Journal Article (Refereed)
Perspectives on Getting the Region Involved in its Spatial Strategy: Or, 'I have no idea what you're talking about. I have not met anyone who knows what an RSS is.'
Sherriff, G 2012, 'Perspectives on Getting the Region Involved in its Spatial Strategy: Or, 'I have no idea what you're talking about. I have not met anyone who knows what an RSS is.'', Planning Practice & Research, 27(5).
This article explores the experience of individuals, and public, private and community sector organizations in the formation of the Regional Spatial Strategy for the North West of England (RSSNW). Although the RSS and its successor, the Regional Strategy have now been revoked by the incoming coalition Government, the questions surrounding involvement in regional and sub- regional planning remain pertinent. The empirical research comprised a questionnaire survey, followed by interviews with stakeholders and regional government officers. Quantitative and qualitative data identify a number of frustrations and indicate that the quality of stakeholder experience is influenced by organizational status, location, sector, technological knowledge and relationships with the relevant planning authorities. The stakeholders who present the greatest challenge in terms of outreach and involvement appear to be individual members of the public and smaller organizations, dependent on volunteer time and energy, and this article focuses on their experiences. Whilst there is a range of lessons that can be learned from the RSSNW consultation process, and translated into improvements to consultation approaches, the discussion also suggests that there are systemic issues in consultation on issues of a regional nature with a relatively far-reaching time horizon.
Planning Practice & Research