THE EVIDENCE BASE OF SPATIAL PLANNING
The role of evidence in underpinning spatial planning is critical and one that has been well understood in development planning. In this chapter, the role of evidence in spatial planning is considered within a wider context of evidence-based policy making which is now applied to public policy, including spatial planning. This chapter then moves on to review the role of the integrated evidence base that is now available at the local level in England and is forming the key basis for spatial planning. From 2009, consultation feedback is included in this locality-wide evidence base, and is now an evidence source to be taken into account with other data. This localised approach in the use and application of evidence makes a significant contribution to the underpinning evidence required for spatial planning. This evidence is also meant to be more transparent. Spatial planning processes will also contribute evidence to this pool and support wider spatial interpretation. This chapter focusses on the factual and data analysis contribution of evidence to spatial planning and the next chapter discusses consultation evidence. After this discussion of the provision of the evidence base available across the locality, this chapter moves on to consider how evidence is taken into account in the spatial planning processes. It introduces some of the key studies that are required to be undertaken as part of the evidence base for spatial planning and the considerations that are needed in bringing them together. Finally, this chapter discusses the way in which spatial planning evidence is made more accessible to those who are interested in reviewing it or adding to it through the use of websites and local evidence repositories.