Duty to cooperate
Duty to cooperate

The following Local Government guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Duty to cooperate
  • What is the duty to cooperate?
  • Bodies bound by the duty
  • Requirements of the duty to cooperate
  • Evidence of compliance with duty
  • Statements of common ground
  • Good practice

What is the duty to cooperate?

The duty to cooperate was created by the Localism Act 2011. It places a legal duty on local planning authorities (LPAs), county councils in England and public bodies to engage constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis with each other to maximise the effectiveness of local (and marine) plan preparation relating to strategic cross-boundary matters. Section 33A(4) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (PCPA 2004) defines ‘strategic matters’ for the purposes of the duty to cooperate as:

  1. sustainable development or use of land that has or would have a significant impact on at least two planning areas (ie the area of a district, county or London borough council), in particular in connection with strategic infrastructure, and

  2. sustainable development or use of land in a two-tier area if the development or use is a county matter, or has or would have a significant impact on a county matter

The duty to cooperate was originally introduced following the decision to abolish regional strategies outside of London, to ensure that in the absence of the tier of regional planning, strategic planning between LPAs on matters which crossed their administrative boundaries (such as housing need) was retained.

The aim of the duty is to 'encourage positive, continual partnership working on issues that go beyond a single LPA's