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Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for making the offer of tea—it was coffee last time, was it not? This is precisely why we felt that it was important to table the amendment that my noble friend Lady Maddock moved about the "Rough Guide" to the legislation, as it were. The Minister says that this offer is just between him and the Front Benches—and Hansard and everyone who needs it—but it should not be necessary to have a one-to-one explanation. We would

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be very pleased to help to find some way in which to get the "Rough Guide" into language that is more intelligible.

Lord Hanningfield: My Lords, I should like to intervene as well. I would welcome the cup of tea, but—

Baroness Hanham: My Lords, the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, is correct. It is very kind of the Minister to invite us to tea, and I should like to think about that offer rather than simply turn it down. However, it might be helpful on the basis of looking at a draft of the guide that the noble Baroness has put into her amendment. I believe that we can do something about this matter. It is perfectly possible to go on having a humorous discussion across the Benches, but I believe that matter to be really serious. If there is a draft of the guide or another way of dealing with this, perhaps we should think about it before Third Reading—in case we decide to come back to it with perhaps fewer amendments, and so that I do not run the risk of the Minister spending the whole of Third Reading reading them back to me. I am grateful for his reply. For the moment, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 48 to 56 not moved.]

Clause 15 [Local development scheme]:

[Amendments Nos. 57 and 58 not moved.]

Clause 16 [Minerals and waste development scheme]:

[Amendments Nos. 59 to 62 not moved.]

Clause 17 [Local development documents]:

Baroness Hamwee moved Amendment No. 63:

    Page 9, line 27, at end insert—

"( ) the local planning authority's core planning strategy which shall include—
(i) a statement of the development and use which the local planning authority wish to encourage during any period specified in the strategy;
(ii) a statement of the environmental, social and economic objectives which are relevant to the attainment of the development and use mentioned in sub-paragraph (i); and
(iii) the authority's general policies in respect of the matters in sub-paragraphs (i) and (ii);"

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, this amendment brings us to Clause 17 and deals with matters that should be included in the local planning authority's core planning strategy. Happily, in this part of the Bill acronyms are not used as much they are in the first part. I have felt so acutely conscious of using acronyms, even when quoting bits of the Bill, that I have felt uncomfortable about it. In most cases, I think that the acronyms I quoted were a matter of parliamentary counsel's drafting and not of my speech. As I said, however, we do not have to deal with acronyms here.

We tabled an amendment in Committee which, although much shorter, had the same thrust. The noble Lord, Lord Bassam, said that providing for a strategic planning statement was unnecessary because guidance and regulations would provide. This amendment uses

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the wording of the draft regulations, but with the substitution of one small word in paragraph (ii). The noble Lord said that making the amendment we had proposed would not add anything and that the,

    "issue can be more and better finessed in the regulations".—[Official Report, 27/1/04; col. 101.]

As we have draft regulations which will not be amendable, I thought that this might be the opportunity to understand whether the Government think they have the right approach in the regulations, or whether the words I have used in this amendment need, to use the noble Lord's word, to be "finessed". I beg to move.

Lord Bassam of Brighton: I congratulate the noble Baroness on the subtlety of her amendment. However, our view really has not changed since the earlier stage of the Bill. The amendment seeks to outline what the core should include. That would mean that a core strategy with specific contents would be required of all local planning authorities until such time as Parliament agreed otherwise. Our view remains the same. It is neither necessary nor sensible for the core strategy to be on the face of the Bill. We have argued this before, but I shall make the point again. Regulations will require every local planning authority to have a core strategy and will set out what it should include, at Regulation 14(1).

Our view is that primary legislation is too rigid and difficult to change. We certainly do not have many opportunities for planning Bills to make perhaps necessary changes. We think that it is better to set out the broad framework describing local development documents in the legislation and then to leave it to regulations and policy statements to flesh out the detail of what those are and what they contain. We believe that that gives the planning system the robustness and flexibility it requires. It also provides local planning authorities with flexibility in creating local development documents as regulations can be updated in the light of good practice. I know that the noble Baroness is very keen to ensure that local good practice is used, and that is certainly our intent in ensuring that regulations are up to date in their import and impact.

We have already received quite a lot of responses to the draft regulations. The question is raised in the noble Baroness's mind as to whether they are absolutely correct. Does the noble Baroness think that her wording—it uses the formulation currently contained in the regulations—is right? How would she change it to ensure that it kept abreast of developments and the way in which the planning framework is inclined to change over time? That is the difficulty which the noble Baroness creates for us and for herself in her approach to this part of the legislation.

Having heard my reply, I hope that the noble Baroness will feel able to withdraw the amendment.

Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, I find it difficult to envisage such a change in circumstances that the words used in the amendment—I filched them from Government—will become out of date. They are not intended to be exclusive. Having moved the amendment,

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I realised that I had not referred in words to the response to consultation. The Minister has not answered my question. I am happy to answer his. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Baroness Hamwee moved Amendment No. 64:

    Page 9, line 34, at end insert—

"( ) These should include the policies in respect of—
(a) the conservation of the natural beauty and amenity of the land;
(b) the conservation of natural resources;
(c) the improvement of the physical environment;
(d) the management of traffic."

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, Amendment No. 64 is a partner amendment to Amendment No. 30 which I moved earlier. I move this amendment to ascertain whether the Government have anything further to put on the record with regard to this part of the Bill. The amendment applies to the local development document rather than the regional spatial strategy. It picks up the same part of the 1991 Act which refers to local plans. I beg to move.

Lord Rooker: My Lords, I recall Amendment No. 30. I can give almost the same reply. In the context of the local planning authority these are important considerations. No one gainsays that. But they are not the only ones. I made that point earlier. We do not think it right to single out particular policy considerations on the face of the Bill as it would cut across the integrated and holistic approach of the new system.

Local planning authorities must consider those issues—the conservation of the natural beauty and amenity of the land; the conservation of natural resources; the improvement of the physical environment; and certainly the management of traffic—alongside a much wider range of matters as is already set out in planning policy statement 12, together with further policy requirements as set out in Annex A on page 37.

A further safeguard is the requirement for a sound evidence base and the requirements for sustainability assessment and strategic environmental assessment, again as set out in the paragraphs 4.2.1 and 4.3.1 of planning policy statement 12.

Spatial planning goes beyond traditional land use planning to bring together and integrate policies for the development and use of land with other policies which influence the nature of places and how they develop. Global and national policies may change over time and, therefore, we should not prescribe for these in legislation, as many will emerge as a matter of good practice.

That goes a little further than what I intended to say. In other words, these are very important considerations but they are not the only ones. For that reason, it would be wrong to put them on the face of the Bill.

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9.45 p.m.

Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 65 and 66 not moved.]

Clause 18 [Statement of community involvement]:

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