HC Deb 08 November 1999 vol 337 cc782-3

Lords amendment: No. 435, in page 141, line 13, leave out subsection (4) and insert— ("( ) The spatial development strategy must include statements dealing with the general spatial development aspects of—

  1. (a) such of the other strategies prepared and published, or to be prepared and published, under the enactments mentioned in section 33(1) above as involve considerations of spatial development, and
  2. (b) such of the Mayor's other policies or proposals as involve such considerations,
whether or not the strategy, policy or proposal relates to the development or use of land.")

Mr. Raynsford

I beg to move, That this House agrees with the Lords in the said amendment.

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this, it will be convenient to discuss Lords amendments Nos. 436 to 438, 442, 443 and 452.

Mr. Raynsford

Amendment No. 435 defines more succinctly, taking into account clause 33(5), the relationship between the mayor's spatial development strategy and other strategies. Discussion in Commons Committee revealed some difficulties of interpretation, so we have taken the opportunity to rationalise and improve the wording of existing subsection (4). The amendment is, therefore, a drafting amendment, which clarifies that the mayor's spatial development strategy must cover the spatial aspects of his or her other strategies and policies.

Amendments Nos. 436 and 437 arise from a commitment that the Government gave in another place to consider an amendment proposed by the Liberal Democrats. I am sorry that the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) has left the Chamber, at the very moment when I was about to say something nice about his contribution. However, I am sure that his hon. Friend the Member for Carshalton and Wallington (Mr. Brake) will relay to him my comments. The amendments ensure that, when deciding to whom consultation copies of the SDS should be sent, the mayor has to consider relevant bodies under the descriptions specified in clause 27(3)—the general consultation clause—as well as the consultees set out in part VIII of the Bill.

Government amendment No. 438 arises from my agreement in Committee to consider an amendment tabled by the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey. It places a duty on the mayor to notify any withdrawal of the draft SDS to those who are consulted during the preparation of the strategy and on the draft. At present, the Bill requires only that those who have made representations about the SDS—rather than those who have been formally consulted—should be informed. We accepted that there might possibly have been a gap, and were thus happy to accept the hon. Gentleman's amendment, because his approach seemed to be constructive.

Amendment No. 442 clarifies, for the avoidance of doubt, that the regulations that we are producing for the SDS may include procedures to be followed by the mayor to ensure that the Secretary of State has an opportunity to exercise the power of direction over the strategy referred to in clause 267.

Amendment No. 443 clarifies that the Secretary of State's power to direct amendment of the SDS can be made at any point before publication—not just on the consultation draft.

Amendment No. 452 is, in essence, a tidying-up amendment in relation to the mayor's role in representing London's interests to the rest of the south-east. It clarifies that the mayor is able to represent London's collective interests on planning matters on any relevant body, not merely one that is made up solely of local authority membership.

Lords amendment No. 435 agreed to.

Lords amendments Nos. 436 to 438 agreed to.

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