Spatial Development Policy

To implement an effective spatial development policy and to meet the needs of strategic large-scale projects, the central government should be given greater powers in relation to spatial planning. That can be accomplished by introducing a wide-meshed ‘national planning grid’, the WRR concludes in its report Spatial Development Policy (Report no. 53, 1998).

National spatial structure

Within the national planning grid, it would be determined which areas and corridors are important for national policy, within which there would be three distinct types of area: national projects, development areas and basic areas. In those areas, government policy would guide regional and local planning processes. In the other areas, local authorities would have wider discretion in drawing up their own plans.

Social dynamics hampering spatial planning

In its report, the WRR fleshes out the basic principles of a spatial planning process that more closely reflects the dynamics of society. Because of the increasing claims on land-use, these social dynamics increasingly cause problems for spatial planning. There is therefore a need for radical reform of the current planning system and central government will inevitably have to play a greater role in spatial development.