|Planning And Compulsory Purchase Bill - continued||House of Commons|
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Clause 76: Special provision relating to national security: Wales
102. Clause 76 sets out how the arrangements as described in clause 75 will differ for inquiries in Wales, again set out three times, once for each of the planning Acts.
Clause 77: Urgent Crown development
103. Clause 77 contains the urgency procedures for Crown applications. It provides that where the appropriate authority (as defined in section 293 of the principal Act) certifies that the development is of national importance and that it is necessary that the development is carried out urgently, the appropriate authority may apply directly to the Secretary of State instead of to the local planning authority. The appropriate authority must provide the Secretary of State with all the necessary documentation, including an environmental statement, if required. The application is to be treated as if it were a "called-in" application. This will mean that the Inquiries Procedure Rules apply, enabling complementary changes to the Rules to be made to shorten the period leading up to the public inquiry.
Clause 78: Urgent works relating to Crown land
104. This clause provides for a procedure for works to Crown land under the listed buildings Act that is almost identical procedure to that under clause 77. The only difference is that environmental statements are not required for applications under the listed buildings Act. This provision is designed for development works to listed buildings, not for repairs or remedial works.
Clause 79: Enforcement in relation to Crown land
105. This clause provides that the Crown should remain immune from prosecution from any offence under the planning Acts. Local planning authorities will be able to initiate enforcement action by serving enforcement notices or issuing revocation orders etc, but will not be able to enforce them by entering land, bringing proceedings or making applications to the court without the permission of the appropriate authority.
Clause 80: Tree preservation orders affecting land where the Forestry Commissioners interested
106. Clause 80 provides that any tree preservation orders made on land placed at the disposal of the Forestry Commission would not apply to prevent forestry operations undertaken by the Commission.
Clause 81: Trees in conservation areas: acts of Crown
107. Clause 81 prohibits the Crown from doing any act to a tree in a conservation area which might be prohibited by a tree preservation order, unless it serves notice of its intention on the local planning authority and does the act either with the consent of the authority or between six weeks and two years after the date of the notice.
Clause 82: Old mining permissions
108. This clause deals with old mining permissions granted in the period 1943-1948 that were validated by the 1947 Town and County Planning Act. The clause enables Crown bodies holding such permissions to have the opportunity to register such permissions and apply for the determination of new conditions, on the same terms that applied to all other permissions when the Planning and Compensation Act 1991 was implemented.
Clause 83: Subordinate legislation
109. Clause 83 provides the Secretary of State with a power to make an order to simplify the application of existing planning subordinate legislation to the Crown, with or without modifications.
Clause 84: Crown application: transitional
110. This clause introduces Schedule 4 which makes transitional provisions to deal with Notices of Proposed Development submitted by the Crown to the local planning authority in accordance with the guidelines set out in DOE Circular 18/84.
Clause 85: Crown application of Scottish planning Acts
111. Clause 85 creates an equivalent provision to clause 74 for the principal Scottish planning Act, the Scottish listed buildings Act and Scottish hazardous substances Act, with the exception of the transitional arrangements for hazardous substances. The Scottish Executive intend that corresponding transitional provisions will be made by subordinate legislation in Scotland. Clause 85 also introduces Schedule 5, which amends the Scottish planning Acts to take account of Crown application.
Clause 86: Special provision for certain circumstances where disclosure of information as to national security may occur: Scotland
112. Clause 86 introduces a new section 265A to the principal Scottish planning Act and applies it to the Scottish listed buildings and hazardous substances Acts. This new section mirrors section 321 of the principal planning Act in England and Wales as amended by clause 75. The new section gives a concurrent power exercisable by either the Scottish Ministers or the Secretary of State to make directions restricting disclosure of specified evidence at inquiry. However, before the Scottish Ministers make such a direction, they are required to consult the Secretary of State. The concurrent power and consultation requirement reflect the fact that national security functions are reserved and planning functions are devolved. The Secretary of State and the Scottish Ministers are given powers to make rules as to the procedure to be followed respectively by them before giving a direction. In addition, the power to appoint special advocates in Scotland is conferred on the Lord Advocate to reflect the differences of the Scottish legal system.
Clause 87: Urgent Crown development: Scotland
113. Clause 87 provides for similar procedures as those set out in clause 77 in relation to the Scottish principal planning Act.
