Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Memoranda

Annex 1


  The following checklist summarises the National Trust's views on the next steps that the Government should take in planning policy reform:

  1.  Introduce a statutory purpose for planning which embraces its roles as

    —  A contributor to sustainable development.

    —  A manager of land use change and development in the public interest.

    —  A means of securing public participation in and ownership for land use change and development.

  2.  Introduce more detailed Local Development Plans along the lines of the Welsh model, which include proposals maps and retain the right to be heard at a local inquiry.

  3.  Require the preparation of sub-regional or county plans for all parts of the country.

  4.  Retain a statutory role for county councils in forward planning at a regional, sub-regional and local level.

  5.  Overhaul proposals for Parliamentary scrutiny of major development projects by:

    —  Drastically reducing the range of development projects considered eligible under the new procedures so that the number considered is no more than 2-3 per year.

    —  Significantly expanding the capacity of Parliament to scrutinise major developments.

    —  Using a Parliamentary debate over the national policy statement (eg White Paper) regarding the need for development as an alternative to Parliamentary scrutiny of the location of development proposals.

    —  Extending the scope for a local inquiry Inspector to require the Government/Parliament to reconsider the need for development if local scrutiny raises issues of more than local significance.

  6.  Provide a step change in the public resources for land use planning in the next Spending Review linked to clear performance measures covering policy outputs, public participation and efficiency of process.

  7.  Develop action plans for raising the planning skills base and enhancing community capacity to engage in planning.

  8.  Introduce a limited third party right of appeal.

  9.  Confirm Regional Spatial Strategies as the lead regional policy document over the Regional Economic Strategy.

  10.  Withdraw proposals for Business Planning Zones in each region.

  11.  Retain statutory consultee for Non Departmental Public Bodies giving policy advice and make it a statutory function with sufficient resources.

  12.  Enhance the role of parish councils, including by making provision for supply them with copies of planning applications on request.

  13.  Rapidly implement proposals for:

    —  Reducing the validity of planning consent from five to three years.

    —  Outlawing twintracking and duplicate planning applications.

    —  Reducing the time period for making an appeal from 6 to 3 months.

    —  Addressing excessive charging for photocopying and documents—which need to be reviewed after two years to address whether statutory measures are needed.

    —  Reviewing the enforcement regime.

    —  Requiring a statement of community involvement to improve plan making and development control.

    —  Encouraging pre-application discussion—which needs to include measures to show how community views have shaped development proposals.

    —  Giving reasons for decisions to approve application and not to call them in.

    —  Removing Crown exemption.

  14.  Simplify the series of national planning policy guidance (PPGs) to separate policy from practice, establish desired outcomes from the planning process and provide adequate guidance on urban renaissance, quality & design, resource management, local character, cumulative impact and sustainable development issues.

  15.  Replace the proposals for tariff-based planning obligations with measures that would establish requirements in development plan policies.

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Prepared 2 May 2002