DTLR | Planning Green Paper: Planning: Delivering a Fundamental Change


Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions
Planning Green Paper Planning: Delivering a Fundamental Change

Chapter four: A fundamental change for plans

4.1 Development plans have two purposes – to describe the intended use of land in an area and to provide an objective basis for the consideration of planning applications. Inevitably there will be differences of view about the need for new development and where it should take place. The planning system seeks to resolve these on the basis that, if an application is in accordance with the development plan, it is likely to be approved.

4.2 We believe that it makes sense to continue to have a “plan-led” system of development control. However, there is a need for fundamental reform.We need to:

  • simplify the plan hierarchy, reducing the number of tiers and clarifying the relationships between them;
  • deliver shorter, better focused, plans at the local level which can be adopted and revised more quickly;
  • engage the community more closely in the process of plan preparation; and
  • improve integration with other local strategies and plans.

Local plans

4.3 Local plans are the means by which local authorities express the land-use implications of their policies and shape the future of their communities. In producing their plans, local authorities have to take account of policies determined at the national and regional levels.

4.4 The plan provides a framework to engage people in the way in which their communities might grow and change. For business it provides an essential source of information about where to propose new development and the type of development likely to be appropriate.

4.5 Local planning is therefore important. It has real-world effects. But the current arrangements for area-wide local plans introduced in 1992 have never worked effectively:

  • the system is over complex. As well as regional and national planning guidance, in some areas there are two tiers of plans – structure (county) and local (district) – while in other, mainly urban areas, there is a single tier of “unitary” development plan;
  • there are too many inconsistencies.Too often local plans are inconsistent with policies set out at regional or national level. If there are policy changes at a higher level, a plan can be over-ridden when planning decisions are made.This makes it hard for those using the system to be confident that they know what policies apply;
  • plans are too long. Local plans have tended to address the development status of every part of their area and they often try to anticipate every development control eventuality. Rather than setting out a clear strategy for development, they have become lengthy and inflexible rule-books for development control;
  • preparation is slow and expensive. Because local plans are site-specific and comprehensively cover a local authority’s area, they attract numerous representations from both developers and those opposing development. Delay in dealing with contentious proposals can hold up adoption of the rest of the plan. Significant numbers of plans are not yet in place (see endnote 2).We cannot continue with a system that takes over five years, and as much as ten, to put a plan in place; and
  • local plans are too inflexible. Because plans contain so many detailed policies (200 or more is not unusual), they are time consuming and expensive to review. As a result, it is difficult to make changes to reflect new policies or changing local circumstances.

4.6 As a result, local plans are failing their users. People find the plan adoption process both complex and obscure. At the end of it, the status of the plan is sometimes uncertain.This affects the ability of business to plan with confidence. Whilst consultation is a statutory requirement in the preparation of plans, in practice the complexity and length of the process has made it difficult to engage the whole community effectively.

4.7 Furthermore, arrangements for preparation of local plans are being overtaken by new local authority policies and programmes. Local authorities now have to prepare Community Strategies (see box). In addition, at a more local level, there are regeneration and neighbourhood renewal initiatives.The arrangements for putting such strategies in place are more flexible and inclusive than the local plan process.We need to ensure that local plans are better integrated into this new framework, enabling them to become the land use and development delivery mechanism for the objectives and policies set out in the Community Strategy.

Community Strategies

Local authorities have a new duty to prepare Community Strategies, which they develop in conjunction with other public, private and community sector organisations. Community Strategies should promote the economic, social and environmental well-being of their areas and contribute to the achievement of sustainable development.They must have four key components:

  • a long-term vision for the area which focuses on the outcomes that are to be achieved;
  • an action plan identifying shorter-term priorities and activities that will contribute to the achievement of long-term outcomes;
  • a shared commitment to implement the action plan and proposals for doing so; and
  • arrangements for monitoring the implementation of the action plan, for periodically reviewing the community strategy, and for reporting progress to local communities.

Community Strategies will play a key role in informing the preparation of Local Development Frameworks. In turn, the Framework must assist in delivering the policies in the Community Strategy.

