The Plan includes not just a significant increase in resources and major reforms of housing and planning, but a new approach to how and what we build. It aims to focus the attention and co-ordinate the efforts of all levels of Government and stakeholders in bringing about development that meets the economic, social and environmental needs of future generations as well as succeeding now.
Nine ‘Sustainable Communities Regional Action Plans’ were published in February 2003. These set out the proposals for implementing the national plan. Government Offices are playing a key role working with regional and local partners to build on these proposals and to link them with other relevant programmes.
The issues vary between and within regions and include addressing housing shortages by accelerating the provision of housing and accelerating growth in the four "growth areas" identified in the plan, as well as ensuring that the construction industry has the right skills to deliver this.
In other areas a significant housing issue is tackling low demand and abandonment. Nine pathfinder programmes have been established in these areas to turn this problem around.
Work around the Plan in the regions by the Government Office network, includes:
- working with providers to ensure that all social housing is brought up to a decent standard by 2010
- targeted action to improve conditions for vulnerable people in private housing
The Plan also sets out how the Government intends to improve the local environment of all communities, including cleaner streets, improved parks and better public spaces. This includes the £89m ‘liveability fund’ to improve the local environment, with schemes in each region testing new approaches, and those that work will be shared with everyone responsible for managing clean, safe and healthy spaces.
Two progress documents were produced, ‘Making it Happen: Thames Gateway and Growth Areas’ and ‘Making It Happen: The Northern Way.’ These looked at the successes since the Plan was published.