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Building Competences for Spatial Planners

East of England


Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . reading material/ case study
In Focus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . top-level issues and questions
Evidence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . findings from the case study
Challenges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . methodological queries


The study pack contains selected planning material for individual or group practice-based study, following the methodological guidance provided in the book. Its value consists in:

  • Further reading get familiar with a complete planning case
  • Focus questions start with (methodologically) important issues
  • Challenge questions to be inquisitive about methodology
  • Further study prepare for more detailed study
  • Competence development such as interpretation, abstraction, organisation, and critical spirit/ questioning



  • The East of England Plan (EEP) constitutes the regional spatial strategy (RSS) for the East of England. The revision volume is comprehensive, about a hundred and thirty pages long, featuring policies in key aspects of development such as space, the economy, housing, transport, and natural resources.
  • Government Office for the East of England (2008) East of England Plan: the Revision to the Regional Spatial Strategy
    for the East of England. London: TSO http://www.eera.gov.uk/


  • Although comprehensive, the East of England Plan (EEP) takes into account, and builds on the Regional Economic Strategy for the East of England (RES). Thus, ideally, the two documents should be studied together.
  • East of England Development Agency and East of England Regional Assembly (2008) Inventing our future: Collective action for a sustainable economy - The regional economic strategy for the East of England 2008 - 2031 www.eastofengland.uk.com/res


The implementation of the EEP and the RES is captured in a special plan, while methodology and assessment are treated in individual volumes.

  • East of England Development Agency and East of England Regional Assembly (2010) East of England Implementation Plan: How the region will deliver the East of England Plan and Regional Economic Strategy http://www.eera.gov.uk/
  • SQW Consulting (2009) Consultation Draft of the East of England Implementation Plan (EEIP): How the plan was developed http://www.eera.gov.uk/
  • Enviros Consulting, Ltd. (2009) East of England: Habitats Regulations Assessment of the East of England Implementation Plan http://www.eera.gov.uk/


Procedural guidance and specifications regarding the content, preparation and revision of RSSs such as the 2008 EEP is provided in Planning Policy Statement 11 (PPS 11), which was recently substituted by the Policy Statement on Regional Strategies (PSRG).

In Focus

Task N Technique X Element K (of the plan) Task N then Task N+1 then etc


  • What are the elements of the plan (e.g. objectives, action)?
  • Which tasks were set to produce these elements?
  • Which techniques were employed?
  • What is described in the planning methodology?
  • What is the sequence of the planning tasks?
  • Which resources (HR, money, time) were used for each task?


  • Elements of the EEP include vision, objectives, and policies for the whole region (§4- §12) and also specific to smaller geographic areas (§13)
  • Most planning tasks for instance, communicating the vision, objectives and policies, as well as their sequence, are implicit in the EEP, except for implementation, monitoring and review (§14)
  • Techniques employed in the creation of the EEP are implicit in the document; 'non-declared' techniques for instance, employed in the presentation of baseline information can be identified through the output of the respective tasks
  • With the exception of §14, methodological provisions are scarce in the EEP itself, but the SQW report provides interesting details; external methodological guidance for the EEP comes from PPS 11 (the precursor of PSRG)
  • The structure of the RES reveals an underlying strategic methodology for instance, where are we now? where do we want to be? how do we get there? which is not found in the EEP
  • The Integrated Sustainability Assessment (ISA) covers SEA, Appropriate Assessment, and Equality Impact and Rural/ Urban Proofing Assessments


Here are some challenges that extend the 'top-level' questions:

  • How can we check for compatibility among all the policies of the EEP? idem for the policies of the EEP with those of the RES?
  • Is it clear how policies were conceived? How can we verify their functional link with their origins for instance, the objectives?
  • What is the evidence that the proposed EEP will succeed? Once, applied, how can we know that it has succeeded for instance, through which indicators?
  • an you relate all the source documents in a single 'obligations' diagram? idem for their content for instance, relate all the policies across all the relevant documents

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