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‘(1) The Mayor of London shall only exercise his powers under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 at meetings (“planning meetings”).

(2) A planning meeting shall be open to the public except to the extent that they are excluded (whether during the whole or part of the proceedings) under subsection (3) below or by decision under subsection (5) below.

(3) The public shall be excluded from a planning meeting during an item of business whenever it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that, if members of the public were present during that item, confidential information would be disclosed to them in breach of the obligation of confidence; and nothing in this Part shall be taken to authorise or require the disclosure of confidential information in breach of the obligation of confidence.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (3) above, “confidential information” means—

(a) information furnished to the council by a Government department upon terms (however expressed) which forbid the disclosure of the information to the public; and

(b) information the disclosure of which to the public is prohibited by or under any enactment or by the order of a court;

and, in either case, the reference to the obligation of confidence is to be construed accordingly.

(5) The Mayor of London may exclude the public from a meeting during an item of business whenever it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public were present during that item there would be disclosure to them of exempt information, as defined in section 100I of the Local Government Act 1972.

(6) A decision under subsection (5) above shall—

(a) identify the proceedings, or the part of the proceedings, to which it applies, and

(b) state the description, in terms of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, of the exempt information giving rise to the exclusion of the public,

and where a decision is made this section does not require the meeting to be open to the public during proceedings to which the decision applies.

(7) The following provisions shall apply in relation to a meeting of a principal council—

(a) public notice of the time and place of the meeting shall be given by posting it at the offices of the Mayor of London five clear days at least before the meeting or, if the meeting is convened at shorter notice, then at the time it is convened;

(b) while the meeting is open to the public, the Mayor of London shall not have power to exclude members of the public from the meeting.


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(8) Nothing in this section shall require the Mayor of London to permit the taking of photographs of any proceedings, or the use of any means to enable persons not present to see or hear any proceedings (whether at the time or later), or the making of any oral report on any proceedings as they take place.

(9) This section is without prejudice to any power of exclusion to suppress or prevent disorderly conduct or other misbehaviour at a meeting.’.— [Mrs. Lait.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mrs. Lait: I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Madam Deputy Speaker: With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:

New clause 10— Planning: access to agenda and connected reports—

‘(1) Copies of the agenda for a planning meeting and, subject to subsection (2) below, copies of any report for the meeting shall be open to inspection by members of the public at the offices of the Mayor of London in accordance with subsection (3) below.

(2) If the proper officer thinks fit, there may be excluded from the copies of reports provided in pursuance of subsection (1) above the whole of any report which, or any part which, relates only to items during which, in his opinion, the meeting is likely not to be open to the public.

(3) Any document which is required by subsection (1) above to be open to inspection shall be so open at least five clear days before the meeting, except that—

(a) where the meeting is convened at shorter notice, the copies of the agenda and reports shall be open to inspection from the time the meeting is convened, and

(b) where an item is added to an agenda copies of which are open to inspection by the public, copies of the item (or of the revised agenda), and the copies of any report of the meeting relating to the item, shall be open to inspection from the time the item is added to the agenda;

but nothing in this subsection requires copies of any agenda, item or report to be open to inspection by the public until copies are available to the Mayor of London.

(4) An item of business may not be considered at a planning meeting unless either—

(a) a copy of the agenda including the item (or a copy of the item) is open to inspection by members of the public in pursuance of subsection (1) above for at least five clear days before the meeting or, where the meeting is convened at shorter notice, from the time the meeting is convened; or

(b) by reason of special circumstances, which shall be specified in the minutes, the Mayor of London is of the opinion that the item should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.

(5) Where by virtue of subsection (2) above the whole or any part of a report for a meeting is not open to inspection by the public under subsection (1) above—

(a) every copy of the report or of the part shall be marked “Not for publication”; and

(b) there shall be stated on every copy of the whole or any part of the report the description, in terms of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, of the exempt information by virtue of which the council are likely to exclude the public during the item to which the report relates.

(6) Where a planning meeting is required by section [Planning: access to information etc.] to be open to the public during the proceedings or any part of them, there shall be made available for the use of members of the public present at the meeting a reasonable number of copies of the agenda and, subject to subsection (8) below, of the reports for the meeting.


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(7) There shall, on request and on payment of postage or other necessary charge for transmission, be supplied for the benefit of any newspaper—

(a) a copy of the agenda for a meeting of a principal council and, subject to subsection (8) below, a copy of each of the reports for the meeting;

(b) such further statements or particulars, if any, as are necessary to indicate the nature of the items included in the agenda; and

(c) if the proper officer thinks fit in the case of any item, copies of any other documents supplied to members of the council in connection with the item.

