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

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Clause 82: Interpretation

98.     Clause 80 provides that expressions used in the Bill (unless otherwise indicated) are to have the same meaning as expressions used in the planning Acts.

Clause 83: Amendments

99.     This clause introduces Schedules 3 and 4. Schedule 3 makes amendments to the planning Acts; Schedule 4 makes amendments to other legislation. All these amendments are consequential upon the provisions of the Bill.

Clause 84: Transitionals

100.     This clauses introduces Schedule 5, which sets out transitional arrangements. These arrangements concern various plans made under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and will have effect from the commencement of the relevant provisions of the Bill until either the end of the three year transitional period or the adoption, publication or approval of a new policy to replace the relevant plan.

Clause 87: Regulations and orders

101.     Clause 87 refers to the requirement for subordinate legislation to be exercised by statutory instrument. It also enables such subordinate legislation to include supplementary, incidental, consequential, saving or transitional provisions.


102.     It is not possible to estimate the possible implications of any changes to the fee regime at this stage, or the likely annual costs of the new loss payment regime. Compensation may be paid anything from one to seven or more years after the compulsory purchase order is made and the level of compulsory purchase activity is not predictable that far ahead. It is also impossible to predict how much and what type of land will be taken. The new regime will impact on non-owner-occupied residential land, agricultural land and all other land with an open market value.

103.     There will be costs associated with the provision of financial assistance to Planning Aid and Planning Aid Wales although this will depend on decisions taken by the Secretary of State in the future.


104.     This Bill is about changing planning processes and making existing processes more efficient. The abolition of county structure plans will not mean the abolition of the county planning function. County planners will continue to have responsibility for waste, minerals and transport planning and in addition where regional spatial strategies contain new sub-regional elements we will encourage that these are prepared by existing county planning staff acting as agents of the regional planning body. Because of the continuing important role for county councils, we do not consider there to be grounds for significant redundancies amongst county planning staff.


105.     The Regulatory Impact Assessment prepared for the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill reaches the conclusion that the proposals in the Bill are broadly deregulatory in nature. The main findings are as follows.

106.     Development Plans - the Bill will simplify the current hierarchy and complexity of development plans in England by replacing regional planning guidance with statutory regional spatial strategies (RSS). It will abolish structure plans and replace unitary development plans and local plans with local development documents. In Wales, the creation of local development plans will lead to a more flexible and simpler development plan system. Better plans will promote wider economic and social benefits for communities. And better processes will reduce transaction costs for all concerned.

107.     Development Control - three types of benefit will result from the legislative changes being proposed. There will be specific economic benefits to developers, arising from improved processes which will enable developments to be achieved more quickly, and reduced transaction costs as planning applications are dealt with more quickly. There will be the wider economic and social benefits that accrue from speedier development. Finally, there will be opportunity benefits for local authorities who will need to spend less time dealing with certain types of application, thereby reducing transaction costs.

108.     Simplified Planning Zones - the provisions in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended by the Bill) regarding simplified planning zones may be used, for example, to designate such zones for the purposes of business in the area of a local planning authority.

109.     Major Infrastructure Projects - it is intended that benefits will be seen in the reduction of the costs incurred at present through the protracted inquiry process.

110.     Compulsory Purchase Planning Act powers - by clarifying the basis for the compulsory acquisition of land, the proposals in the Bill are intended to encourage authorities to make greater use of their powers and to reduce the time taken in following through the necessary statutory procedures. In this way the Bill should make land assembly simpler and quicker and will mark a major step towards facilitating land assembly for regeneration.

111.     Compulsory Purchase Loss Payments - improving the compensation arrangements for those whose property is to be acquired is intended to encourage claimants to react less negatively to the prospect of compulsory acquisition. This will save both time and money.

112.     The Full Regulatory Impact Assessment can be found at:


113.     Clause 86 enables the Secretary of State to bring the provisions of the Bill into force on such day as he appoints. In relation to the bringing into force of certain provisions he is required to consult the National Assembly for Wales. And the Assembly will bring into force by order the provisions of Part 6.

114.     It is intended that clause 80 will come into force as soon as the Bill receives Royal Assent. Without the new power the Secretary of State (or the Assembly) will not be able to fund the entire range of work undertaken by bodies such as Planning Aid. The commencement of this provision on Royal Assent will ensure that a suitable funding mechanism is in place as soon as possible.


115.     Section 19 of the Human Rights Act 1998 requires the Minister in Charge of a Bill in either House of Parliament to make a statement about the compatibility of the provisions of the Bill with the Convention's rights (as defined by section 1 of that Act). The First Secretary of State has made the following statement:

    In my view the provisions of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill are compatible with the Convention Rights.

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Prepared: 4 December 2002