Location: West Yorkshire
A policy paper on a West Yorkshire devolution deal was published on the 13th March 2020. The proposed deal seeks to devolve a range of powers and responsibilities to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), supporting the region to drive economic growth and prosperity within its communities and across the north of England.
Chris Calvert, Executive Director at our Leeds office said: “Pegasus Group is supportive of this significant step towards devolution in West Yorkshire and we look forward to helping create a more prosperous region.”
In terms of housing, WYCA will have broad powers to acquire and dispose of land to build houses, commercial space and infrastructure, for growth and regeneration. They will also be able to invest to deliver housing for the area.
In addition, as a Mayoral Combined Authority with strong spatial planning powers, WYCA will be eligible to bid for a newly established Brownfield Housing Fund, with a £400m envelope. If successful, this funding will support the Combined Authority in delivering additional housing on brownfield sites beyond that identified in existing local plans.
Subject to annual reporting, the Government will provide £3.2m of funding to support the development of a pipeline of housing sites across the region in 2020/21 and 2021/22.
In terms of planning, the Mayor will receive strategic planning powers which will give them the power to create a statutory Spatial Development Strategy for West Yorkshire, co-ordinating strategic land-use and transport planning. This will provide strategic level change in environmental planning policy to reduce carbon emissions and tackle the climate emergency. A Spatial Development Strategy provides the ability to coordinate key strategic policies across local government boundaries, adding significant value compared to relying solely on local plans.
The strategy will set a common strategic vision for all West Yorkshire authorities and provide cross-boundary policies to tackle issues such as energy, regeneration, renewal and retrofitting, modal shift, broadband, waste management, flood risk, blue and green infrastructure and biodiversity net gain.
Matthew Good, Director at Pegasus Group notes “This is a significant, if not long overdue step. The deal builds upon what is good in West Yorkshire. Whilst delivery will be challenging Pegasus Group look forward to helping make the region a real powerhouse in the economy.”
The West Yorkshire devolution deal paper can be found on the GOV.UK website.
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