A new framework

4.8 We propose a fundamental reform of the development plans system.We propose to abolish structure plans, local plans and unitary development plans and replace them with a new single level of plan.This would be known as a Local Development Framework and consist of:

  • a statement of core policies setting out the local authority’s vision and strategy to be applied in promoting and controlling development throughout its area;
  • more detailed action plans for smaller local areas of change, such as urban extensions, town centres and neighbourhoods undergoing renewal; and
  • a map showing the areas of change for which action plans are to be prepared and existing designations, such as conservation areas.

4.9 Plans produced on this basis would take less time to prepare, amend and keep up to date. They would provide business with greater certainty and provide communities with a clear means of getting involved.The statement of core policies would be a short, focused and strategic document.

Statement of core policies

4.10 The statement of core policies would form the heart of the new Local Development Framework. It would be a succinct statement of:

  • the Framework’s role in delivering the long-term vision for the area, complementing that set out in the authority’s Community Strategy;
  • clear objectives for what the local authority is seeking to achieve in terms of the development and improvement of the physical environment of its area, together with a proposed timetable;
  • a strategy for delivering the objectives.We would expect the vision, objectives and the strategy to be shared with the local community and endorsed by them;
  • a Statement of Community Involvement setting out arrangements for involving the community in the continuing review of the Local Development Framework and in significant development control decisions; and
  • criteria-based policies to shape development and deliver the strategy.These would form the basis for development control.The policies would need to cover key issues, such as housing, business development, planning obligations, transport, waste disposal and recycling, and the historic environment.

4.11 The statement of core policies will be concerned only with policies affecting the development and use of land. However, this may include policies that are not solely reliant upon the grant of planning permission for their delivery, for example, infrastructure investment, management of land and traffic management issues. In National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the statutory management plan will be relevant.

4.12 The statement of core policies will also need to take full account of the land-use consequences of other policies and programmes relevant to the Community Strategy, including education, health, waste, recycling and environmental protection and consider how it can assist in the delivery of these and other economic, environmental and social objectives. In planning jargon, it would be much more of a “spatial” strategy.

Action plans

4.13 We propose that, in their statement of core policies, local authorities should be required to identify where more detailed action plans should be produced.These are most likely to focus on areas of change where site-specific policies are needed to guide development. Equally, they might address conservation areas or village plans.

4.14 Depending on the situation, an action plan could be new and free-standing or based on existing plans or strategies.This flexibility would avoid duplication and enable action plans to effectively reflect local circumstances. Examples of the types of plans that might be prepared are shown in the box below.

Possible action plans would include:

  • Area master plans - comprehensive plans for a major area of renewal or development covering design, layout and location of new houses and commercial development supported by a detailed implementation programme.
  • Neighbourhood and village plans - setting out how the distinctive character of a neighbourhood, village or parish is to be preserved, the location of any new development and the design standards to be applied.They should also identify the key services and facilities.
  • Design statements - setting out the design standards and related performance criteria for an area or type of development.
  • Site development briefs - setting out detailed guidance on how a particular site is to be developed.

4.15 Action plans will be principally about planning for local areas. However, depending on local circumstance some may need to be prepared on a topic basis which cover a wider area to show for example:

  • Green Belt boundaries or other area-based designations;
  • housing allocations where issues of timing of land release might need to be addressed;
  • specific proposals for major developments which may have local authority-wide implications;
  • the safeguarding of land for transport and other purposes.

Making the new system work

4.16 We propose to establish clear guidelines on the production of Local Development Frameworks.These will not be overly prescriptive but will lay down absolute requirements, such as the need for proper community participation, timetables for production and review, and procedures for testing the document.We will support the guidelines by issuing best practice advice.

Preparation of Local Development Frameworks

4.17 We would normally expect Local Development Frameworks to be prepared individually by the relevant district, unitary and National Park authorities. However, there is no reason why authorities should not work together to produce joint frameworks.This may be particularly advantageous for smaller authorities.We shall expect Local Development Frameworks to be prepared in a period of months rather than years.

