HC Deb 17 December 1992 vol 216 cc500-2W
Mr. Walden

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimate he has made of the extent to which the establishment of an urban regeneration agency will result in a reduction in the proportion of housing development taking place outside Greater London and other urban areas.

Mr. Robin Squire

When the URA comes into being it will bring vacant, derelict and under-used land back into use in partnership with the private sector and local authorities. The agency will focus on urban land, but it is not possible to estimate the impact of this on the amount of development, including housing, on land outside urban areas. All schemes that the agency is able to bring forward on vacant and derelict land will, however, relieve pressure on other sites, many of which might otherwise be in rural areas.

Mr. Walden

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what importance will be given to development plans in terms of the guidance provided in paragraph 5 of planning policy guidance note 1.

Mr. Baldry

Paragraph 5 of PPG1 explains that applications for development proposals should be allowed, having regard to the development plan and all material considerations, unless the proposed development would cause demonstrable harm to interests of acknowledged importance. Section 54A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 requires planning decisions to be determined in accordance with the plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise. It follows that the contents of a development plan are of pivotal importance in deciding planning applications, as is explained in more detail between paragraphs 25 and 31 of that guidance.

Mr. Walden

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list those local authority development plans placed on deposit since 10 February to which his Department has objected on the ground of an omission of environmental policies contained in any of the new or revised planning policy guidance notes issued in 1992.

Mr. Baldry

Of the 59 development plans1 placed on deposit on or after 10 February 1992, my Department has made 260 objections on environmental grounds to the following 55:

  • Babergh
  • Barking and Dagenham Unitary Development Plan (UDP)
  • Basingstoke and Deane Borough
  • Berkshire Structure Plan
  • Bexley UDP
  • Bolton UDP
  • Braintree
  • Brent UDP
  • Brentwood
  • Bridgnorth
  • Broxbourne
  • Broxtowe
  • Calderdale UDP
  • Cambridge City
  • Chorley
  • Corby
  • Cumbria and Lake District Structure Plan
  • Erewash
  • Forest Heath
  • Gosport Borough
  • Hartlepool
  • Hackney UDP
  • Hammersmith and Fulham UDP
  • Harrow UDP
  • Hereford and Worcester Minerals
  • Kensington and Chelsea UDP
  • Leicester City
  • Leicestershire Minerals Plan
  • Leicestershire Structure Plan Replacement
  • Manchester UDP
  • Merton UDP
  • Newcastle-under-Lyme
  • North Kesteven Local Plan
  • North Yorkshire Structure Plan (Alteration)
  • 502
  • Peak Park Structure Plan
  • Portsmouth City
  • Reading Borough
  • Richmond UDP
  • Rossendale
  • St. Edmundsbury
  • Salford UDP
  • Sandwell UDP
  • South Kesteven
  • South Shropshire
  • Surrey Structure Plan Replacement 1992
  • Tamworth
  • Test Valley
  • Tower Hamlets UDP
  • Tunbridge Wells Borough
  • Uttlesford
  • Waltham Forest UDP
  • Wandsworth UDP
  • Warwick
  • Wychavon
  • Wycombe

1 Local plans unless otherwise specified.

Environmental considerations should permeate the policies of the development plan as a whole, which should be as concise as is consistent with providing the framework for development. Authorities need to apply national policy guidance in the light of local circumstances; not all such guidance will be relevant to every plan. The departmental objections on environmental grounds related to policies not conforming with national policy guidance. Examples are inconsistency with national policies on the green belt, nature conservation, countryside and the rural economy, and omission of policies for waste disposal, as well as objections to policies considered too restrictive, too vague, or not relating to land use.

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