§ Mr. Key
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what progress is being made with the review of the use classes order under the Town and Country Planning Act 1971, announced in paragraph 3.6(iii) of the White Paper "Lifting the Burden," Cmnd 9571.
§ Mr. Kenneth Baker
The Use Classes Order, which has not been substantially changed since it was first introduced in 1948, was in need of review in the light of today's conditions. As a first step, I invited a sub-group of the Property Advisory Group to undertake an urgent study of the order and to make recommendations on ways in which it needs amendment, in particular so as to reduce the number of classes to the minimum consistent with retaining effective control over changes of use which, because of their environmental consequences or relationship with other uses, need to be subject to specific control.
I am grateful to the sub-group for completing its work so promptly. In sum the recommendations propose significant changes in the present system which are designed to reduce its detailed constraints. I welcome this 56W approach, but I will need to consider the comments of interested persons and bodies before reaching conclusions on the sub-group's detailed recommendations. I am arranging for the report to be published so that all those interested in the revision of the Use Classes Order will have the opportunity to express their views.
Copies of the report have been placed in the Library. Copies are also being sent today to the local authority associations and other interested bodies with the request that they should send to the Department by 3 February 1986 any comments whchh they may have on the subgroup's proposals.