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Baroness Hamwee: My Lords, as the Minister says, the issue has always been sensitive. The sensitivity was eventually addressed when the Bill reached this House after its extended—sometimes almost undetectable—progress in another place. In our system, of course there are negotiations and discussions while a Bill is in progress. However, to characterise what happened as dishonourable on the part of those who took part is unfortunate.

The Minister used examples of cross-boundary arrangements, the sort of examples that I intended to use in a debate that we may have later on sub-regional arrangements. Those cross-boundary arrangements are happening now. I do not accept that what is proposed is a recipe for inaction. The Government have not moved on the fundamental question of the lack—indeed, I would say the loss—of democracy. They have not come up with any way of meeting their concerns at the same time as meeting that basic and important concern. Therefore, again I wish to test the opinion of the House.

3.40 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 1B) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 125; Not-Contents, 116.

Division No. 1


Addington, L.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Ampthill, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Astor of Hever, L.
Avebury, L.
Barker, B.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Biffen, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Bowness, L.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Chalfont, L.
Chester, Bp.
Chorley, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Cockfield, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Courtown, E.
Cumberlege, B.
Dahrendorf, L.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elles, B.
Elton, L.
Ezra, L.
Falkland, V.
Fearn, L.
Fowler, L.
Freeman, L.
Geddes, L.
Gilmour of Craigmillar, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hanham, B.
Hanningfield, L.
Harris of Richmond, B. [Teller]
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Home, E.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jopling, L.
Kimball, L.
Kingsland, L.
Laing of Dunphail, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Lang of Monkton, L.
Liverpool, E.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Marlesford, L.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Naseby, L.
Newby, L.
Northesk, E.
Northover, B.
Norton of Louth, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Peel, E.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Plumb, L.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Prior, L.
Reay, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rees, L.
Rees-Mogg, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Roper, L. [Teller]
Rotherwick, L.
Russell, E.
St John of Fawsley, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sandberg, L.
Sanderson of Bowden, L.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Swinfen, L.
Taverne, L.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Trumpington, B.
Tugendhat, L.
Waddington, L.
Wakeham, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Walpole, L.
Warnock, B.
Wilcox, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Windlesham, L.
Wolfson, L.


Acton, L.
Ahmed, L.
Alton of Liverpool, L.
Amos, B. (Lord President of the Council)
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Bhatia, L.
Blackstone, B.
Blood, B.
Boothroyd, B.
Borrie, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Christopher, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Craig of Radley, L.
Crawley, B.
David, B.
Davies of Oldham, L. [Teller]
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Dubs, L.
Elder, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, 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.
Gavron, L.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Golding, B.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Gregson, 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.
Howarth of Breckland, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L.
Jones, L.
Jordan, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
Listowel, E.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
Marsh, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Mitchell, L.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Nicol, B.
Orme, L.
Paul, L.
Pendry, L.
Peston, L.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Puttnam, L.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Richard, L.
Rooker, L.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sheldon, L.
Simon, V.
Stallard, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thornton, B.
Triesman, L.
Varley, L.
Walton of Detchant, L.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Weatherill, L.
Whitaker, B.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

26 Apr 2004 : Column 574

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

3.50 p.m.


2Page 1, line 7, leave out "must set out" and insert "shall have regard to" The Commons disagree to this amendment for the following reason—

2ABecause it is not appropriate to make such provision.

Lord Rooker: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do not insist on its Amendment No. 2 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 2A.

Moved, That the House do not insist on its Amendment No. 2 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 2A.—(Lord Rooker.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.


3Page 1, line 11, at end insert—
"(3A) The RSS must include sub-regional plans for all parts of the region in accordance with geographical boundaries defined by the RPB.
(3B) The sub-regional plans referred to in subsection (3A) shall be prepared by the authorities falling within section 4(1) if their area or any part of their area is in the defined sub-region." The Commons disagree to this amendment for the following reason—

3ABecause it is not appropriate to create more than one tier of regional spatial strategy.

26 Apr 2004 : Column 575

Lord Rooker: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do not insist on its Amendment No. 3 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 3A.

The amendment would require the regional spatial strategy to include sub-regional plans for all parts of the region and for these to be prepared by such county councils, metropolitan district councils, unitary authorities and national park authorities if their area or any part of it is covered by the sub-region. We are not clear why the noble Baroness is pursuing the issue when the Local Government Association and the county council network are committed to working within the new strategic planning arrangements. Well, that is what is written down here, but I might redraft it for the next stage. No doubt I will hear about it when the other amendment is spoken to.

The regional spatial strategies will contain a new emphasis on sub-regions. I fully accept what was said at the end of the previous debate when I gave three examples to the noble Lord, Lord Marlesford. What I described in them is happening now, so I cannot claim what will happen if the Bill is passed.

Under the present arrangements with the regional assemblies, the regional planning bodies, a new regime, which are not exclusively elected, the action is already taking place. That regime will carry across, so a new culture of planning is enabling the sub-regional work in the three examples I gave now to take place. It was not taking place prior to the regional assemblies being the regional planning bodies.

The regional spatial strategies will contain a new emphasis on sub-regions. As draft planning policy statement 11 makes clear, where sub-regional strategies are being drawn up, we would expect those authorities with strategic planning expertise in the area to take the lead on or participate in that work. We expect the sub-regional strategies with a distinct set of policies for parts of the region to be the exception and not the rule. Those sub-regional strategies will form an integral part of the regional spatial strategy.

We cannot afford to see a proliferation of plans under the guise of sub-regional strategies. That is not the plan; and nor would it make sense because they would be fully integrated and would serve only to create confusion and uncertainty for the community, local planning authorities and developers. That is one of the problems with our existing planning system. We do not accept that a two-tier planning system will leave us with an unbridgeable gap between regional and local plans.

Where we would otherwise be faced with a strategic policy deficit, sub-regional strategies will be prepared to deal with the specific growth or regenerational needs of an area, for example. Indeed, the three-tier plan system, constrained as it has been by administrative boundaries, has sometimes failed to tackle sub-regional issues which are now for the first

26 Apr 2004 : Column 576

time beginning to be looked at in the revision of the regional plans. I mention the three-city area of Nottingham, Leicester and Derby of the east Midlands as one example.

Another example I can give, because I have dealt with it, is the separate sub-regional strategy documents being prepared in relation to the Milton Keynes/south Midlands, growth area and in due course the Thames Gateway. Where sub-regions cross regional boundaries—and the Milton Keynes/south Midlands growth area is an obvious example—it makes sense to have a separate sub-regional strategy document. But we must remember that the Milton Keynes/south Midlands sub-regional strategy is prepared by three regional planning bodies affected and will be adopted as alterations to their three regional spatial strategies. In the Thames Gateway, a non-statutory sub-regional framework is being prepared, but this reflects the unique circumstances of the sub-region rather than providing a model for other regions. I would not dream of saying that it should be a model.

We need a system with strong regional plans that includes sub-regional strategies where necessary. We need to involve authorities with strategic planning expertise closely in their preparation. That is what the new system is supposed to achieve—the one we proposed in the Bill with the amendments and with a strong role for county councils. A statutory layer of sub-regional plans, which is envisaged in the other amendment, will simply mean that the system becomes bogged down again by too many plans which are too often out of date and out of line with each other. I repeat what I said at the end of the previous debate—there will be an argument about who owns the plans. It will not be clear to the public and it will benefit no one. I commend the Motion.

Moved, That the House do not insist in its Amendment No. 3 to which the Commons have disagreed for their reason numbered 3A.—(Lord Rooker.)

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