House of Commons - Explanatory Note
Planning And Compulsory Purchase Bill - continued          House of Commons

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Clause 31: Exclusion of certain representations

46.     Clause 31 allows the Secretary of State or a local planning authority to disregard representations in relation to an LDD if, in substance, such representations are made in respect of anything that is done or proposed under certain orders or schemes made under the Highways (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1961, the Highways Act 1971, the Highways Act 1980, or the New Towns Act 1981. Those Acts set out specific procedures for considering the representations and objections concerned.


Clause 37: Development Plan

47.     Clause 37 defines the development plan by reference to the simplified hierarchy of plans and documents created by this Bill. It also applies the definition to existing relevant legislation.

Clause 38: Sustainable development

48.     Clause 38 imposes a statutory duty on persons and bodies responsible for preparing RSSs and LDDs in England, and the Wales Spatial Plan and local development plans in Wales. It applies therefore to RPBs and local planning authorities in England and local planning authorities in Wales. It also applies where necessary to the Secretary of State in England and the National Assembly for Wales.

49.     In exercising those functions, the persons or bodies concerned must do so with a view to contributing to the achievement of sustainable development. The persons or bodies therefore need to consider how the policies and plans set out in those documents will contribute to this aim. In doing so, they must have regard to policies and guidance on sustainable development issued by the Secretary of State or the National Assembly of Wales.


Clause 39: Local development orders

50.     By providing for local permitted development rights, clause 39 introduces a new procedure to allow local planning authorities to expand on the permitted development rights set nationally by way of development orders. A local development order (LDO) may be made solely to implement policies in one or more development plan documents (or, in Wales, the local development plan). Schedule 1 (which inserts a new Schedule 4A into the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) specifies that the Secretary of State may prescribe the procedure for the making of an LDO, including publicity and consultation requirements.

51.     Schedule 1 also allows the Secretary of State (or the National Assembly for Wales) to set out matters which must be included in the annual report by local authorities on the extent to which an LDO is achieving its purposes. It also allows the Secretary of State (or the Assembly) to prescribe the form and content of that report.

Clause 40: Statement of development principles

52.     Clause 40 introduces a new procedure for any person wishing to obtain an indication from a local planning authority as to whether a proposed development would be acceptable in principle. On application, an authority will be required to issue a statement of development principles which will indicate whether or not the authority agree with the principle of all or part of the proposed development. The statement will not be a consent, but its existence will be a material consideration for the purpose of determining a future planning application for similar development.

Clause 41: Applications for planning permission and certain consents

53.     Clause 41 amends the powers to make secondary legislation prescribing the form of applications for planning permission and certain consents. It enables a development order to make provision for the procedure for applications for planning permission. This replaces the power in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 for the Secretary of State to prescribe the procedure by regulations. It also provides new powers to prescribe the form of applications for consent under tree preservation orders, for the display of advertisements and for listed building and conservation area consents.

Clause 42: Power to decline to determine applications

54.     Clause 42 extends a local planning authority's existing powers to decline to determine applications for planning permission. It also applies to applications for listed building consent and conservation area consent and the prior approval of a local planning authority for development which is permitted by virtue of a development order.

55.     A local planning authority's existing powers allow them to decline to determine an application for planning permission which is the same or substantially the same as an application which, within the previous two years, the Secretary of State has called in and refused, or which the Secretary of State has dismissed on appeal.

56.     The clause allows a local planning authority also to decline to determine an application which is the same or substantially the same as an application which has been refused by the authority within the last two years and in respect of which there has been no appeal to the Secretary of State.

57.     In addition, the clause allows an authority to decline to determine an application if they think that it is similar to another application which has not been finally determined (either by the authority or on appeal by the Secretary of State).

Clause 43: Major infrastructure projects

58.     Clause 43 applies only to England and provides for sections 76A and 76B to be inserted in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. It allows the Secretary of State to call in any application for planning permission, or an application for the approval of a local planning authority required under a development order, if he thinks that the development to which the application relates is of national or regional importance. He may also direct that other related applications must also be referred to him. The Secretary of State must appoint an inspector to consider the application. The Secretary of State himself, rather than the local planning authority, will make the decision, based on the advice of an inspector.

59.     Consideration of any application referred to the Secretary of State may be made either by a single inspector as at present, or by a lead inspector and a number of additional inspectors appointed by the Secretary of State. It enables additional inspectors to hear evidence on matters as directed by the lead inspector but independently from him. Each additional inspector must report to the lead inspector on the matter he is appointed to consider. In every case the lead inspector must report to the Secretary of State on his consideration of the application and the consideration of any additional inspector.

