature is valued as crucial to the health and wellbeing of people, communities, and the planet.

A suggested policy approach for the SDS to address this issue is set out below. For more information on the considerations behind this approach, which includes your feedback from the previous engagement, please read the accompanying Our Considerations paper (also available to download below).

Suggested Policy Approach

To plan strategically for the natural environment and Green Infrastructure, taking account of climate change, we suggest a policy approach that would:

  • Seek to ensure that Green Infrastructure is planned, designed and managed in an integrated way to achieve multiple benefits.
  • Embed the ‘natural capital approach’ into plan and decision making, securing lasting benefits offered by the natural environment. This would utilise the LCR Natural CapitalBaseline to prioritise and identify strategic opportunities for Green Infrastructure and habitat provision or improvement, and act as a consistent measure for achieving environmental net gain from new development.
  • Support and identify opportunities for strategic tree planting and woodland creation in the City Region and ensure its lasting management.
  • Reinforce the protection of the LCR’s network of green and open spaces and promote its improvement, ensuring new provision is accessible to communities and is of a high standard with lasting management in place.
  • Reinforce the protection of the LCR’s sites of biodiversity and geodiversity value and promote their conservation and enhancement.

It would also:

  • Set out a strategic approach to water management, flooding and flood risk informed by updated strategic level flood risk information for the City Region.

 

Tell us what you think

Please provide your views on this approach by answering the questions below. Your comments will help us in drafting a policy for the Natural Environment & Green Infrastructure.

 

To what extent do you agree or disagree with policy approach?

Strongly disagree           Disagree            Neutral                Agree              Strong Agree

 

Why do you agree or disagree with this policy approach?

 

 

What more, if anything, should this policy cover?

 

 

 

 

Energy and Resources

In order to address the climate crisis and protect our natural environment, we will need to ensure that spatial planning helps to create a sustainable City Region. The Spatial Development Strategy (SDS) can support opportunities to transition to renewable sources of energy. It can promote a sustainable approach to waste, with more recycling and reuse of resources and materials. And it could potentially also ensure environmental sustainability and efficiency are at the heart of how our buildings are designed and constructed.

A suggested policy approach for the SDS to address this issue is set out below. For more information on the considerations behind this approach, which includes your feedback from the previous engagement, please read the accompanyingOur Considerations paper (also available to download below).

 

 

Suggested Policy Approach

To plan strategically for energy and resources, taking account of climate change, we suggest a policy approach that would:

  • Support and identify strategic and sustainable opportunities for renewable and low carbon energy provision and associated infrastructure to help meet carbon reduction targets and support a green economic recovery. This will be in alignment with LCR’sEconomic Recovery Plan, Local Industrial Strategy and Energy Strategy (when finalised) and informed by updated evidence.
  • Ensure the management of LCR’s waste is driven up the waste hierarchy to meet targets in alignment with the Merseyside and Halton Joint Waste Local Plan (or any subsequent update).
  • Reinforce the principles of resource efficiency in building design and construction, including maximising the use of high quality recycled and sustainable building materials.
  • Promote the use of secondary and recycled materials to conserve primary resources and reinforce the need to safeguard mineral resources and associated supply infrastructure (to be identified, where relevant, in Local Plans).
  • Reinforce the need to ensure protection of water resources for public supply, consistent with advice from United Utilities and the Environment Agency.

We are also considering how to address energy and resource (including water) efficiency of new homes as part of our suggested Housing Standards policy approach.

Tell us what you think

Please provide your views on this approach by answering the questions below. Your comments will help us in drafting a policy for Energy and Resources.

 

 

To what extent do you agree or disagree with policy approach?

Strongly disagree           Disagree            Neutral                Agree              Strong Agree

 

Why do you agree or disagree with this policy approach?

 

 

What more, if anything, should this policy cover?

 

 

Air Quality

 

Air pollution – from vehicles, industry, and energy generation – harms our environment, our quality of life, and our health. One way that the Spatial Development Strategy (SDS) could address this is by requiring (certain) developments to undertake an Air Quality Assessment, outlining, where necessary, how their approaches to design and construction will help to create cleaner air for Liverpool City Region.

A suggested policy approach for the SDS to address this issue is set out below. For more information on the considerations behind this approach, which includes your feedback from the previous engagement, please read the accompanying Our Considerations paper (also available to download below).

 

Suggested Policy Approach

A policy that would:

Set out what locations and types and sizes of development would be required to undertake an Air Quality Impact Assessment. Where the evidence indicates it is necessary, it would be required that the development delivers appropriate mitigation measures to monitor and address air pollution through design and throughout construction

 

To what extent do you agree or disagree with policy approach?

Strongly disagree           Disagree            Neutral                Agree              Strong Agree

 

Why do you agree or disagree with this policy approach?

 

 

What more, if anything, should this policy cover?

