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Following the installation of a UK Coalition Government in 2010, ways of governing the spatial organisation of development have undergone far-reaching change in England. Within a context of austerity following the abolition of regional policy machinery, and an onerous national target framework, localities are entering a new phase of incentivised development. Consequently, Local Planning Authorities are having to transfer part of their focus from government’s ‘top-down’ requirements, as they come to embrace more adequately ‘bottom-up’ neighbourhood scale plans. Analysing the path of change, especially at the interface between planning and economic development, the paper draws attention to the dilemmas arising from these crucial scale shifts, and explores the potential of sub-national governance entities – Local Enterprise Partnerships – to help resolve the strategic co-ordination of planning.