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Lord Hanningfield: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that response. I think that everyone now accepts that we will have reasonable spatial strategies with planning policy being done at regional level. As the leader of Essex County Council, I am very much involved in the issue on a daily basis and, like the Minister, I want the system to work. If we are going to have an eastern regional policy, I want it to work.

I do not like to give examples from my own county. However, as I said in my initial remarks, Essex has both the A12 corridor and heavy congestion in Chelmsford. We are trying to establish a park and ride system in Chelmsford which involves several district councils and the development of the A12. It is not a matter for the regional spatial strategy but will involve several districts and Essex County Council. We are trying to ensure that the Bill provides the capacity to create sub-regional planning policies and the strategies

24 Feb 2004 : Column 154

to deliver. The county council has just completed the biggest single PFI road project, on the A130 from Southend to Chelmsford. That is of no interest at all to Norfolk, Peterborough, Suffolk and Cambridge. The new system will have to provide the capacity to deliver such developments.

I am sad that the Minister thinks we are trying to handicap such a capacity. We are trying to improve the situation by enabling the new regional system to deliver such developments. We accept that that is going to happen, and we are trying to make it work. Earlier, I quoted the example of Harlow, which, if it is to expand, will have to expand into other districts. That case might involve a UDC because it concerns the M11 corridor. I could cite other parts of Essex, such as Haven Gateway, from where the noble Lord, Lord Bassam, originates, which is one of the most deprived areas in our county. I have a lot of time for that area. We need a strategy for it, but it is not covered by a government initiative.

If we are going to improve our communities, the new legislation will have to provide the capacity to deliver it. These regions are very big and will not be interested in the matters I have mentioned—projects such as park and ride schemes covering several districts and roads joining one town to another. I am trying to be helpful and to make the system work. I see the whole system failing because a two-tier system—from the top of the region to the district—will not work. There needs to be capacity in the middle to deliver the Government's objectives. I am trying to help them do that in the Thames Gateway, the M11 corridor, and at Stansted airport. I am trying to make the new system work. I think that this provision must be on the face of the Bill. I therefore wish to test the opinion of the House.

5.23 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 4) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 160; Not-Contents, 108.

Division No. 2

CONTENTS

Addington, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Ashcroft, L.
Astor, V.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Avebury, L.
Barker, B.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Blaker, L.
Bradshaw, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Bridges, L.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Chadlington, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Colville of Culross, V.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Cox, B.
Craigavon, V.
Crathorne, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Dahrendorf, L.
Denham, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Elton, L.
Erroll, E.
Falkland, V.
Ferrers, E.
Fookes, B.
Forsyth of Drumlean, L.
Fowler, L.
Freeman, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Gilmour of Craigmillar, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Greaves, L.
Greenway, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hanham, B.
Hanningfield, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L.
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Howarth of Breckland, B.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Hurd of Westwell, L.
Inge, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jopling, L.
Kimball, L.
King of Bridgwater, L.
Kingsland, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Laird, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Liverpool, E.
Livsey of Talgarth, L.
Lucas, L.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
McAlpine of West Green, L.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
MacLaurin of Knebworth, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mancroft, L.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Marlesford, L.
Marsh, L.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Michie of Gallanach, B.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Montrose, D.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Naseby, L.
Newby, L.
Noakes, B.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Palmer, L.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Patten, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Quinton, L.
Rawlings, B.
Rawlinson of Ewell, L.
Razzall, L.
Reay, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rees, L.
Rennard, L.
Rogan, L.
Roper, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Russell-Johnston, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sandberg, L.
Sanderson of Bowden, L.
Sandwich, E.
Seccombe, B. [Teller]
Selborne, E.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Sheppard of Didgemere, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Stevens of Ludgate, L.
Stewartby, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Strange, B.
Swinfen, L.
Taverne, L.
Thatcher, B.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Ullswater, V.
Vinson, L.
Waddington, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Wakeham, L.
Walker of Worcester, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Weatherill, L.
Wilcox, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Willoughby de Broke, L.
Windlesham, L.

NOT-CONTENTS

Acton, L.
Ahmed, L.
Alli, L.
Alton of Liverpool, L.
Amos, B. (Lord Privy Seal)
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Blackstone, B.
Borrie, L.
Boston of Faversham, L.
Bragg, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Burlison, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Chandos, V.
Christopher, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cobbold, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Crawley, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L. [Teller]
Dearing, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Fitt, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jeger, B.
Jones, L.
Judd, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Mishcon, L.
Mitchell, L.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Orme, L.
Parekh, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Pendry, L.
Peston, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rea, L.
Rooker, L.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sheldon, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Stallard, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Triesman, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Varley, L.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Winston, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

24 Feb 2004 : Column 156

5.33 p.m.

Baroness Hamwee moved Amendment No. 5:


    Page 1, line 16, at end insert "unless the conflict concerns a matter of fact in which case the fact shall prevail"

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, Amendment No. 5, grouped with Amendment No. 65, relates to the same point with regard to the regional spatial strategy and the local development document. This new point occurred to me on re-reading the Bill after the last stage. In both relevant clauses there is a provision that,


    "if to any extent a policy set out in the RSS"—

or the local development document—


    "conflicts with any other statement or information in the RSS the conflict must be resolved in favour of the policy".

I have no quarrel with the general proposition. However, if the statement—or "information" to use the word in the subsection—is a matter of fact, then the fact should prevail rather than policy if policy is based on an incorrect fact. That is the thrust of Amendments Nos. 5 and 65. If the conflict concerns a matter of fact, the fact shall prevail. I beg to move.


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