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Land-use Planning Systems in the OECD

Country Fact Sheets

image of Land-use Planning Systems in the OECD

This report provides an overview of spatial and land-use planning systems across the OECD. It contains country fact sheets that focus on formal aspects of planning systems, as they are defined by laws and regulations. The country fact sheets describe the responsibilities of each level of government with respect to spatial and land-use planning. They include a description of all spatial and land-use plans of a country and show their hierarchical relations in a diagram. For most countries, the fact sheets also contain key statistics on land use. A summary chapter provides an overview of the information in the country fact sheets and discusses land value capture tools, land expropriation procedures, reforms of the planning system, and other issues. The information provided in this report was collected through a survey that involved academic experts on planning from all 32 countries covered.

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United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is a unitary state with three devolved governments in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, respectively. At the local level, 389 local authorities with varying status and powers exist. Among them are 27 county councils, which exist in parts of England and are strictly speaking an intermediate level of government because they operate above other local authorities, except where they are unitary authorities. The UK government is responsible for allocating funds to local authorities and for preparing the National Planning Policy Framework in England. It can also facilitate important infrastructure projects through specific legislation or by placing them under direct ministerial control. The Welsh and Scottish governments have been granted far reaching powers regarding land-use policies. They enact national spatial planning frameworks that structure the planning system in their territories. The Scottish government also prepares a Scottish Land Use Strategy, the only such document in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, both governments decide about appeals against local planning decisions and have the power to fast track infrastructure project in their territories.

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