Clause 44: Simplified planning zones

60.     Clause 44 amends the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 whilst confirming the power available to local planning authorities to make simplified planning zones. It is intended to facilitate the designation by local planning authorities of simplified planning zones where the need for such areas has been identified. A simplified planning zone can only be made where the RSS identifies the need for such a zone in the area of a local planning authority (or, in relation to Wales, where criteria prescribed by the National Assembly are met). An authority must make a simplified planning zone if directed to do so by the Secretary of State (or the Assembly).

Clause 45: Appeal made: functions of local planning authority

61.     Clause 45 inserts a new section 78A into the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Its intention is to allow a short period of dual jurisdiction between the Secretary of State and the local planning authority where an appeal has been made against non-determination of a planning application by that authority.

62.     This provision applies where an applicant appeals to the Secretary of State on the grounds that the local planning authority have not determined his planning application within the prescribed period (8 weeks). Once an appeal has been made, jurisdiction to decide whether to grant planning permission passes to the Secretary of State. The local planning authority cannot determine the application, even in circumstances where the local planning authority would have been in a position to do so shortly after the prescribed period.

63.     The purpose of this new section is to allow an additional period of time (to be prescribed by development order) in which the local planning authority could still issue its decision even though an appeal has been lodged. The period of "dual jurisdiction" (likely to be 14 days) would have effect where an appeal against non-determination has been lodged within 7 days of the end of the prescribed period. If the local planning authority refuse planning permission, then the appeal (against non-determination) would become an appeal against refusal. If the authority grant permission, the appellant may withdraw the appeal, proceed with the appeal or revise the grounds of appeal.

Clause 46: Duration of permission and consent

64.     Clause 46 amends sections 73, 91 and 92 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and sections 18 and 19 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. It reduces the period of validity of a planning permission, a listed building consent and a conservation area consent from five to three years. But local planning authorities may still direct longer or shorter periods where this would be appropriate.

Clause 47: Fees and charges

65.     Clause 47 amends section 303 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Section 303 enables the Secretary of State to prescribe planning fees for applications made to local planning authorities under the planning Acts (by instrument subject to affirmative resolution). The clause widens the scope of that power so as to enable the Secretary of State to provide for the payment of charges and fees relating to other functions of local planning authorities.

66.     The planning Acts are the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and the Planning (Hazardous Substances) Act 1990.

Clause 48: Duty to respond to consultation

67.     Clause 48 introduces a requirement that those persons or bodies which are required to be consulted by the Secretary of State, the National Assembly for Wales or a local planning authority (as the case may be) before the grant of any permission, approval or consent under the planning Acts must respond to consultation requests within a prescribed period. It also applies to consultation by any other person prior to an application for any permission, approval or consent. Secondary legislation will specify to which consultation requirements the duty to respond will apply and the prescribed period.

68.     The clause also gives the Secretary of State power to require reports on the performance of consultees in meeting their response deadlines.

Clause 49: Time in which Secretary of State to take decisions

69.     Clause 49 and Schedule 2 require that the Secretary of State must set a timetable for his decisions on "called in" planning applications and recovered appeals, together with any other decisions for which he is responsible and which are connected to those decisions. The Secretary of State is required to tell parties which timetable applies to the decision in question. At this stage he is able to vary the standard timetable if necessary for the purposes of the decision. He will also be able to revise a timetable subsequently if events arise which prevent the set timetable from being met. Where the Secretary of State fails to meet a timetable he must give reasons for that failure. The Secretary of State will be required to report to Parliament each year on his performance under these provisions. This clause does not apply to decisions in relation to which the function has been transferred to the National Assembly for Wales.


Clauses 50-53: Correction of errors in decisions

70.     These clauses deal with the introduction of a "slip rule" for certain decisions made by the Secretary of State or an inspector under the planning Acts. The Secretary of State and planning inspectors will have power, subject to various conditions, to correct specified types of errors contained in decision letters.

71.     This section applies if the Secretary of State or an inspector issue a decision document which contains a correctable error. "Correctable error" is defined as an error which is contained in any part of the decision document which records the decision but which is not part of any reasons given for the decision. The Secretary of State or the inspector may correct the error where he has requested to do so in writing, or where he has written to the applicant explaining that he is considering making a correction.

Clause 51: Correction notice

72.     Clause 51 provides that the exercise of the power of correction will be by written notice (a "correction notice") which will either specify the correction which has been made or give notice that the power to correct the decision has not been used. The clause also specifies on whom the correction notice or decision not to correct must be served.

