Warning over "fragmented and under-resourced planning of the North"

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Further progress on the Northern Powerhouse could be hampered by a lack of joined-up planning, according to a new report.

The Ambitions for the North document says significant advances have been made by a number of government and other organisations to drive forward the project but warns the current "fragmented and under-resourced planning of the North" must be addressed head on.

The report is being launched by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) on Thursday in Leeds with a keynote speech by Lord Heseltine.

It says that government departments, Transport for the North, NP11, combined authorities and other bodies have made significant progress but their individual plans need to be knitted together into a coherent whole.

It calls for an overarching spatial vision for the whole of the North, supported by strategies similar to the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.

The report concludes that this would also allow the North to address the needs of settlements outside the influence of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse rail developments, such as coastal towns and deep rural areas.

Ambitions for the North also recommends a strategic review of housing in the North; the development of a ports, logistics, airports and industrial strategy for the North and the development of plans for national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty integrated to these other strategies.

RTPI president Ian Tant said: "At a time when the North looks set to receive unprecedented levels of investment, we must think hard about how to capitalise on this to ensure that change benefits everyone over the long term.

"Entrenched ways of delivering housing and infrastructure through silo working will only repeat mistakes of the past.

"This is the moment to reinvest in good planning - from the most local level to strategically across boundaries - to create not only a prosperous North but greener, healthier, more inclusive and sustainable places that people proudly call home."

The report was compiled by Peter Brett Associates and the University of Newcastle, on behalf of the RTPI. It is part of the Great North Plan, which the institute and the think-tank IPPR North initiated in 2015.