Status of the Local Development Framework

4.18 It remains important to have a system of development control in which decisions are predictable and consistent with the planning policies that have been put in place.We therefore propose that decisions about planning permission should be made in accordance with the statement of core policies in the Local Development Framework and action plans where they are in place.The option exists for action plans to cover the majority of major development sites.

4.19 Under present arrangements (see endnote 3) local plans may be overtaken by new statements of planning policy at the national, regional and county levels.These policy statements may be taken into account as a ‘material consideration’ in planning decisions.The effect is that plans become outdated.

4.20 We propose to tackle this by:

  • requiring the statement of core policies set out in the Local Development Framework to be continuously updated, so that it is consistent with national and regional policies;
  • focusing national and regional planning policy only on issues which need to be addressed at these levels.We shall distinguish policies which we expect to see applied in full from guidance which can be interpreted in the Local Development Framework;
  • abolishing structure plans (see para 4.37).

This approach will reduce the complexity of the system and ensure that the Local Development Frameworks provide much more clarity about the acceptability of development in an area.

Engaging the Community

4.21 We shall encourage all local authorities to work with Local Strategic Partnerships to establish effective mechanisms for community involvement, building on their work preparing Community Strategies.We would expect local authorities to involve all sectors within the local community, including local business, residents, tenants and voluntary groups.The proposals in paragraph 5.57 on community advocacy would support the ability of such groups to prepare and present their case more effectively.

4.22 We propose that the Local Development Framework should contain a Statement of Community Involvement, setting out how the community should be involved in both the continuing review of the Framework and in commenting on significant planning applications. The Statement will set the standard for good practice in engaging those with an interest in proposed development. It will offer a simple and clear guideline that will enable the community to know with confidence when and how it can expect to be consulted and will provide a benchmark for applicants for planning permission about what is expected of them. It might, for example, include contact details for key organisations, both local and other consultees, who need to be aware of a particular application.

4.23 In the case of large developments, we propose that compliance with the terms of the Statement and its requirements for engaging the community, should be a material consideration supporting a planning application.This is in keeping with our view that there is mutual benefit in developers and communities working together to plan developments that are likely to have a major impact on a local area.

4.24 Action plans should form a new focus for community involvement in developments affecting neighbourhoods or other local areas. Local authorities will have the opportunity to seek direct participation from local people in shaping the future of their communities, taking their view on the type of development they would like to see and how it is to be laid out. Our concept of action plans is very much one which encourages planning to be undertaken close to the people who it most directly affects.

Sustainability appraisal

4.25 There will need to be an integrated and comprehensive appraisal covering economic, environmental and social impacts of the Local Development Framework.We will issue appraisal guidance, taking full account of the requirements of the EU Directive on Strategic Environmental Assessment.

Adopting the Framework

4.26 Under the present system, everyone has the right to make objections to draft local plans and for these to be heard, usually in a public local inquiry. Unfortunately, this approach often proves time-consuming and adversarial.We need to find a better way to test the new Local Development Frameworks and would welcome your views on options.These might include wide public participation followed by adoption by the Council; an examination before an independent chair to test the adequacy of the plan and its preparation process; or a public informal hearing of representations before an inspector. Under the latter two options we envisage that the report of the independent chair or inspector would be binding on the local authority.

4.27 Procedures for the adoption of action plans will need to reflect the use to which they will be put. An action plan may set out site specific proposals or land allocations to which the local authority wishes to attach weight in the decision making process. In this case, it is important that people whose property rights are directly affected are allowed to make representations and heard if they wish to be. As most action plans will each cover only a small part of a local authority’s area we would expect this process to be conducted quickly.

4.28 We envisage that the Secretary of State would retain a reserve power of direction to amend Local Development Frameworks.This would only be used in exceptional circumstances, such as where national or regional policy has been incorrectly applied, or where the Statement of Community Involvement was inadequate.

