South Essex Joint Strategic Plan

JSP background note - South Essex 2050 - Taking Forward Our Place Ambition

In Summer 2017 the Leaders and Chief Executives of South Essex – Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea, Thurrock and Essex County Council – embarked on a process to develop a long-term growth ambition that would underpin strategic spatial, infrastructure and economic priorities across the sub-region. The ‘South Essex 2050 Ambition’ is now being taken forward through a number of workstreams to develop:

  • the spatial strategy, through a Joint Strategic Plan

  • a Local Industrial Strategy

  • a strategic Infrastructure Framework

  • a Place Narrative

The context for the SE2050 Ambition is to ensure that the local authorities remain in control of South Essex as a place, putting them in a strong position to shape and influence wider plans and strategies, for example, the Thames Estuary 2050 Commission and the London Plan, and Government and other investment priorities.

The local authorities recognise that the long term healthy and sustainable growth in South Essex can only be delivered through a strategic solution and that this will require some politically and technically challenging decisions as the Ambition is implemented.  In January 2018, therefore, the local authorities formed the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA) to ensure that implementation of the Ambition has strong leadership and is managed on a truly collaborative basis.

The South Essex Joint Strategic Plan

The spatial strategy to implement the SE2050 Ambition is being implemented through a new planning ‘portfolio’ with a Joint Strategic Plan (JSP) currently being prepared to provide the overarching framework.  Local plans and other place-shaping tools will be used to deliver this on the ground, using the range of planning tools available in a more flexible and responsive way.

Work on the JSP is underway with a Project Delivery Board in place, reporting through a Member structure to ASELA, and a timetable and scope agreed.  A Statement of Common Ground was published in June and is has been formally agreed by all partners, alongside an update to each authority’s Local development Scheme.

The current timetable is ambitious, with the full process through to adoption expected to take 2-3 years at the most.  The local policies and place-shaping plans will be developed alongside the JSP but will have to fully reflect its overarching strategy.  Timing of the planning portfolio will therefore be carefully managed through the Statement of Common Ground and under the steerage of ASELA. (The Association of South Essex Local Authorities)