Friday, August 18, 2017
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County Spatial Plan Draft Guidelines

CSPPlanning as one of the devolved function means the Council of Governors Secretariat has been vocal in advocating for clear guidelines and policies to guide planning within the counties. In this regard, the secretariat has been instrumental in in developing guidelines for County Spatial Plans as a result of heightened need and awareness of the role planning plays in sustainable development.

According to the draft county spatial planning guidelines, spatial planning refers to the methods and approaches used by the public sector to influence the distribution of people and activities in spaces of various scales. It is the coordination of practices and policies affecting spatial organization of a given territorial domain. It takes place on local, regional, national and inter- national levels/ the result being a spatial plan, a geographical representation to a regions development perspective, policies and strategies and defines the instruments by which to effectuate it. The aim of spatial planning is to structurally position the region for growth and competitiveness within a broader territorial setting. Planned measures are orientational and are intended to convey a negotiated vision or consensually agreed perspective towards a regions growth aspirations in spatial terms. Consequently, the plan has an inherent flexibility allowing for continual discussion and reformulation as and when new realities portends it however ensures that there is certainity on a limited set of measures to guarantee sustainable outcomes.

In view of this, a follow up meeting from previous engagements that started 2years ago with all stakeholders was organized with the Ministry of Lands Director of Physical Planning Mr. Augustine Masinde in an attempt to bring a planning framework in Kenya. The meeting discussed the draft spatial planning guidelines which will ensure that in terms of planning dispensation in Kenya, the gap between National and County governments is closed. The development of the draft guidelines is a partnership between the Ministry of Land and Council of Governors. County governments have already reviewed the draft guidelines and amendments proposed. Therefore the meeting sought to look for a way forward to publish, launch and share the document for implementation. Seemingly, with all the good will from all stakeholders, it is envisioned that the process will fly off without hitches.

In view of the existing partnership, the document will be formally submitted to the Ministry for review and value addition. Thereafter, both teams will meet to further input the document for purposes of mainstreaming the document. After this, the draft document will be disseminated to county governments for ownership. Noting that the ministry was undertaking an initiative to produce a planning handbook and a capacity building programme for county governments a more jointed approach was proposed. The main issue herein is to establish the norms in planning, developing the handbook on spatial planning which is inclusive of the proposed guidelines becomes necessary. Therefore, the draft guidelines will not be treated in isolation but included in the planning handbook by the end of 22nd May 2017. This will help get a complete framework that applies to all situations. COG in conjunction with a team from the ministry of land will work towards, enriching the document to make it more responsive to counties, thereby including development controls, implementation of plans and setting up of planning units.

The ministry requested for collaboration with CoG in defining a structure of a planning consultancy to ensure that people getting planning jobs within the counties are credible and can work more effectively. In the end, both parties agreed to develop a unified work plan that will dictate engagements moving forward.

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