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South East plan to be revoked

Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, has announced that the Regional Strategy for the South East of England will be the third regional strategy to be revoked.15 Feb 2013

Policy NRM6 on the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area and Oxfordshire Structure Plan Policy H2 concerning the Upper Heyford RAF base will both be retained. Pickles said that the reasons for the decision to retain these policies will be set out in a Post Adoption Statement once the revocation Order has been laid in Parliament.

"The coalition government is determined to protect and safeguard our natural and cultural heritage and has decided not to revoke the policy on the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area or the structure plan policy covering the former Upper Heyford RAF base," said Pickles.

"Localised planning enables councils to make the development choices that work for them; choices that are right for their communities and respond to the needs of the local area rather than to arbitrary top-down targets. This presents a far better deal for local people," Pickles said.

“The flawed top-down targets of regional planning built nothing but resentment, and threatened the green belt in many local authorities. The abolition of the South East Plan follows through from the abolition of the unelected quangos of the South East England Regional Assembly and South East England Development Agency,” he said.

The announcement follows the revocation of the East of England regional strategy on 3 January and the Order to revoke the Yorkshire and Humber regional strategy which will come into force on 22 February.

Pickles said that the Order to revoke the South East plan will be laid "shortly after recess".