HC Deb 06 March 1995 vol 256 c17W
Mr. Alexander

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he intends to amend the Town and Country Planning General Development Order 1988 in respect of development requiring environmental assessment.

Sir Paul Beresford

My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for the Environment and for Wales have today laid before Parliament the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995 and the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995. These two instruments consolidate the General Development Order 1988 and its numerous amending orders. Following public consultation in 1993, the Permitted Development Order also introduces provisions whereby permitted development rights granted by article 3 of the order are withdrawn for development that should be subject to environmental assessment. It is proposed that the measures will come into force on 3 June 1995. From that date, permitted development rights will no longer apply to the types of projects listed in schedule 1 to the Town and Country Planning (Assessment of Environmental Effects) Regulations 1988, the EA regulations, or to developments within any of the categories in schedule 2 to the EA Regulations if they would be likely to have significant environmental effects unless, for example, other procedures associated with those developments provide for environmental assessment. We anticipate that only a small number of developments will be affected by these changes, since most projects carried out under permitted development rights are minor and would not be expected to have significant environmental effects.

My right hon. Friends have also today laid before Parliament the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Assessment and Permitted Development) Regulations 1995. These, too, are proposed to come into force on 3 June 1995. Under the regulations a developer may apply to the local planning authority for an opinion on whether a particular development, which would otherwise benefit from permitted development rights, will require environmental assessment, and consequently a planning application.

A developer receiving an opinion from the planning authority that environmental assessment is required may appeal to the Secretary of State for a direction. Where the local authority is both the developer and planning authority, or where someone proposes a joint development with a local authority, an opinion on the need for EA may be sought from the Secretary of State.

Guidance to local planning authorities and developers on the effect and operation of the new measures is to be issued in the next few days.

Copies of the 67 non-confidential responses to the consultation paper have been placed in the Department of the Environment and Welsh Office libraries, and a summary and list of the responses have been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses together with a compliance cost assessment.

Forward to