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Duty to Cooperate and joint working across Coventry and Warwickshire

The Duty to Cooperate (DTC) places a legal duty on all local planning authorities, county councils and public bodies to engage constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis to maximise the effectiveness of Local Plan preparation in the context of strategic cross boundary matters.

The DTC is not a duty to agree but LPA's must make every effort to secure the necessary cooperation on cross boundary matters before they submit Local Plans for examination. As part of the process, cooperation should produce effective and deliverable policies on cross boundary strategic matters.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out what is expected to ensure LPAs work with a range of other bodies to coordinate activity.

Memorandums of Understanding (MOU's)

In order to implement the required sub regional levels of housing and employment growth over the plan periods to 2031, the six local planning authorities (LPA's) across the CWLEP sub region have formally agreed two Memorandums of Understanding (MOU's).

One deals with the distribution of housing provision (Housing MOU), the other the provision of employment and commercial land (Employment MOU). 

The C&W Housing MOU was generally endorsed by the local authorities in 2016. The MOU reflects the capacity constraints that exist within the city of Coventry and sets out an agreed redistribution of overall growth requirements based on a method of economic alignment and existing migration and commuting patterns.

Later in 2016 the six planning authorities agreed a similar approach to addressing the sub regions requirements for allocating future employment land across C&W. The C&W employment land MOU sets out a redistribution of overall land allocations derived from an agreed methodology that again reflects existing linkages and proposed housing provision across the sub regional area.

The Local Authorities have agreed to monitor and measure the performance of both housing provision and employment land provision against the targets set out in their plans.

Joint Studies and Initiatives

The Local Authorities of Coventry & Warwickshire and the CWLEP work closely together on joint planning, partnership arrangements and the collection of joint evidence. Officers of all member authorities meet monthly to review joint working and agree common approaches and responses wherever possible.

There have been high levels of joint development planning, joint working and cooperation between all Local Planning Authorities and public bodies in order to help deliver growth across the sub region.

Some examples of joint initiatives and studies to date include;

  • Standard Methodology for Strategic Housing Land Availability assessments (SHLAA)
  • Strategic Green Belt Review  (2015)
  • Water Cycle study (2015)
  • Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)
  • CWLEP and Local Authorities of C&W Regional Employment Market Signals Study

The Local Authorities have recently jointly commissioned a Housing & Economic Development Needs Assessment (HEDNA) which will give a broad indication of growth needs for the period 2030-2050