|Planning And Compulsory Purchase Bill - continued||House of Commons|
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Clause 26: Secretary of State's default powers
48. Clause 26 contains default powers for the Secretary of State to prepare or revise development plan documents if he thinks the local planning authority are failing properly to carry out these functions themselves. The authority must reimburse the Secretary of State for any expenditure he incurs in exercising these powers.
Clause 27: Joint local development documents
49. Clause 27 enables and sets out the arrangements for two or more local planning authorities jointly to prepare an LDD. If an authority withdraw from an agreement to prepare an LDD jointly, it will be possible for the remaining authority or authorities to continue with the preparation of the LDD provided that the document satisfies the conditions required for it to be treated as a "corresponding document".
Clause 28-30: Joint committees
50. Clauses 28-30 contain provisions for joint committees of one or more local planning authorities and one or more county councils in whose area(s) there are district councils. The Secretary of State may by order constitute a joint committee to be the local planning authority for such area and in relation to such matters as the constituent authorities agree. Provision is also made to enable the joint committee to exercise additional functions where the constituent authorities agree. If a joint committee breaks down, provision is made to enable successor authorities (authorities which were constituent authorities of the joint committee or a successor joint committee) to preserve the effect of the local development scheme or document provided that the scheme or document satisfies the conditions for treatment as a "corresponding" scheme or document.
Clause 31: Exclusion of certain representations
51. 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 32: Urban Development Corporations
52. Clause 32 allows the Secretary of State to direct that Part 2 of the Bill does not apply to the area of an urban development corporation. If such a direction is made the local planning authority will not be required to prepare a local development scheme and local development documents, etc in respect of that area.
Clause 33: Guidance
53. Clause 33 requires a local planning authority to have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State when exercising any function under Part 2.
Clause 34: Annual Monitoring Report
54. Clause 34 requires local planning authorities to report annually to the Secretary of State on the implementation of their local development scheme and whether the policies in the local development documents are being achieved. The clause also provides powers for the Secretary of State to make regulations prescribing what information an annual report must contain, the period it must cover, when it must be made and the form it must take.
Clause 35: Regulations
55. Clause 35 gives the Secretary of State power to make regulations in connection with the exercise by any person of functions under Part 2.
Clause 36: Interpretation
56. Clause 36 defines various terms used in Part 2.
PART 3: DEVELOPMENT
Clause 37: Development Plan
57. 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
58. 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.
59. 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 for Wales.
PART 4: DEVELOPMENT CONTROL
Clause 39: Local development orders
60. 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.
61. 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 a 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: Effect of revision or revocation of development order on incomplete development
62. This clause introduces a new Section (61D) in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. It enables the Secretary of State to include in a development order, and local planning authorities to include in any LDO, permission for the completion of development for which planning permission is granted by the development order or LDO and which has been started but not completed before that planning permission is withdrawn.
Clause 41: Statement of development principles
63. Clause 41 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 42: Applications for planning permission and certain consents
64. Clause 42 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 43: Power to decline to determine applications
65. Clause 43 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.
66. A local planning authority's existing powers allow it 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.
67. 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 either 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.
68. 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 44: Major infrastructure projects
69. Clause 44 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. 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.
70. 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 45: Simplified planning zones
71. Clause 45 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, or the spatial development strategy for Greater London, 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 46: Appeal made: functions of local planning authority
72. Clause 46 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.
73. 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.
74. The purpose of this new section is to allow an additional period of time (to be prescribed by the 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" would have effect where an appeal against non-determination has been lodged after the 8 week deadline. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is currently consulting on the most suitable length for the period of "dual jurisdiction" but has indicated its preference that this should be four weeks.
75. In such cases the appeal will progress under the usual procedures - for example if the local planning authority refuse planning permission, then the appeal (against non-determination) would become an appeal against refusal. If the local planning authority grant permission, the appellant may withdraw the appeal, proceed with the appeal or revise the grounds of appeal (for example, an appeal against conditions which may have been imposed).
Clause 47: Duration of permission and consent
76. Clause 47 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 48: Fees and charges
77. Clause 48 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 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. 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.
Clause 49: Duty to respond to consultation
78. Clause 49 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.
79. The clause also gives the Secretary of State power to require reports on the performance of consultees in meeting their response deadlines.
Clause 50: Time in which Secretary of State to take decisions
80. Clause 50 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.
PART 5: CORRECTION OF ERRORS
Clauses 51-54: Correction of errors in decisions
81. 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.
82. This section applies if the Secretary of State or an inspector issues 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 is requested to do so in writing, or where he has written to the applicant explaining that he is considering making a correction.
Clause 52: Correction notice
83. Clause 52 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 53: Effect of correction
84. Clause 53 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.
PART 6: WALES
Clause 55: Wales Spatial Plan
85. Clause 55 introduces a statutory footing for the National Assembly for Wales 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 56: Survey
86. Clause 56 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 sections 11 and 30 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
Clause 57: Local development plan
87. Clause 57 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 58: Preparation requirements
88. Clause 58 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 59: Independent examination
89. 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.
Clause 60: Intervention by Assembly
90. Clause 60 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 61: Withdrawal of local development plan
91. Clause 61 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 62: Adoption of local development plan
92. Clause 62 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 63: Revocation of local development plan
93. Clause 63 enables the Assembly to revoke an adopted LDP at the request of a local planning authority.
Clause 64: Review of local development plan
94. Clause 64 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 65: Revision of local development plan
95. Clause 65 empowers a local planning authority to revise an LDP at any time. If a review under clause 64 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 66: Assembly's default power
96. Clause 66 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 67: Joint local development plans
97. Clause 67 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 68: Exclusions of certain representations
98. Clause 68 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 71: Annual monitoring report
99. Clause 71 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.
PART 7: CROWN APPLICATION OF PLANNING ACTS
Clause 74: Crown application of planning Acts
100. This clause makes each of the planning Acts bind the Crown, subject to certain provisions and exceptions. The planning Acts are the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 ("the principal Act"), the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 ("the listed buildings Act") and the Planning (Hazardous Substances) Act 1990 ("the hazardous substances Act"). Clause 74 also introduces Schedule 3, which amends the planning Acts to take account of Crown application.
Clause 75: Special provision relating to national security
101. Clause 75 deals with the arrangements for planning inquiries where matters of national security are at issue. It adds four new subsections to section 321 of the principal Act. Section 321 provides that all oral evidence at planning inquiries must be heard in public, and that documents must be open to public inspection. There is, however, an exception. This is when there would be public disclosure of information relating to national security or to the security of any premises or property, and that public disclosure would be contrary to the national interest. The remainder of clause 75 repeats these provisions for the listed buildings Act and the hazardous substances Act.
|© Parliamentary copyright 2003||Prepared: 28 November 2003|