The North East Wales / West Cheshire Sub-Regional Spatial Strategy
The North East Wales / West Cheshire Sub Regional Spatial Strategy was produced in 2006 and evolved from six years of partnership working and a Study undertaken by GVA Grimley in 2004. Its purpose is to provide a non-statutory framework for greater cross-border co-operation and development between North East Wales and West Cheshire over the next 15 years (2006-21), and to inform the Wales Spatial Plan and the North West Plan.
The Strategy won the North West’s Best Strategic Planning Document Award at the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Regional Planning Achievement Awards 2007.
The Strategy encompasses a core area of Chester and Ellesmere Port and Neston in England, with Flintshire and Wrexham in North Wales, though a ‘wider reference area’ was identified that includes Denbighshire, the Wirral and the Frodsham-Helsby sub-area of Vale Royal, Warrington and Halton.
The strategy provides an excellent framework for MDA strategic planning, whilst recognising that the geographical area covered by the MDA is wider than that of the spatial strategy. In particular the MDA has regard to the relevant Wirral and Denbighshire strategies, which were outside the core area of the North East Wales, West Cheshire Strategy.
The strategy has been through a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), which included consultation with the public and consultation authorities, and provided detail about the way the strategy should be delivered. This indicates measures that should be taken to monitor the significant environmental effects of the plan. Delivering the Strategy with reference to the SEA is important as it ensures that the principles of sustainable development are taken forward.
The Sub-Regional Spatial Strategy is supported by a more detailed framework of principles, relating to key areas such as housing, the economy, the environment, transport and leisure and tourism. The main spatial strands of the Strategy are:
- Supporting the existing strategic centres within the sub-region;
- Focusing on areas in need of regeneration;
- Enhancing links between areas of opportunity and areas of need;
- Placing emphasis on existing and future roles of settlements and centres within the sub-region.