Although the Labour administrations of the 1960s and 1970s did re-introduce a regional dimension to land use planning, and particularly economic development, these were abolished by the incoming Conservative regime in 1979. What did, however, endure from the late 1960s was a re-vamped development plan system which consisted of a mandatory strategic element (structure plan) at the sub-regional (county) level and powers to prepare more detailed, discretionary local plans at the local level. The move to a two-tier structure of local government (counties and districts / metropolitan boroughs) in the early 1970s effectively separated strategic and local planning responsibilities between county and district authorities. Although the abolition of the greater London Council (GLC) and the English metropolitan counties in the mid-1980s reR introduced a single planning policy document (the unitary development plan) into the major English cities at the expense of conurbation-wide strategic thinking (Roberts et al, 1999). In 1992, the preparation of districtR wide local plans became a mandatory requirement, although a significant number of local authorities have still not met this responsibility. Most
recently, further changes to local government structures in the 1990s have also seen the introduction of unitary tiers of local government in many shire areas of Britain but, with the main exception of Wales, a two-tier (structure and local) development plan system has been retained.