Clause 52: Effect of correction

73.     Clause 52 sets out the status of decisions which have been corrected and of decisions where it has been decided not to make a correction. Where a correction to the original decision is made, the original decision will be treated as though it had never been made. The corrected decision will be treated as having been made on the date the relevant correction is made and the statutory period for challenging the corrected decision will start to run from that date. Any person wishing to challenge the decision is therefore not prejudiced by the time taken to correct the decision. Where a decision not to correct has been made, the original decision will stand and the statutory period for challenge will be unaffected.


Clause 54: Wales Spatial Plan

74.     Clause 54 introduces a statutory footing for the National Assembly for Wales ("the Assembly") to prepare, approve and publish a spatial plan for Wales, the Wales Spatial Plan (WSP). The WSP will set out such policies as the Assembly considers appropriate in relation to the development and use of land in Wales. The Assembly is required to carry out consultation in making the WSP. The Assembly must not delegate the function of approving the WSP ( which will thus require the approval of the Assembly in plenary session). The Assembly will be required to keep the WSP under review and to revise it when necessary.

Clause 55: Survey

75.     Clause 55 sets out matters which local planning authorities must keep under review as these matters may affect the development of their area or the planning of its development. It replaces the existing survey functions of local planning authorities as set out in section 11 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Clause 56: Local development plan

76.     Clause 56 makes provision for local planning authorities to prepare local development plans (LDPs) setting out their objectives in relation to the use and development of land in their area and their general policies for the implementation of those objectives. More detailed policies for specific areas may also be included. The clause sets out matters, including the WSP, to which authorities are to have regard when preparing LDPs. LDPs must be subjected to a sustainability appraisal. The National Assembly for Wales may make regulations about the form and content of LDPs.

Clause 57: Preparation requirements

77.     Clause 57 requires LDPs to be prepared in accordance with a community involvement scheme and a timetable. It defines a community involvement scheme as the local planning authority's policy for involving other persons in the authority's functions under this Part. It requires the authority and the Assembly to attempt to agree the terms of the scheme and timetable and provides a power of direction for the Assembly where agreement is not possible.

Clause 58: Independent examination

78.     This clause requires the authority to submit their LDP to the Assembly for independent examination by a person appointed by the Assembly. It states that the purpose of the examination is to examine whether an LDP meets the statutory requirements relating to its content and preparation and whether it is sound. The authority must publish the recommendations of the person appointed to carry out the examination and his reasons for making them.

Clause 59: Intervention by Assembly

79.     Clause 59 is similar to sections 17 to 19 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. It allows the Assembly to intervene if it believes that an LDP is unsatisfactory. In such a situation, if the LDP has not been adopted, the Assembly may direct that an authority must modify its LDP. The Assembly may also call the LDP in for approval by it. If an independent examination of the called in LDP is already in process, the person appointed to carry out that examination is required to report to the Assembly, which must publish the person's recommendations. If the Assembly's direction is given before the document has been submitted for examination, it is required to hold an examination.

Clause 60: Withdrawal of local development plan

80.     Clause 60 enables a local planning authority to withdraw an LDP before it is adopted. However, if the LDP has been submitted for independent examination, it can be withdrawn only on the recommendation of the person carrying out that examination or following a direction by the Assembly.

Clause 61: Adoption of local development plan

81.     Clause 61 provides for LDPs to be formally adopted by local planning authorities, either as originally prepared or with modifications (in accordance with the recommendation of the person who carried out the independent examination). The Assembly may direct the authority not to adopt an LDP.

Clause 62: Revocation of local development plan

82.     Clause 62 enables the Assembly to revoke an adopted LDP at the request of a local planning authority.

Clause 63: Review of local development plan

83.     Clause 63 requires a local planning authority to review an LDP at such times as the Assembly may prescribe and to report to the Assembly on the findings of the review.

Clause 64: Revision of local development plan

84.     Clause 64 is similar to section 21 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. It empowers a local planning authority to revise an LDP at any time. If a review under clause 63 indicates that they should do so, or they are directed to do so by the Assembly, then they must carry out a revision. The procedures relating to preparation of an LDP also apply to revisions.

Clause 65: Assembly's default power

85.     Clause 65 is similar to section 25 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. It enables the Assembly to prepare, revise or approve an LDP if it believes the local planning authority is failing properly to carry out the function itself. The authority must reimburse the Assembly for any expenditure it incurs in exercising these powers.

Clause 66: Joint local development plans

86.     Clause 66 enables two or more local planning authorities jointly to prepare an LDP and sets out the arrangements which are to apply in such a case. If an authority withdraw from an agreement to prepare an LDP jointly, it will be possible for the remaining authority or authorities to continue with the preparation of the LDD provided that the LDP satisfies the conditions required for it to be treated as a "corresponding document".