Clause 88: Urgent works relating to Crown land: Scotland
114. Clause 88 provides for similar procedures as those set out in clause 78 in relation to the Scottish listed buildings Act.
Clause 89: Enforcement in relation to Crown land: Scotland
115. Clause 89 makes amendments to Scottish planning legislation along the same lines as clause 79. It introduces new sections 245A (Enforcement in relation to the Crown) and 245B (References to an interest in land) to the principal Scottish planning Act. It also introduces equivalent amendments to the Scottish listed buildings Act (new sections 73D and 73E) and the Scottish hazardous substances Act (new sections 30B and 30C).
Clause 90: Tree preservation orders affecting land where the Forestry Commissioners interested: Scotland
116. Clause 90 amends section 162 of the principal Scottish planning Act in a virtually identical way to the amendment of section 200 of the principal Act under clause 80.
Clause 91: Trees in conservation areas: acts of Crown: Scotland
117. Clause 91 amends section 172 of the principal Scottish planning Act in a virtually identical way to the amendment of section 211 of the principal Act under clause 81.
Clause 92: Old mining permissions: Scotland
118. Clause 92 makes similar changes to Scottish planning legislation as clause 82 does to that for England and Wales.
Clause 93: Subordinate legislation: Scotland
119. Clause 93 provides a similar power to the Scottish Ministers as clause 83 does for the Secretary of State.
PART 8: COMPULSORY PURCHASE
Clause 94: Compulsory acquisition of land for development etc
120. Clause 94 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.
Clause 95: Procedure for authorisation by authority other than a Minister
121. Clause 95 amends the procedure for the making and confirmation of non-ministerial compulsory purchase orders set out in the Acquisition of Land Act 1981 to achieve the following :
- extend the categories of persons with interests in land who are entitled to be served with notice of the making of the order and who have a right to have any objections heard at a public local inquiry;
- require the fixing of notices of the making of an order on or near the order land;
- provide for objections to an order to be considered by means of written representations in accordance with a prescribed procedure (as an alternative to an inquiry or hearing) where all those with remaining objections consent, and to provide for awards of costs where the written representations procedure is followed;
- allow confirmation of orders in stages; and
- extend the existing requirement to give notice of confirmation of an order to include fixing a notice on or near the order land.
Clause 96: Procedure for authorisation by a Minister
122. Clause 96 amends the procedure for the preparation in draft and the making of a ministerial compulsory purchase order under Schedule 1 to the Acquisition of Land Act 1981 in a similar manner to the amendments in clause 95 for the making and confirmation of non-ministerial compulsory purchase orders, other than provision for an award of costs.
Clause 97: Confirmation by acquiring authority
123. Clause 97 inserts a new section 14A into the Acquisition of Land Act 1981 to enable the confirming authority for a compulsory purchase order to transfer the decision whether or not to confirm to the acquiring authority. This power may only be exercised if there are no objections to the order and certain other specified conditions are met. This is intended to help to speed up the confirmation of unopposed compulsory purchase orders, and should be particularly helpful in situations where, as part of a wider land assembly exercise, an acquiring authority needs to exercise its compulsory purchase powers in order to acquire title to land in unknown ownership.
Clause 98: Assessment of compensation: valuation date
124. Clause 98 amends the Land Compensation Act 1961 which sets out the basic rules for assessing compensation on the compulsory purchase of land. It inserts a new section 5A which sets out the date on which the value of the land is to be assessed for the purpose of determining the amount of compensation payable.
Clause 99: Power to require information
125. Clause 99 inserts two new sections into the Acquisition of Land Act 1981.
126. New section 5A gives an acquiring authority the power to require it to be provided with the names and addresses of those who own, occupy or are believed to have an interest in land if the authority has a statutory power to acquire compulsorily. The power may only be exercised for the purpose of enabling the authority to acquire the land. Such a power will enable an acquiring authority to ascertain ownership and occupation of land for the purpose of early negotiations for purchase by agreement and for service of notices on the appropriate persons set out in clauses 95 and 96 in any subsequent exercise of compulsory purchase powers.
127. New section 5B makes failure to provide such information without reasonable excuse or knowingly to provide materially false information an offence. Conviction can result in a fine on level 5 on the standard scale (currently £5,000 maximum).
