Local Authorities are required to review their Local Economic and Community Plans at least once in their six year life cycle and such a review is now due on the current plans. However, the 2014 Local Government Act also requires each LECP to be consistent with any regional spatial and economic strategy or, as appropriate, regional planning guidelines.
The Regional Assemblies are currently finalising their Regional Economic and Spatial Strategies in line with the planning process detailed in the 2014 Act. These strategies are expected to be published towards the end of 2019.
Having consulted with Regional Assemblies in relation to the timing of Local Economic Community Plans (LECPs) mid-term reviews, officials in my Department have recommended that local authorities defer their mid-term reviews until Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy are finalised in order to ensure that the Local Authority plans are in line with the Regional strategies as required in the legislation.
My Department is currently working on a guidance note to support the LECP review process and will engage with LAs in the coming weeks to complete and circulate this guidance. This will include direction on the necessity to incorporate Sustainable Development Goals into their updated LECP.