Clause 67: Exclusions of certain representations

87.     Clause 67 reproduces in relation to the making of LDPs by local planning authorities in Wales the effect of clause 31 in relation to local development documents.

Clause 70: Annual monitoring report

88.     Clause 70 requires a local planning authority to report annually to the Assembly on the extent to which the objectives set in the LDP are being achieved. It provides a power for the Assembly to prescribe in regulations the timing, form and content of the report.


Clause 73: Compulsory acquisition of land for development etc

89.     Clause 73 amends the basis upon which a local authority may acquire land compulsorily for the carrying out of development, redevelopment or improvement. The authority will be able to acquire land if they think the carrying out of development, re-development or improvement is likely to be of economic, social or environmental benefit to their area. A local authority is defined by section 226(8) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as a council of a county, county borough, district or London borough. A joint planning board and a National Park authority may exercise the same power.

Clauses 74-77: Loss payments

90.     Clauses 74 to 77 are intended to provide a new statutory scheme in the Land Compensation Act 1973 which, with certain exclusions, provides for "loss payments" for those with an interest in property who are not entitled to receive payments under the home loss scheme set out in sections 29 to 33 of the 1973 Act. The current home loss payments scheme will be retained, but the farm loss payments scheme will be repealed. The aim of the new scheme is to make some allowance for the upset, discomfort and inconvenience of being required to leave a property (or give up an interest in it) at a time not of the owner or occupier's choosing. The inducement represented by payments under the new scheme is intended to encourage the co-operation of owners and occupiers in land assembly projects involving the potential use of compulsory purchase powers.

Clause 74: Basic loss payment

91.     Clause 74 provides that claimants will be entitled to claim a basic loss payment in addition to the compensation paid for the value of their interest in the property and their disturbance costs. The basic loss payment is to be assessed at the rate of 7.5% of that value, subject to a maximum of £75,000. This clause also sets out the qualifying conditions for claimants. Clauses 74(2) and 75(2) specify that these provisions will apply only to compulsory purchase orders made after commencement of the Act.

Clause 75: Occupier's loss payment

92.     Clause 75 provides for the payment of an occupier's loss payment (in addition to the basic loss payment) to any person who satisfies the conditions for the basic loss payment and has also occupied the land to be acquired for the qualifying period (not less than one year). Subject to an absolute maximum of £25,000, the occupier's loss payment should be assessed either on the basis of 2.5% of the value of the claimant's interest in the land being acquired or, where it would be more advantageous, a formula based on the area of the land or the floor space of the building from which he is being displaced.

Clause 76: Loss payments: exclusions

93.     Clause 76 specifies exclusions from entitlement to loss payments in situations where an acquiring authority has exercised its compulsory purchase powers as a result of a failure to comply with the terms of one of the notices or orders specified in the section. These notices and orders deal with the neglect of property. The purpose of this clause is therefore to prevent those whose neglect has prompted a compulsory purchase order from benefiting from that neglect.

Clause 77: Loss payments: supplementary

94.     Clause 77 inserts further sections into the Land Compensation Act 1973. It sets out the supplementary provisions required to operate the loss payment scheme, covering: the arrangements for making a claim; insolvent claimants; situations where the claimant dies before making a claim; situations of dual entitlement to both an occupier's loss payment in respect of agricultural land and a payment by virtue of the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1968; payment arrangements; acquisitions by agreement. Regulations may be made to amend the list of notices and orders for exclusions or any of the figures or percentages specified in these newly inserted sections of the 1973 Act.


Clause 78: Validity of strategies, plans and documents

95.     The purpose of this clause is to prescribe the procedure to be followed in relation to a challenge to any of the specified documents (including a revision of an RSS, the WSP, an LDD or an LDP). It also sets out the circumstances in which such a challenge may be made. These are when a specified document is in some respect outside the scope of the powers under which it should have been made; and where a procedural requirement has not been complied with in relation to a document.

Clause 79: Examinations

96.     Clause 79 defines independent examinations under Part 2 or Part 6 of the Bill as statutory inquiries. This means that the Tribunals and Inquiries Act 1992 will apply to such examinations and thus that the Lord Chancellor is able to make procedural rules in relation to them.

Clause 80: Grants for advice and assistance

97.     Clause 78 introduces a new section into the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to allow the Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales to give grants to bodies, such as Planning Aid, which provide advice and assistance to members of the public on all aspects of the planning process.

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Prepared: 4 December 2002