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South Essex Joint Strategic Planning

Making South Essex greater by sharing resources, lobbying government and collaborating with business and residents.

South Essex 2050 - Taking forward our place ambition

The South Essex councils of Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Rochford, Southend-On-Sea and Thurrock and Essex County Council are working together to make South Essex greater through sharing resources, lobbying government and collaborating with business and residents.

The Leaders and Chief Executives of South Essex councils began a collaboration in 2017 to develop a long-term growth ambition that would underpin strategic spatial, infrastructure and economic priorities across the sub-region. The collaboration was underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in January 2018 creating the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA).

In 2023, the Leaders and Chief Executives agreed to refresh the identity for the partnership which is now known as South Essex Councils (SEC).

The core purpose of the SEC's is to provide place leadership for South Essex and deliver a vision for South Essex up to 2050, promoting healthy growth for our communities.

SEC's work will help the councils meet the requirements of the Localism Act 2011, which places a Duty to Cooperate on local planning authorities and county councils (amongst other public sector organisations), requiring them to engage constructively, actively and on an on-going basis in the preparation of plans where this involves strategic matters.

Growth and Recovery Prospectus, July 2020

In July 2020 the then Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA),  set out its intention to engage with central Government regarding the agenda for the South Essex region, how it can deliver, new jobs and better jobs, new transport infrastructure and accelerate the delivery new homes that are essential to support a growing economy.

The following Growth and Recovery Prospectus 2020 document summarises the proposals:

Future arrangements

The South Essex Joint Strategic Plan

At this stage there is no confirmation from the Joint Committee of the South Essex Councils on its intention to continue work on the Joint Strategic Plan.  Progression of local plans in the South Essex area is currently the priority.  This may change if joint strategic planning becomes a mandatory part of the development plan system.

The Joint Officer Group (JOG) continues to provide an important forum for our Duty to Cooperate obligations, and the continued joint commissioning of local plan evidence. The evidence that has been prepared for the joint strategic plan can be used individually by Local Planning Authorities in the preparation of their local plans should they consider it appropriate to do so.

A Statement of Common Ground was published in June 2018, which has been formally agreed by all partners, alongside an update to each authority's Local Development Scheme.

Further information and enquiries

For further information and enquiries see contact details below.

Planning Policy Team

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