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A new policy blueprint to deliver sustainable communities through the...
A new policy blueprint to deliver sustainable communities through the

reformed planning system was unveiled by deputy prime minister John

Prescott today.

Planning Policy Statement 1 (PPS1): 'Delivering Sustainable

Development' was launched at The Delivering Sustainable Communities

Summit event, being held by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

in Manchester.

Minister for planning, Keith Hill, said:

'PPS1 is all about good planning - ensuring we get the right

development, in the right place, at the right time. It provides an

important, over-arching policy framework which should help improve

people's lives and the places where they live, work and enjoy, whilst

protecting our environment and natural resources - now and in the


'It reflects the duty on regional and local planning bodies to

contribute towards sustainable development when preparing development

plans, as required by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

The policies ensure a balance of environmental considerations

alongside the need for sustainable economic development and the aim

of creating genuinely sustainable communities. '

Mr Hill added:

'We are putting stronger emphasis on good design, reflecting the

importance that the government attaches to ensuring high quality

design is delivered through the planning system. PPS1 makes clear

that good design is integral to good planning in delivering safe,

inclusive and successful communities.

'PPS1 stresses the importance of ensuring all sectors of the

community are involved in developing the vision of the area, and are

given the opportunity to participate fully in the preparation of

plans and policies. This community involvement will allow local

people to say what sort of place they want to live in at a stage when

this can make a real difference.'

The minister also launched two further planning tools to help make

communities cleaner, safer and greener.

A Best Practice Guide was published to encourage local planning

authorities (LPAs) to make better use of their powers to tackle

unsightly or derelict land and buildings under section 215 of the

Town and Country Planning Act. LPAs can require property owners to

improve the condition of their land or buildings if they are

blighting the local community. Non-compliance can result in a fine of

up to£1000.

Mr Hill has also published the regulations to change the planning

arrangements for restaurants, pubs, takeaways and nightclubs to give

people a bigger say about the evening economy in their local area.

Under changes to the use class order, communities will have to be

consulted before local business-owners can convert restaurants into

takeaways, bars or nightclubs.

Previously restaurants, pubs and takeaways have had the same

classification, meaning they could be changed into one of the other

uses without planning permission. They will now be separated into

specific use classes, and planning permission will be required to

convert any building into a nightclub.

Thechanges will help local authorities get the right balance of

businesses on the high street, boosting the evening economy while at

the same time clamping down on the proliferation of pubs, takeaways

and nightclubs.



* Planning Policy Statement 1 (PPS1) 'Delivering Sustainable

Development', is one of the new series of shorter, sharper planning

policy statements that are an important component of the government's

package of reforms for the planning system. PPS1 itself sets the

policy context for the planning system and for other topic-specific

policy statements. It replaces Planning Policy Guidance note 1

(PPG1), 'General Policy and Principles', published in February 1997.

PPS1 may be purchased (priced£12) from The Stationery Office (TSO),

PO Box 29, Norwich NR3 1GN, or phone: 0870 600 5522, or e-mail to: It is also available on the ODPM website:

* A draft of PPS1 entitled, 'Creating Sustainable Communities', was

issued for public consultation on 24 February 2004. The consultation

period closed on 21 May 2004. The final published version of PPS1 has

been amended to take account of views expressed on the consultation

draft, the passing of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004,

and progress with the government's other reforms to the planning


* PPS1's new title of 'Delivering Sustainable Development' reflects

the new focus of the document. It sets out an integrated approach to

planning for sustainable development that takes full account of the

need to achieve social inclusion, protection and enhancement of the

environment, the prudent use of natural resources and sustainable

economic development.

* The statement makes clear that a spatial planning approach -

bringing together and integrating policies for the development and

use of land with other policies and programmes that influence the

nature of places and how they function - should be at the heart of

planning for sustainable development.

* Good design, ensuring developments are accessible to all in the

community and community involvement in the planning system are other

important issues covered by PPS1, within the context of delivering

sustainable development.

* The policies set out in PPS1 will need to be taken into account by

regional planning bodies in the preparation of regional spatial

strategies, by the mayor of London in relation to the spatial

development strategy in London, and by local planning authorities in

the preparation of local development documents.

* The ODPM is also publishing a supplementary document entitled, 'The

Planning System: General Principles', alongside PPS1. This document

includes advice and information about the operation of the planning

system that had previously been included in PPG1, updated to take

account of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. This is

available, free of charge, from ODPM Publications, PO Box 236,

Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS23 7NB - ortelephone 0870 1226 236, or

e-mail, or on the ODPM website:

Section 215 Guidance:

* Section 215 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 provides a

Local Planning Authority with the discretionary power to take steps

requiring land or buildings to be cleaned up when their condition

adversely affects the amenity of the area.

* The guidance published today is available on the ODPM website at under Guidance and advice.

* LPAs may serve a notice on the owner requiring that the situation

be remedied. They also have powers under s219 to undertake the clean

up works themselves and to recover the costs from the landowner.

* The use of s215 is discretionary. It is one of a number of

provisions available to LPAs for maintaining and improving the

quality of the environment, assisting in tackling dereliction and

retaining land in productive use. Section 215 action can be carried

out as a stand-alone process or in partnership with other agencies

and proactive measures.

* Appeals against s215 notices are to the magistrates court; the

grounds of appeal against s215 notices are set out in ss217-218 of

the Act. Prosecution can follow from non-compliance with a s215

notice, and can result on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding

level 3 on the standard scale (currently£1000).

Changes to the Use Class Order:

* Statutory Instrument 2005 No.84 The Town and Country Planning

(General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2005 and

Statutory Instrument 2005 No.85 The Town and Country Planning (Use

Classes) (Amendment) (England) Order 2005 were published today. They

are available from the HMSO website: The Statutory

Instruments will come into force on 21 April 2005.

* The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended)

(UCO) sets out classes of uses, eg shops, houses, residential

institutions etc. The UCO provides that a move between activities

within the same class is not development and therefore does not

require planning permission. The Town and Country Planning (General

Permitted Development) Order 1995 (as amended) (GPDO) provides

further flexibility by classifying certain moves between the Use

Classes as permitted development, which similarly does not require

express planning permission.

* The Statutory Instruments published today bring into effect the

changes announced to Parliament by Keith Hill on 27 November 2003.

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