4. The designation orders set out the groups of authorities that comprise each strategic development planning authority. SDPAs provide a vital forum for planning authorities to jointly establish a common approach to matters that extend beyond an individual authority's boundaries. Housing markets, travel to work areas and access to services all operate on a large geographical basis, particularly around the main city regions. The groups of planning authorities for each SDPA are therefore intended to reflect the geographic realities on the ground.
5. The laying of the final designation orders in Parliament in spring 2008 is intended to give the new SDPAs time to put in place effective administrative arrangements and carry out preparatory work to identify proposed plan boundaries before the SDPA designation orders come into force later in 2008. More guidance on drawing plan boundaries is available in paragraphs 19-23 below.