(8) Subsection (2) above applies in relation to copies of reports provided in pursuance of subsection (6) or (7) above as it applies in relation to copies of reports provided in pursuance of subsection (1) above.’.

New clause 11— Planning: inspection of minutes and other documents after planning meetings—

‘(1) After a planning meeting the following documents shall be open to inspection by members of the public at the offices of the Mayor of London until the expiration of the period of six years beginning with the date of the meeting—

(a) the minutes, or a copy of the minutes, of the meeting, excluding so much of the minutes of proceedings during which the meeting was not open to the public as discloses exempt information;

(b) where applicable, a summary under subsection (2) below;

(c) a copy of the agenda for the meeting; and

(d) a copy of so much of any report for the meeting as relates to any item during which the meeting was open to the public.

(2) Where, in consequence of the exclusion of parts of the minutes which disclose exempt information, the document open to inspection under subsection (1)(a) above does not provide members of the public with a reasonably fair and coherent record of the whole or part of the proceedings, the proper officer shall make a written summary of the proceedings or the part, as the case may be, which provides such a record without disclosing the exempt information.’.

New clause 12— Planning: inspection of background papers—

‘(1) Subject, in the case of section [Planning: inspection of minutes and other documents after planning meetings] (1), to subsection (2) below, if and so long as copies of the whole or part of a report for a planning meeting are required by section [Planning: access to agenda and connected reports] (1) or [Planning: inspection of minutes and other documents after planning meetings] (1) to be open to inspection by members of the public—

(a) those copies shall each include a copy of a list, compiled by the proper officer, of the background papers for the report or the part of the report, and

(b) at least one copy of each of the documents included in that list shall also be open to inspection at the offices of the Mayor of London.

(2) Subsection (1) above does not require a copy of any document included in the list to be open to inspection after the expiration of the period of four years beginning with the date of the meeting.

(3) Where a copy of any of the background papers for a report is required by subsection (1) above to be open to inspection by members of the public, the copy shall be taken for the purposes of this Part to be so open if arrangements exist for its production to members of the public as soon as is reasonably practicable after the making of a request to inspect the copy.

(4) Nothing in this section—

(a) requires any document which discloses exempt information to be included in the list referred to in subsection (1) above; or


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(b) without prejudice to the generality of section [Planning: access to information etc.], requires or authorises the inclusion in the list of any document which, if open to inspection by the public, would disclose confidential information in breach of the obligation of confidence, within the meaning of that subsection.

(5) For the purposes of this section the background papers for a report are those documents relating to the subject matter of the report which—

(a) disclose any facts or matters on which, in the opinion of the proper officer, the report or an important part of the report is based, and

(b) have, in his opinion, been relied on to a material extent in preparing the report, but do not include any published works.’.

New clause 16— Determination of applications for planning permission—

‘(1) Section 70 of TCPA 1990 (determination of applications: general considerations) is amended as follows.

(2) After subsection (2) insert—

“(2A) In respect of applications which are to be determined by the Mayor of London in accordance with a direction under section 2A of this Act, the Secretary of State may by regulations made provision about—

(a) how the Mayor should take into consideration those aspects of the application which are not relevant to the spatial development strategy but are relevant to other development plans;

(b) how the Mayor should deal with cases which require him to have regard to the spatial development strategy and another development plan, but where there are conflicts between the two.”.’.

Amendment No. 3, in clause 31, page 34, line 33, at end insert—

‘(1A) The Mayor of London may not make a direction under this section more than 21 days after being notified by the local planning authority of the making of the application.’.

Amendment No. 28, page 34, line 40, after ‘section’ insert

‘, or in the City of London’.

Amendment No. 18, page 35, line 3, at end insert—

‘(4A) An application is not an application of potential strategic importance unless—

(a) the application raises issues which have substantial effects beyond the area of the local planning authority to which the application has been made;

(b) the grant of planning permission in respect of the application will have substantial effects on the policies contained in the spatial development strategy published under section 334 of the GLA Act 1999; and

(c) there are sound planning reasons for so treating it.

(4B) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (4A), an application for development in the City of London shall not be an application of potential strategic importance unless it is for the erection of a building—

(a) with a total floor space of more than 100,000 square metres in addition to the total floor space of the development it replaces or,

(b) which is more than 150 metres high.

(4C) Subsection (4B)(b) does not apply to an application for the erection of a building adjacent to the River Thames.’.

Amendment No. 29, page 35, line 3, at end insert—

‘(4A) An application is not an application of potential strategic importance by reason only of its failure to accord with the provisions of the development plan in force in the area to which the application relates.


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(4B) An application for development in the City of London shall not be an application of potential strategic importance unless it is for the erection of a building—

(a) with a total floor space of more than 100,000 square metres in addition to the total floor space of the development it replaces, or

(b) which is more than 150 metres high.