Clauses 100-103: Loss payments
128. Clauses 100 to 103 introduce a new statutory scheme in the Land Compensation Act 1973, which will operate in addition to the home loss scheme set out in that Act. It replaces the existing farm loss payments scheme. The new provisions allow for "loss payments" to be made to those who have a certain interest in property, but who are not entitled to receive home loss payments under the home loss scheme set out in sections 29 to 33 of the 1973 Act.
Clause 100: Basic loss payment
129. Clause 100 introduces a new section 33A to the Land Compensation Act 1973. This new section provides that a person who is an owner or tenant of property that is compulsorily acquired (and who has held that interest for no less than a year) is entitled to a payment called a "basic loss payment". This payment will be made in addition to the compensation paid for the value of his or her interest in the property and his or her disturbance costs. The amount of this payment is to be assessed at the rate of 7.5% of the value of the person's interest, subject to a maximum of £75,000. If the person is entitled to a home loss payment in respect of any part of the property which is a dwelling, the value of the interest in the dwelling part of the property must be deducted from the value of the interest in the whole when assessing the basic loss payment.
130. The basic loss payment will not be available in respect of compulsory acquisitions which are made before these provisions of the Bill are brought into force.
Clause 101: Occupier's loss payment
131. Clause 101 inserts a new section 33B and a new section 33C into the Land Compensation Act 1973. Section 33B relates to occupiers of agricultural land that is compulsorily acquired. Section 33C relates to occupiers of non-agricultural land that is compulsorily acquired. Both sections provide for the payment of what is called 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 who has also occupied the land being acquired for a period of no less than a year. The amount of the payment is assessed at a rate of 2.5% of the value of the occupier's interest, or on the basis of a formula based on the area of the land or the floor space of the building being acquired, whichever gives the greatest figure, in each case subject to a maximum of £25,000. Again, if part of the property is a dwelling in respect of which the person could claim a home loss payment, the value of the interest in the dwelling must be deducted from the value of the interest in the whole when assessing the occupier's loss payment.
132. The occupier's loss payment will not be available in respect of compulsory acquisitions which are made before these provisions of the Bill are brought into force.
Clause 102: Loss payments: exclusions
133. Clause 102 inserts a new section 33D into the Land Compensation Act 1973 which excludes entitlement to loss payments in certain situations. These are where an acquiring authority has exercised its compulsory purchase powers as a result of a failure to comply with the requirements of one of the notices specified in this section, or as a result of a person having had one of the specified orders served upon him. 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 103: Loss payments: supplementary
134. Clause 103 inserts sections 33E to 33K 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; who can make a claim if the person who is entitled to do so is insolvent or dies; 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 (which deals with additional payments consequent on compulsory acquisition of agricultural holding); date of payment by acquiring authorities, advances of payment and interest and acquisitions by agreement between an authority and a person entitled to a loss payment.
135. The Secretary of State may make regulations to amend any of the figures or percentages specified in the newly inserted sections of the 1973 Act.
PART 9: MISCELLANEOUS AND GENERAL
Clause 105: Validity of strategies, plans and documents
136. 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, a development plan document 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/or where a procedural requirement has not been complied with in relation to a document.
Clause 106: Examinations
137. Clause 106 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 107: Grants for advice and assistance
138. Clause 107 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.
Clause 109: Interpretation
139. Clause 109 provides that expressions used in the Bill (unless otherwise indicated) are to have the same meaning as expressions used in the planning Acts.
Clause 110: Amendments
140. 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 111: Transitionals
141. This clause introduces Schedule 8, 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 111 also gives the Scottish Ministers a power to make an order containing transitional provisions for Crown development under the current arrangements and for the Scottish hazardous substances Act.
Clause 114: Regulations and orders
142. Clause 114 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.
ESTIMATES OF PUBLIC SECTOR FINANCIAL COST
143. 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.
144. 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.
EFFECTS OF THE BILL ON PUBLIC SECTOR MANPOWER
145. 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.
SUMMARY OF THE REGULATORY APPRAISAL
146. 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.
147. 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. 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.
148. 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.
149. 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.
150. 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.
151. 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.
152. 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.
153. The Full Regulatory Impact Assessment can be found at: www.planning.odpm.gov.uk
154. Clause 113 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. The Assembly will bring into force by order the provisions of Part 6.
155. It is intended that clause 107 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.
EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
156. 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 rights (as defined by section 1 of that Act). The First Secretary of State has made the following statement:
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