Eleventh Report Contents

Instruments of interest

International Waste Shipments (Amendment of Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 and 1418/2007) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/785)

30.This instrument amends retained EU law concerning the export of waste. According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the changes introduce export control procedures in relation to non-OECD countries for a new category of sorted, non-hazardous, plastic waste (classified as B3011), which has previously been a subset of another classification (B3010) which is no longer used in the Basel Convention.6 The instrument also removes now defunct references to plastic waste classified as B3010.

31.We have received a submission from Green Alliance which criticises that while the EU has gone further than the changes to the Basel Convention required, the UK has not and continues to allow the export of dirty or unsorted plastic waste to non-OECD countries for energy recovery, for example incineration, as long as the regulator in the importing country has provided ‘prior informed consent’. Green Alliance calls for “urgent clarity on how [the UK] intends to implement further bans or restrictions that will stop the export of materials that damage environments and people abroad”. In response, Defra explains that, unlike the EU, “the UK government is committed to banning the export of all plastic waste to non-OECD countries”, and that the Government intent to consult on the options for a ban on such exports. We are publishing the full correspondence on our website.7

Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development etc.) (England) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order 2021 (SI 2021/814)

32.This Order introduces new requirements for consideration of fire safety and consultation with the Health and Safety Executive for certain high-rise residential buildings that can be created under a permitted development right.8 According to the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government (MHCLG), this reflects changes made by an earlier instrument9 which introduced equivalent new requirements into the planning application process for relevant high-rise residential buildings in response to a recommendations of the Independent Review that was conducted after the Grenfell Fire.10

33.The Order also makes a number of consequential changes to permitted development rights to reflect changes made by an earlier instrument11 which created a new Local Community use class (F2) for valued local uses, a new Learning and Non-residential institutions use class (F1) and a new broad Commercial, business and service use class (Class E) which incorporates previous use classes for shops, financial and professional services, offices, restaurants and cafes, gyms, nurseries and health centres. Changes of use within a use class do not require planning permission; this Order sets out in detail which changes of use are permitted or not: for example, while casinos, betting offices, pay day loan shops or hot food takeaways may be changed to uses in Class E, the Order specifies that changes of use to that of a betting shop or pay day loan shop or between a betting office and pay day loan shop are not permitted.

34.The changes made to permitted development rights may have a considerable impact, including on the ability of local authorities to shape the character of their high streets and local communities, as certain changes in the use of buildings will no longer require planning permission. As we have noted previously,12 this raises the question of whether it would have been more appropriate to make such changes in a Bill, enabling Parliament to scrutinise the changes and their potential impact more fully.

6 The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was adopted in 1989 and came into force in 1992. It is a global environmental agreement on hazardous and other wastes.

8 Where planning permission is granted under a “permitted development right” an application for planning permission is not required, although in some cases permitted development rights require the local planning authority to approve certain key planning matters before development can proceed by way of “prior approval”.

9 Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure and Section 62A Applications) (England) (Amendment) Order 2021 (SI 2021/746), see: 8th Report, Session 2019–21 (HL Paper 40).

10 MHCLG, Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: final report (17 May 2018): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/independent-review-of-building-regulations-and-fire-safety-final-report [accessed 21 July 2021].

11 Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (England) Regulations (SI 2020/757), see: 25th Report, Session 2019–21 (HL Paper 123).

12 See, for example, Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development etc.) (England) (Amendment) Order 2021 (SI 2021/428), 52nd Report, Session 2019–21 (HL Paper 268).

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