(4C) Where an order under section 2A makes provision for any application which is to be treated as being for the erection of a building adjacent to the River Thames, subsection (4B)(b) does not apply to that application.’.

Amendment No. 31, page 35, line 3, at end insert—

‘(4A) An application is not an application of potential strategic importance unless—

(a) the application raises issues which have substantial effects beyond the area of the local planning authority to which the application has been made;

(b) the grant of planning permission in respect of the application will have substantial effects on the policies contained in the spatial development strategy published under section 334 of the GLA Act 1999; and

(c) there are sound planning reasons for so treating it.’.

Amendment No. 21, page 35, line 16, at end insert—

‘(6A) If an order under this section provides that, in deciding whether he should give a direction under this section, the Mayor may or must take account of the extent to which the council of a London Borough is achieving or has achieved the relevant targets set out in the spatial development strategy, the order must also describe—

(a) how the Mayor is to take those achievements into account and what factors will be taken into consideration,

(b) which targets are likely to be assessed in particular circumstances,

(c) the conditions which would need to be fulfilled by a council if it is to be considered as having achieved the targets, and

(d) how the Mayor will take into account the progress of the council in achieving the targets.’.

Amendment No. 22, page 35, line 16, at end insert—

‘(6A) An order under this section may not make provision requiring or enabling the Mayor to give a direction under this section if or because the applicant has requested him to do so.’.

Amendment No. 23, page 35, line 16, at end insert—

‘(6A) Subsection (6C) applies to any provision of an order under this section which makes provision requiring or enabling the Mayor to give a direction under this section because the applicant has requested him to do so for the reason described in subsection (6B).

(6B) The reason mentioned in subsection (6A) is that the local planning authority has failed, within a specified period, to provide a statement of the decision the authority to propose to make in respect of the application.

(6C) In any provision to which this subsection applies the “specified period” referred to in subsection (6B) shall be such period as is reasonable to enable to the local planning authority to provide the statement and in any event shall be no less than 20 weeks commencing with the date on which the application was received by the authority.’.

Amendment No. 24, page 35, line 16, at end insert—

‘(6A) If an order under this section makes provision for the definition of “application of potential strategic importance” and, in doing so, categorises applications as such by reference to the floorspace or height of any building comprised in the development in question, the order must provide that the floorspace or height so mentioned is expressed in terms of a net increase above the floorspace or height of any existing building on the site in question.’.


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Amendment No. 25, page 35, line 16, at end insert—

‘(6A) If an order under this section makes provision for the definition of “application of potential strategic importance” and, in doing so, categorises applications as such by reference to a minimum height of buildings comprised in the development, the order may not provide that the minimum height is less than 75 metres (except in relation to buildings adjacent to the River Thames).’.

Amendment No. 4, page 36, line 3, at end insert—

‘(7A) The following persons shall be given an opportunity to be heard by the Mayor of London before he determines an application by virtue of section 2A or this section—

(a) the applicant;

(b) the local planning authority who received the application;

(c) the member of the Assembly whose constituency covers the land subject to the application;

(d) no less than one councillor of a London borough or the Common Council whose ward covers the land subject to the application;

(e) no less than one representative of local, amenity or environmental interests as the Mayor of London considers appropriate;

(f) Transport for London;

(g) any other person, including public bodies or statutory undertakers, as the Mayor of London considers appropriate.’.

Amendment No. 19, page 36, line 6, at end insert

‘, including applications which are to be treated as being for the erection of buildings adjacent to the River Thames under section 2A(4C),’.

Amendment No. 30, page 36, line 6, at end insert

‘, including applications which are to be treated as being for the erection of buildings adjacent to the River Thames under subsection (4C) of that section,’.

Amendment No. 20, page 36, line 12, at end insert

‘, including the reasons which are to be taken as sound planning reasons for the purposes of section 2A(4A).’.

Amendment No. 5, page 36, leave out lines 18 to 20 and insert—

‘(3) Such provision may not include functions in relation to enforcement of planning control.’.

Amendment No. 6, in clause 32, page 36, leave out lines 34 to 36.

Amendment No. 7, page 36, leave out lines 39 to 40.

Mrs. Lait: For the official Opposition, this is one of the most important parts of the Bill, as it is the key point where powers are being taken away from boroughs and given to the Mayor.

I thank the Minister for Housing and Planning for making the draft statutory instrument available to me. I realise that she made it available to the Committee in the middle of January, but when I tried to look for it, due to unforeseen circumstances neither the Vote Office nor the Library had a copy. I downloaded it from her office mid-morning in a bit of a panic, so if I miss any of the finer details I am sure that my hon. Friends who took part in the Committee proceedings will help me out.


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