Keeping plans up to date

4.29 It is essential to our proposed new approach that Local Development Frameworks are kept up to date. It is in the authority’s own interests and those of the business and the wider community to ensure that the Framework takes full account of any changes to planning policies at national and regional levels.

4.30 The core policies in the Local Development Framework are unlikely to be subject to frequent change.We shall, however, require local authorities to keep them under continuous review. This should ensure that they fully reflect changes to national and regional planning policies. Where policies are simply transposed to the local level, there should be no need for further consultation or consideration of objections.The Framework can simply cross-refer to the national and regional policies.

4.31 So that everyone using the system has access to the latest Local Development Framework, we will require local authorities to publish the statement of core policies each year, and to keep a continuously updated version of the Framework on their website.We propose that, every three years (or in line with revision of their Community Strategies), local authorities should review their core policies and refresh their vision for an area and their strategy for achieving it.We intend to make the updating and review of Frameworks a requirement and will use Best Value intervention powers to ensure compliance.

4.32 The lifespan of action plans will vary.We would expect that the need for each action plan would be reviewed annually, with fresh areas being identified and plans introduced where appropriate.

National, regional and sub-regional policy

4.33 At present, local plans are prepared in the context of planning policies set at national, regional and, in some areas, county level.

4.34 National planning policy guidance published by Government, sets out national policy priorities. Regional Planning Guidance (RPG), prepared at a regional level but issued by the Secretary of State after consultation and a non-statutory public examination, sets longer term development strategies for individual regions. RPG also provides a regional context for the preparation of local authority development plans and local transport plans. Guidance on sub-regional issues is increasingly being provided as part of RPG.

4.35 The current hierarchy of regional, county and local plans is complex and confusing: too often plans are produced to different time-scales and contain inconsistent policies.We believe that the multi-level structure of plans has become a major barrier to responsive and effective planning.We need a better approach.

County structure plans

4.36 Under the present arrangements county structure plans address strategic issues.These include house building, the broad location of new employment sites, improvements to transport infrastructure, and policies on the development of built up areas or the conservation of the countryside. Where there is no county council, part 1 of the unitary development plans deals with similar issues.

4.37 We believe that the county no longer remains the most appropriate level at which to consider many of the key strategic planning issues. Many of these issues cut across county boundaries, and they are increasingly being dealt with at either regional level or across subregions. We propose to abolish structure plans although we would welcome views about whether the counties should have a role in assisting the regional, district and unitary authorities in preparing their plans. Until the necessary legislation is introduced, counties should fulfil their statutory obligations and carry out reviews of structure plans on the issues that matter.

4.38 Counties (and unitary authorities) also produce topic-based plans for minerals and waste and make decisions on planning applications on mineral and waste matters.We think it is right that plan preparation should rest at the same level as that at which planning decisions are made. We do not think that it would be appropriate for decisions on such applications to be made at a regional level and we therefore propose to maintain the existing arrangements for preparing Mineral and Waste plans or deciding applications on these land uses.

Regional planning policy

4.39 We believe that there is a continuing need for effective planning at the regional level. Regionally-based policies are needed for issues such as planning the scale and distribution of provision for new housing, including setting a brownfield target and the growth of major urban areas. Additionally, there is a need for coastal planning, planning for regional transport and waste facilities, and for major inward investment sites and other aspects of the Regional Development Agencies’ (RDAs’) economic strategies. Regional planning policy provides a framework within which local authority development plans, local transport plans and other relevant plans and strategies can be prepared.

4.40 Last year, we set out revised guidance on the preparation of Regional Planning Guidance (PPG11 "Regional Planning"). It made clear that RPG should be more concise, avoid unnecessary repetition of national policy, address specific regional or sub-regional planning issues, be outcome-centred, focused on delivery mechanisms (of which the development plan and the local transport plan are the most important) and be subject to annual performance monitoring. It also introduced more open and transparent procedures for considering draft RPG.