 

 

Active Travel

 

Low levels of physical activity across our City Region are contributing to high levels of obesity among adults and children, putting health at risk. The Spatial Development Strategy (SDS) can help to support healthier, active lifestyles by promoting space for sport and exercise, as well as safe walking and cycling infrastructure to make it easier for people to get where they need to go without relying on a car.

A suggested policy approach for the SDS to address this issue is set out below. For more information on the considerations behind this approach, which includes your feedback from the previous engagement, please read the accompanying Our Considerations paper (also available to download below).

Suggested Policy Approach

New development would prioritise street design, and the creation of a good quality attractive and safe public areas that promote active travel (e.g. cycling and walking). Open spaces that encourages sport and active lifestyles would also be prioritised. Where possible, proposals would be required to connect to the City Region’s walking and cycling network and green infrastructure.

 

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Health Impact Assessments

Poor physical and mental health is one of the most significant challenges facing Liverpool City Region, with almost half of our neighbourhoods counted within the top 10% most health deprived in England. Public health bodies such as the World Health Organisation have identified Health Impact Assessments as one way that planning frameworks can actively address health inequalities, ensuring that the effects of developments on our health are considered as an integral part of the planning process.

A suggested policy approach for the Spatial Development Strategy to address this issue is set out below. For more information on the considerations behind this approach, which includes your feedback from the previous engagement, please read the accompanying Our Considerations paper (also available to download below).

 

Suggested Policy Approach

Specified planning applications and development plans made in the City Region would need to be accompanied and informed by Health Impact Assessments.

 

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Healthy Food Businesses

High levels of childhood obesity across Liverpool City Region require us to think seriously about diet, choice, and access to healthy food. Currently, two-thirds of schools and colleges in the City Region are within 400 metres of takeaway, whilst many neighbourhoods are poorly served by outlets that supply fresh, healthy produce at affordable prices. The Spatial Development Strategy (SDS) could potentially address this by limiting new hot food takeaways from opening in areas where children and young people congregate (e.g. near schools and playgrounds), and where obesity is already a significant health challenge.

A suggested policy approach for the SDS to address this issue is set out below. For more information on the considerations behind this approach, which includes your feedback from the previous engagement, please read the accompanying Our Considerations paper (also available to download below).

Suggested Policy Approach

To restrict new hot food takeaways in locations where obesity levels are high or near where children and young people congregate, such as schools, community centres and playgrounds

 

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Please provide your views on this approach by answering the questions below. Your comments will help us in drafting a policy on Health Impact Assessments.

 

To what extent do you agree or disagree with policy approach?

Strongly disagree           Disagree            Neutral                Agree              Strong Agree

 

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Social Infrastructure

Local facilities such as schools, health practices, sports facilities and community buildings are vital to the wellbeing of people. The Spatial Development Strategy (SDS) could potentially protect this social infrastructure and develop it further to support the long-term sustainability of communities and ensure people have the access to the local services they need to thrive.

A suggested policy approach for the SDS to address this issue is set out below. For more information on the considerations behind this approach, which includes your feedback from the previous engagement, please read the accompanying Our Considerations paper (also available to download below).

 

Suggested Policy Approach

Existing strategic social infrastructure would be identified and protected, and support would be given to the growth of strategic social infrastructure in locations that are highly accessible by walking, cycling, public transport and to all of the community.

 

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Employment Skills

Despite the recent success of our local economy, too many of our residents continue to face barriers to good quality employment. It can be difficult to access the skills and training needed to get in and get on in the labour market, and this challenge is made even more difficult by the relatively low number of jobs for the size of our population. The Spatial Development Strategy (SDS) could seek to address employment and skills gaps in the Liverpool City Region by requiring major developments to support a proportion of construction apprenticeships, helping people to gain the skills and experience they need to build a career in the sector.

A suggested policy approach for the SDS to address this issue is set out below. For more information on the considerations behind this approach, which includes your feedback from the previous engagement, please read the accompanying Our Considerations paper (also available to download below).

 

Suggested Policy Approach

The SDS could include a policy under which:

Major development proposals would be required to support a proportion of apprenticeships in construction, with a preference towards apprenticeships for City Region residents to secure sustainable employment.

 

 

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Digital Connectivity

From fibre broadband to 5G, we want our City Region to become the most digitally connected region in the UK, enabling our communities and our economy to thrive. The Spatial Development Strategy (SDS) could potentially support this ambition by ensuring that all new developments are connected to the fastest possible broadband.

A suggested policy approach for the SDS to address this issue is set out below. For more information on the considerations behind this approach, which includes your feedback from the previous engagement, please read the accompanying Our Considerations paper (also available to download below)

 

 

Suggested Policy Approach

A gigabit connection requirement for specified thresholds and types of residential and non-residential planning applications would be set prior to residents or businesses moving in. Where certain connections are demonstrated not viable or site feasibility is an overriding issue, the requirement would be for the next fastest broadband speed to be secured.

