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Proposals to shake-up planning at a local, regional and national ...
Proposals to shake-up planning at a local, regional and national

level were unveiled today by planning minister Keith Hill.

On the eve of the return of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill

to the House of Commons, Mr Hill launched a series of consultation

documents on how the reforms will work.

Mr Hill said:

'This is another major milestone in our planning reform agenda. We've

had a busy summer with a lot of good things achieved. Today's

documents and the return of the planning bill keeps that momentum


'The aim of the planning system should be to allow development where

it's needed and to stop it where it's not.

'The bill sets the framework for the faster, fairer, and more

flexible planning system needed to support sustainable communities.'

Planning Policy Statement 11 (PPS11) shows how Regional Spatial

Strategies (RSS) should be prepared and revised. It places a new

emphasis on community involvement and partnership working,

integration with other strategies, and making the RSS more regionally


The regulations set out the detailed composition of the regional

planning body, the process for revising the RSS, and consultation

arrangements including the examination in public and publication and

notification arrangements.

Planning Policy Statement 12 (PPS12) sets out how to prepare local

development documents and explains how they will deliver the spatial

strategy for the area. It emphasises the need for community

involvement and independent testing before being adopted.

The Local Development Framework regulations sets out the scope of

local development documents and the process for preparing them

including consultation, the examination, publication and notification


Also published today for consultation are draft regulations to

accompany Part 4 of the planning bill and draft guidance on the

development control issues covered in the bill. New procedure rules

for inquiries into major infrastructure projects are also published.

Mr Hill said:

'These publications are a huge step forward. They show how the new

system will actually work. We are pioneering a new spatial planning

approach and introducing the local development framework, which

provides flexibility and responsiveness.

'Most importantly we are emphasising early consultation and community

involvement while doing away with the multiple deposit stages which

bog down the current process.

'I hope everyone will take time to read and comment on these drafts.

I want this consultation to add real value to the final documents for

both practitioners and the wider community.'

All planning policy guidance is being revised and updated at the

moment. Other planning policy statements will be published for

consultation as drafts in due course. In particular Planning Policy

Statement 1, setting out the principles underlying the planning

system in England.


1. The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill returns to standing

committee in the House of Commons on October 14 following

agreement for it to be carried over to the next session of


2. The bill introduces reforms to the planning system proposed in the

Planning Green Paper - 'Planning: delivering a fundamental change' in

December 2001. At a regional level, the Bill replaces Regional

Planning Guidance with statutory Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS),

drawn up by Regional Planning Bodies recognised by the Secretary of

State. At local level, local and unitary development plans will be

replaced by local development documents, which have to be drawn up by

the local planning authority in line with a local development scheme.

3. The bill contains a number of enabling powers for the Secretary of

State to make regulations on detailed matters.

4. Existing Planning Policy Guidance Notes (PPGs) are being revised

into more concise and focused Planning Policy Statements (PPSs).

5. PPS11 (Regional Planning) supersedes PPG11. It sets out procedural

policy in relation to the content and preparation of an RSS in a

significantly abbreviated main body of text. Annexes provide

procedural policy in relation to the preparation of Regional

Transport Strategies, guidance on the examination in public,

community involvement and partnership working and proposed national

core output indicators

6. PPS12 (Local Development Frameworks) supersedes PPG12. It sets out

the policy on the preparation of Local Development Documents,

emphasising the need for speed in delivering the new plans and the

requirement for community involvement. In contrast to the present

development plans system, where much action takes place in the run-up

to a public inquiry and in modifying the plan afterwards, the new

system places great emphasis on 'front loading'. Important decisions

need to be discussed with the community and stakeholders early in the

process and the results fed into a firm plan. This plan is examined

for soundness, before being adopted in line with the recommendations

of an independent inspector.

7. PPS11 and PPS12 reflect the provisions of the Planning and

Compulsory Bill. The latter sets out a new type of planning document

- local development documents (LDDs), of which development plan

documents, together with the RSS, provide the basis for decisions on

the development and use of land. However, these plans are more than

land use plans - they must provide the spatial strategy for the area.

The LDDs need to have regard to the community strategy prepared by

the authority. This system is more flexible than the old - the Bill

allows a number of development plan documents to be prepared in any

one area, including plans for area action.

8. The Planning and Compulsory Bill allows the secretary of state

call in an application for a major development w hich he thinks is of

national or regional importance. It also allows for the appointment

of a lead inspector and in appropriate cases additional inspectors so

that issues will be able to be considered at the inquiry concurrently

rather than consecutively. The lead inspector will not have to

personally to hear all the evidence which should save considerable

inquiry time on a large scale inquiry. Inquires into major

infrastructure projects are governed by procedural rules. New rules

were introduced in Spring 2003. The draft rules published today

support the proposed changes in the Bill.

9. The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill makes provision on a

number of development control issues which include Statement of

Development Principles, Local Development Orders and the new duty to

respond for statutory consultees.

10. The public consultation on the draft guidance and regulations

will run until 16 January. The secondary legislation will be laid

before Parliament on the Planning Bill receiving Royal Assent. It is

expected that both the guidance and secondary legislation will come

into effect at commencement of the Bill.

11. Further guidance on the new system for local plans will be issued

at the end of October, including the Guide to Procedures for the

preparation of Local Development Frameworks, to assist stakeholders

and the public, and 'Creating LDFs' - a 'how to do it' guide for

local planning authorities.

12. The documents are available online - Planning Policy Statement 12: Local Development Frameworks- and Draft consultation paper on new Planning Policy Statement 11 (PPS11)or can be obtained free of charge from:

OPDM Free Literature

PO Box 236


West Yorkshire

LS23 7N B

Tel: 0870 1226 236

Fax: 0870 1226 237

Textphone: 0870 1207 405


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