4.41 Many of these objectives have yet to be achieved:

  • RPGs are still long and insufficiently strategic. Rather than setting clear, regional priorities, the documents continue to restate national policy or defend local interests;
  • RPGs are insufficiently integrated or coordinated with other regional strategies (such as the Regional Development Agencies’ strategies);
  • there is overlap and duplication between regional and county plans.This reflects the increasing importance of sub-regional policies within RPG; and
  • the process of preparation can lead to RPGs avoiding difficult decisions, for example in relation to the provision of an adequate supply of housing in the South East of England or the location of key growth areas.

Changing the system: regional policy

4.42 We want to strengthen the arrangements for preparing regional strategies and ensure that they provide a strategic policy framework within which Local Development Frameworks and local transport plans can be prepared.We propose to:

  • replace RPG with new Regional Spatial Strategies (RSSs);
  • give the RSS statutory status.The Local Development Frameworks and local transport plans should be consistent with it, unless there is more recent national policy;
  • make the content of RSS more focused. RSS should outline specific regional or sub-regional policies, address the broad location of major development proposals, set targets and indicators where necessary and cross-refer to, rather than repeat, national policy;
  • ensure that each RSS reflects regional diversity and specific regional needs within the national planning framework;
  • integrate the RSS more fully with other regional strategies. Each RSS should provide the longer term planning framework for the Regional Development Agencies’ strategies and those of other stakeholders, and assist in their implementation.We will publish best practice advice on integration of strategies at the regional level; and
  • promote the preparation of sub-regional strategies, where necessary, through the RSS process.

4.43 We propose to revise PPG11 to reflect and emphasise the points made above.The arrangements established in PPG11 will apply to the RSS, with comprehensive reviews required at least every five years.

Responsibility for preparing Regional Spatial Strategies

4.44 At present, different bodies take responsibility for preparing Regional Planning Guidance. In the North West, South West, South East and Yorkshire and the Humber regions, Regional Chambers are now responsible for preparing draft RPG. Elsewhere, it continues to be prepared by regional planning conferences or associations of local authorities.

4.45 We are looking for significant improvements in the quality of regional guidance to match the importance we attach to effective regional strategic planning.There has been a tendency to avoid making the hard strategic choices, such as accommodating demand for new housing or the location of areas of key employment or retail growth. Instead, a lowest common denominator approach is taken, which in the long term can damage development across the region.

4.46 We shall expect the regional planning bodies charged with preparing RSSs to satisfy four main criteria:

  • they should demonstrate that they are representative of key regional interests - groups comprised solely of local authorities will not be acceptable.The preparation of the new RSS will be a partnership process and we expect the steering group in charge of producing the RSS to include the Regional Development Agency and representatives of the public, business and voluntary sectors;
  • the planning bodies should consult a broad range of regional stakeholders through focus groups or planning forums, as PPG11 advises;
  • they should work closely with all groups to ensure delivery of the strategy; and
  • they must be capable of taking a strategic regional view addressing, where necessary, difficult regional choices.

4.47 We invite views on what changes might be made to the present institutional arrangements to secure these objectives.

4.48 As with current Regional Planning Guidance, Government Offices will be closely involved in the preparation of Regional Spatial Strategies. After the public examination, the Secretary of State will seek to implement any recommendations arising, except if they are inconsistent with national policy or if they adversely affect another region.The Government does not propose any change to the Mayor’s role in the arrangements for planning in London.

Sub-regional planning

4.49 Strategic planning issues rarely fit neatly within administrative boundaries. An increasingly important feature of regional planning has been the need to bring local authorities, Government Offices, RDAs and the full range of other partners together to resolve issues at the sub-regional level.These are of particular importance:

  • for major conurbations, especially those that are composed of several local authorities;
  • where the planning of major towns and cities and their hinterland raises strategic issues which can only be resolved on a joint basis by neighbouring local authorities. An example is to ensure a sensible use of housing land between adjacent greenfield and brownfield authorities;
  • to develop strategies for areas which straddle regional or county boundaries, such as already exist for the Thames Gateway and in planning for growth around Cambridge.