 

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Please provide your views on this approach by answering the questions below. Your comments will help us in drafting a policy for Digital Connectivity.

 

To what extent do you agree or disagree with policy approach?

Strongly disagree           Disagree            Neutral                Agree              Strong Agree

 

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Social Economy

Liverpool City Region’s thriving social economy – comprising 1,400 grassroots, neighbourhood, community and voluntary groups, registered charities, social enterprises, cooperatives, and mutual societies – employs approximately 45,000 people, and delivers significant social value, supporting community development and accelerating innovation to maximise the potential of people and places. The Spatial Development Strategy (SDS) could potentially help sustain these social enterprises and enable them to grow further.

A suggested policy approach for the SDS to address this issue is set out below. For more information on the considerations behind this approach, which includes your feedback from the previous engagement, please read the accompanying Our Considerations paper (also available to download below).

Suggested Policy Approach

To protect against the unjustified loss of land and buildings being used by social enterprises and social organisations and support the development of new social economy uses to grow; particularly in areas located in the highest levels of deprivation.

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Please provide your views on this approach by answering the questions below. Your comments will help us in drafting a policy on Social Economy.

 

To what extent do you agree or disagree with policy approach?

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Rural Economy

Liverpool City Region contains some of the best and most versatile agriculture land in the country, and our 320 agriculture, forestry, and fishing businesses make a significant contribution to our local economy. The Spatial Development Strategy (SDS) could potentially support the future sustainability and prosperity of Liverpool City Region’s rural economy through the protection of quality agricultural land.

A suggested policy approach for the SDS to address this issue is set out below. For more information on the considerations behind this approach, which includes your feedback from the previous engagement, please read the accompanying Our Considerations paper (also available to download below).

 

Suggested Policy Approach

To enhance food security and reduce food miles by protecting the best and most versatile agricultural land in the City Region.

 

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To what extent do you agree or disagree with policy approach?

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Why do you agree or disagree with this policy approach?

 

 

What more, if anything, should this policy cover?

 

 

Design Quality

 

The Spatial Development Strategy (SDS) should have a positive role in setting out how development will achieve beauty, respect the unique characteristics of the Liverpool City Region, and contribute to a safer, healthier, and more sustainable future. We are considering a number of tools that could potentially be used to secure good quality design.

A suggested policy approach for the SDS to address this issue is set out below. For more information on the considerations behind this approach, which includes your feedback from the previous engagement, please read the accompanyingOur Considerations paper (also available to download below).

 

Suggested Policy Approach

We are keen to establish which design tools would be most appropriate for securing good design; below is a list of planning tools that could be potentially utilised.

  • Independent Design Review Panels (for example, Design Council, Places Matter, a dedicated LCR Panel).
  • A City Region Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) on design.
  • Masterplans which set out proposals for blocks, buildings, spaces, street hierarchy, movement strategy green infrastructure and land use in three dimensions and matches these proposals to a delivery strategy.
  • Design Codes.
  • Context (or site and area) appraisal.
  • Design competitions.
  • Design awards.
  • Dedicated Design Officers to advise/support Local Authorities

Please see Our Considerations paper for more details on each of the above.

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Please provide your views on this approach by answering the questions below. Your comments will help us in drafting a policy on Design Quality.

 

To what extent do you agree or disagree with policy approach?

Strongly disagree           Disagree            Neutral                Agree              Strong Agree

 

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Housing Standards

 

Everyone deserves to live in a quality home. But too often in Liverpool City Region housing choice is limited, with an overabundance of aging, low-quality and energy-inefficient properties. This is bad for our health, for fuel poverty, and for quality of life. The Spatial Development Strategy (SDS) could potentially help address this by introducing housing standards to ensure that people and communities have the high-quality, sustainable homes they need.

A suggested policy approach for the SDS to address this issue is set out below. For more information on the considerations behind this approach, which includes your feedback from the previous engagement, please read the accompanying Our Considerations paper (also available to download below).

 

Suggested Policy Approach

We are considering which recognised housing standards could be included as a housing standard requirement in the SDS. These include:

  • Accessibility standards
  • Future Homes Standard (2025)
  • Water efficiency standards
  • Nationally Described Space Standard
  • External Amenity Space
  • Tree Planting
  • Secure Cycle Storage
  • Low Carbon/ Renewable Energy Sources
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Points
  • Sustainable Drainage Systems
  • Digital Connectivity Standard (Residential)

Please see Our Considerations paper for more details on each of the above.

 

Tell us what you think

Please provide your views on this approach by answering the questions below. Your comments will help us in drafting a policy on Rural Economy.

 

To what extent do you agree or disagree with policy approach?

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Why do you agree or disagree with this policy approach?

 

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