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Professional Practice for Landscape Architects

Professional Practice for Landscape Architects

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These are areas not classified as development. They are subject to less
stringent control or have a special agency set up to promote regeneration.

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108Professional Practice for Landscape Architects

Urban Development Areas and Corporations

The Local Government Planning and Land Act 1980 empowered the
Secretary of State to designate an area of land as an ‘urban development
area’ and to establish an urban development corporation to regenerate the
area. Urban development corporations have great powers to deal with
matters of land assembly and disposal, planning, housing and industrial
promotion. They have wide planning responsibilities and usurp local
planning authorities’ development control functions (except in Wales).
They have the duty of regenerating their respective areas by:

•URBAN DEVELOPMENT AREAS AND
CORPORATIONS•

•ENTERPRISE ZONES/SIMPLIFIED PLANNING
ZONES•

•REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES•

•BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS•

•Bringing land and buildings into effective use.
•Encouraging development of industry and commerce.
•Ensuring that housing and social facilities are available, and creating
an attractive environment.

The Thames Gateway and the Clyde Gateway are the latest UDCs to be
formed.

Enterprise Zones/Simplified Planning Zone Schemes

The Housing and Planning Act 1986 empowers local authorities to make
Simplified Planning Zone Schemes, an extension of the Enterprise Zone
concept without the financial benefit.
Power is given to local authorities to grant advance planning permis-
sion for defined types of development in specified areas. Adeveloper
will be able to carry out such development in a scheme without making
an application for planning permission and paying the requisite fee.
Schemes will most often be promoted to assist with the industrial regen-
eration in older urban areas by stimulating investment and development
activity and by helping generate confidence in the area. SPZs are shown
in the local authority’s development plan.

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Planning legislation109

Exemption exists as to the type of land that may be included in an SPZ.
Examples of exemptions include land in a national park, an SSSI, a con-
servation area, an area of outstanding natural beauty or in green belts or
in the area of the Broads Authority.
SPZs have now been extended by the 2004 Act to include all areas of
regeneration where jobs, growth and productivity are needed.

Regional Development Agencies and
Regional Assemblies (England)

The Regional Development Act 1998 set up Regional Development Agencies
(RDA) in each of the eight English regions, with a ninth for London, e.g. One
North East and Yorkshire Forward. The RDAs were set up in April 1999 as a
direct furthering of the Government’s White Paper ‘Building Partnership’s for
Prosperity’ with the purposes of:

•Furthering economic development and regeneration of its area.
•Promoting business efficiency, investment and competitiveness in its

area.
•Promoting employment in its area.
•Enhancing the development/application of skills relevant to employment.
•Contributing to the achievement of sustainable development in the UK.

RDA’s main objective was the preparation of Regional Strategies, com-
pleted for each region in 1999. The Strategy sets out for the medium term
(5–10 years) the RDA’s policies and objectives for the region’s economy
including sustainable development through sustainable communities, pro-
tection of the environment and natural resources, and the integration of
social, economic and environmental objectives. The Regional Strategy is
prepared in conjunction with regional and local partners such as English
Partnerships, training and enterprise councils, tourist boards, local author-
ities, universities and the regional chamber.
RDAs must work with the framework provided by Regional Planning
Guidance issued by the Secretary of State, which sets out the land-use
planning framework for the regions (PPG11) and also with local authority
development plans. RDAs are governed by democratically elected regional
chambers but are controlled by the Department of Trade and Industry.
The Regional Assemblies (Preparation) Act 2003 set up Regional Assem-
blies or Regional Government Offices, which were to become democratic-
ally elected under the provisions of the Planning and Compensation Act
2004. There are nine Regional Government Offices in England; however,
the referendum in November 2004 in the North East rejected elected
Regional Assemblies, which has led the Government to drop further plans
for elections. The Government still retains the Regional Government Offices,

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110Professional Practice for Landscape Architects

which include regional functions of DTI, Department for Transport (DFT),
Department for Education and Skills (DfES), DEFRAand DCMS.

Business Improvement Districts (BIDS)

The Local Government Act 2003 paved the way for towns and cities in
England to regenerate urban areas. The first UK BID was established in
Kingston upon Thames in early 2005 after a successful pilot scheme was
run. The Act enables businesses to work with local authorities and other
stakeholders on urban realm projects that benefit them and local commu-
nities both economically and socially. BIDS are financed through establish-
inga local tax and have to be approved by a majority of local businesses.

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