§ 9. Mr. Chapman
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on progress by local planning authorities in drawing up, entering into public consultation and implementing statutory local plans (a) generally and (b) in the outer London boroughs.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Christopher Chope)
In terms of 901 population, about 65 per cent. of London and about 20 per cent of the rest of England are covered by adopted local plans, with a further 10 to 15 per cent covered by draft plans. Thirteen of the 19 outer London boroughs have complete coverage of adopted or deposited local plans. I hope that the planning policy guidance note published on 30 November will accelerate the preparation and adoption of local plans elsewhere.
§ Mr. Chapman
I thank my hon. Friend for his detailed reply. I accept that the borough of Barnet has published its draft local plan and is now conducting the statutory six months of public consultation, but can my hon. Friend give an assurance that local planning authorities can turn down planning applications that they deem out of scale and character with neighbouring buildings?
More important, can my hon. Friend assure us that if there are appeals on such planning applications, while the Secretary of State must, of course, look at each appeal individually, there will be some recognition that he will uphold planning authorities that turn down applications because they are out of scale and character?
§ Mr. Cousins
Will the Minister take up urgently with his colleagues at the Department of Transport key issues such as the motorway proposals now overshadowing much of outer west London? Adequate performance of the fine-grain detail of planning in statutory local plans is being completely overshadowed by major proposals for capital infrastructure investment affecting the lives of entire communities.
§ Mr. Jessel
On local plans for outer London, will my hon. Friend take careful note that it is against the wishes of the public that their leafy roads in outer London should gradually be turned into blocks of six, eight and 12 flats? Will such public feeling be reflected in decisions on planning appeals?