1.42 Strategic Planning Guidance for Merseyside was published by the Secretary of State for the Environment in August 1988. The main requirements are summarised in the following paragraphs.

1.43 Revitalising the sub-regional economy in general and promoting urban regeneration in particular are key objectives for Merseyside (paragraph 2).

1.44 UDPs should be based on a realistic assessment of economic demand, and of the public and private sector resources likely to be available to meet it. As far as possible UDPs should allocate sufficient industrial and commercial land to provide a wide choice of size, type and location of site (paragraph 3).

1.45 UDPs should be clear and succinct, and should facilitate development as well as protecting the environment (paragraph 4).

1.46 Wirral's UDP should provide for a basic requirement of 9,500 new dwellings between April 1986 and March 2001 (paragraph 6).

1.47 The main objectives of the Merseyside Green Belt are to check urban sprawl, safeguard valuable countryside and assist urban regeneration. There is no need for a general review of the Green Belt, but the preparation of UDPs provides the opportunity to give precision to the detailed boundaries of the Green Belt where those have not yet been clearly defined (paragraph 8).

1.48 Councils should plan to make full use of land within the existing built-up area, especially through bringing back into use neglected or derelict land. Such development as cannot be catered for within the present built-up area should be located in areas not covered by Green Belts. Alterations to Green Belt boundaries should be considered only when it can be clearly demonstrated that an area of land within the existing Green Belt boundary no longer makes a significant contribution to the objectives of the Green Belt (paragraph 9).

1.49 Established conservation policies in Merseyside should be given special attention in UDPs (paragraph 10).

1.50 The Councils should consider measures to foster diversification of the rural economy (paragraph 11).

1.51 The development of tourism is important for Merseyside not least in relation to urban regeneration. UDPs should safeguard existing tourism assets and promote new tourism development opportunities through their UDPs (paragraph 13).

1.52 Existing town centres should continue to be the main focus for the provision of shopping facilities (paragraph 15).

1.53 UDPs should show where there are presumptions for and against mineral working, and introduce or retain safeguards against sterilisation of important mineral resources by other forms of development (paragraph 21).

1.54 UDPs should have regard to the policies of the Merseyside Waste Disposal Plan. They should indicate areas suitable and not suitable for new opportunities for landfill, and set out criteria for assessing the land use and environmental implications of proposals (paragraph 22).

1.55 Good road and rail communications are essential to the success of Merseyside. UDPs should define their main road network and identify proposed new links and major improvements (paragraphs 23, 24).

1.56 Ready access by public transport to jobs and shops and for recreation is important. UDPs should allow for improvements to public transport. Cross-river transport links are also vital for Merseyside (paragraphs 26, 27).

1.57 The port complexes within and adjoining Merseyside are key features in the sub-regional economy (paragraph 29).

1.58 There will be a need to monitor a changing situation. Councils should pay particular attention to:

  • the scale and pace of urban regeneration;
  • trends in the factors affecting housing provision in the County;
  • the success of the Green Belt in restricting the outward growth of the built-up areas and re-directing development to inner city areas;
  • the effects of shopping development outside existing centres on the shopping and other functions of those centres and on the shopping public (paragraph 32).