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(2B) On making an order granting development consent in respect of development that would involve the presence of a hazardous substance in circumstances requiring hazardous substances consent, the person making the order may direct that hazardous substances consent shall be deemed to be granted, subject to such conditions (if any) as may be specified in the direction.
2A (1) Where under section 15(2)(a) an application, on being referred to the appropriate national authority, falls to be dealt with under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the appropriate national authority must decide the application as if it were an application for consent for the felling of trees made under tree preservation regulations.
3A Where under section 15(3)(a) an application, on being referred to an authority who have made a tree preservation order, falls to be dealt with under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the authority must decide the application as if it were an application for consent for the felling of trees made under tree preservation regulations...
Section 202E of that Act
Date (a) any consent required by tree preservation regulations is refused, (b) any such consent is granted subject to conditions, or (c) any approval required under such a condition is refused.
Forestry Act 1967 (c. 10)
In paragraph 2 of Schedule 3 (a) the words from section 77 to (for Scotland), and (b) the said section 77 or (for Scotland)..
In section 284(3)(a), for planning permission.
Sections 46 to 48..
In section 122(6), (a),.
In Schedule 6, paragraph 5..
Greater London Authority Act 2007 (c. 24)
As we begin Third Reading, we have come to a wide agreement that this is an important Bill that makes important far-reaching reforms to our planning system. The challenges facing the country demand difficult decisions in order to make such improvements. We must replace a third of our electricity generation capacity in the next 20 years. We must increase the power we generate from renewable resources and we aim to see that at a level of 20 per cent. by 2020. We must secure water supplies for a growing population with an increasingly changing climate, and we must improve the major transport systems to support jobs and economic growth in this country for the future.
We know that to get major investment for such major developments we need clearer national policies on big energy, water and transport developments. We know that we need a better way to make decisions on big project applications and that we need more opportunities for local people to have a say and an influence, particularly those from the local council areas and communities that are most affected by big project applications. That is precisely what the Bill provides us with.
The House, and members of the Public Bill Committee in particular, have given the Bill strong scrutiny. We have had four Committee evidence sessions, 14 Committee scrutiny sessions and two days on Report. At every stage, the Government have been ready to listen carefully to the arguments and concerns raised by Members from all parties and from groups with an interest in the Bill.
When there has been a good case for changes that can also strengthen the Bill, we have been ready to make such changes. We have done that in relation to the accountability of the IPC to the House through Select Committees, a stronger duty for Ministers to take the environment into account, and the role of local councils in reporting to the IPC on the consultation conducted by promoters before an application and on the impact of an application in their area. We have made such changes on the right to be heard at inquiries conducted by the IPC and on a range of other matters, from enforcement loopholes to excluding tramways and other guided transport systems from the Bill.
I pay tribute to the Chairs of the four main departmental Select Committees who have worked with me and with the Leader of the House. As a result of what the Chair of the Select Committee on Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has described as extremely constructive dialogue, we have developed and legislated for a special system to allow Parliament to scrutinise the new national policy statements, which was agreed by the House during our first day on Report.
There is also wide agreement that the planning system requires a radical overhaul. As we pass the Bill to the other place, we have reached the point where there is wide, if not universal, acceptance of our plans to reform the existing eight separate consent regimesoften arcane and antiquatedinto one. Also accepted are our new national policy statements that will cover the big questions on the balance between environmental, economic and social objectives. Those policy statements will also consider the national need for development, including where nuclear power stations and airport extensions should be sited. Our plans for a new independent commission, drawn from a wide range of relevant expertise and tasked with assessing and deciding on applications, have also been accepted.
John Healey: An application today for a new power station would be handled under the existing regime. The new system means that the commission will handle such matters only when the new national policy statements are in place, and under their terms.
The Government have also gained approval for new legal obligations for project developers to consult locally before submitting an application. If they do not do so, the commission will not even look at an application. We have also gained approval for our plans for a new inquiry process that guarantees the right to be heard, in writing and in person, and which makes cross-examination available. The commission will lead the questions, so that lawyers do not dominate and cause local voices to be shut out.
Lembit Öpik: I am grateful to the Minister for giving way to me, and I shall be brief. He mentioned the publics right to be heard, but many people are worried about how areas subject to flooding and standing water are handled. Is he confident that the new planning process will give local residents the opportunity to have their opinions heard before the Environment Agency turns an area into a standing water flood plain?
John Healey: I rather regret giving way to the hon. Gentleman now, as he has a habit of coming in halfway through a debate and going off half-cocked. The Bill does not cover those matters, nor does it touch that part of the planning system.
Some of the proposals in the Bill involve tough decisions, but they will help meet this countrys vital
long-term needs for more homes, nuclear power and airport extensions. Faced with those difficult planning decisions, the Tories have ducked and divedworse, though, they have at times played the Bill for short-term political gain. In Committee they voted against the IPC, preferring that the planning inspectorate should do the job of hearing applications. At the start of the Report stage today, a Tory amendment accepted the IPC, but only to make recommendations. By the end of Report stage, they voted to allow the IPC to make decisions, but only if they were confirmed by the Secretary of State after six months.
Not only do the Opposition duck the difficult questions, their policy moves with the political wind. There is no consistency or credibility, so no wonder they are still not taken seriously by serious opinion. Todays edition of the Financial Times devoted a leading article to the Planning Bill. It said that the Tories
are facing in two directions at once. Despite their claims to want more housing and development, they are prepared to sink the reforms necessary to deliver a better system...Leader David Camerons half-pregnant pose on planning will not do.
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