The Localism Act 2011 contains provisions to localise the planning system and provides for the abolition of the regional planning tier as a two-stage process. The first stage, to remove the framework of regional planning, took effect when the Act received Royal Assent on 15 November 2011. This prevented further regional strategies from being created or revised. The second stage is the abolition of each existing regional strategy outside London by secondary legislation, subject to the outcomes of the environmental assessment process.
The "Order" to revoke the Regional Spatial Strategy for the South West and the Saved Somerset and Exmoor National Park Joint Structure Plan Alteration (adopted April 2000) was laid in front of Parliament on the 24th of April 2013 and came into force on 20th May 2013. The Order preserves Policy 6 of the Somerset and Exmoor National Park Joint Structure Plan, which provides protection to the Bristol/Bath Green Belt.
Structure Plan policies have been consistently used as part of the development plan in the determination of planning applications within the National Park. The preparation of the new Local Plan means that the strategic policies within the plan will replace those policies in the Structure Plan relevant to the National Park.
The full report to Planning Committee in relation to the abolition of the Regional Strategy for the South West and the Joint Somerset & Exmoor National Park Structure Plan can be found here.