4.50 We do not envisage sub-regional planning strategies for all areas. Our model for the planning system is of a two-tier structure of plans with strategic policies at the regional level and clear Local Development Frameworks at the local level. However, we would expect that most regions would have a small number of areas requiring a sub-regional planning strategy. In addition some matters and in particular the distribution of housing provision to districts, will need to be addressed on a comprehensive basis at the sub-regional level and incorporated into the RSS.

4.51 The need for sub-regional strategies should be identified, as now, within the regional planning process.They would be specifically approved by the Secretary of State and incorporated in the Regional Spatial Strategy.The sub-regional strategy would be subject to the same public examination arrangements as the RSS.

Elected regional government

4.52 We have proposed that provision should be made for directly elected regional government in regions where people decide in a referendum to support it and where predominantly unitary local government is established. A forthcoming White Paper will set out the Government’s proposals for regional government in detail, including the specific functions that might be undertaken by regionally elected assemblies.

4.53 If directly elected assemblies are established it is envisaged that they, as democratically accountable bodies, would take over the regional planning role.We do not propose to consider in detail in this consultation document what their role might be. In the meantime, we propose that the Secretary of State should continue to issue the regional strategy in its final form.

National planning policy

4.54 National policies are principally set out in 25 Planning Policy Guidance notes (PPGs) and 15 Mineral Planning Guidance notes (MPGs). In addition, there are numerous circulars, policy statements, good practice guidances, advice on procedures and other material, such as crossreferences to other relevant policies.

4.55 National planning policies are an essential way for the Government to achieve its objectives for housing, transport, urban regeneration, the countryside and a range of other policy areas. Planning authorities must take national policy into account when preparing local plans or regional planning policy. It is also a ‘material consideration’ in making development control decisions. It helps to ensure consistency in the application of planning policies and enables the Government to implement the land use aspects of international obligations and European Directives.

Current National Planning Policy Guidance Notes

PPG1 General Policy and Principles
PPG2 Green Belts
PPG3 Housing
PPG4 Industrial and Commercial Development and Small Firms
PPG5 Simplified Planning Zones
PPG6 Town Centres and Retail Development
PPG7 The Countryside: environmental quality and economic and social development
PPG8 Telecommunications
PPG9 Nature Conservation
PPG10 Planning and Waste Management
PPG11 Regional Planning
PPG12 Development Plans
PPG13 Transport
PPG14 Development on Unstable Land
PPG15 Planning and the Historic Environment
PPG16 Archaeology and Planning
PPG17 Sport and Recreation
PPG18 Enforcing Planning Control
PPG19 Outdoor Advertisement Control
PPG20 Coastal Planning
PPG21 Tourism
PPG22 Renewable Energy
PPG23 Planning and Pollution Control
PPG24 Planning and Noise
PPG25 Development and Flood Risk

4.56 Our planning policies have generally proved a success. For example, national targets for recycling land have reduced reliance on greenfield development and encouraged urban regeneration. National guidance on out of town shopping has contributed to the regeneration of our town centres (see figure 2). Our best landscapes have enjoyed the highest protection as National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Figure 2: New retail floorspace in town centres and out of town: 1965-2000

4.57 However, there is far too great a volume of national planning policy - PPGs on their own run to a total of 852 pages.The sheer amount of guidance imposes a considerable burden on the planning system and reduces its effectiveness as a means of communicating national policy priorities.

4.58 We think that Government is prescribing too much at the national level - the extent of national guidance and the degree of detail in some of it serves only to stifle regional and local flexibility. Furthermore:

  • much guidance is insufficiently focused with little differentiation between statements of policy and advice on process and best practice;
  • the guidance is too prescriptive. Consistency in application of national guidance is valuable but too much prescription does not allow for local circumstance. Some planning policies may be better made at regional or local level, rather than set nationally;
  • the guidance is of uncertain status. It can be a “material consideration” when a planning application is assessed and may or may not be adequately reflected in plans and decisions at a regional and local level;
  • whilst the planning system has been overburdened with national policy guidance, there has been a failure historically to provide sufficient guidance on the Government’s policies for delivering the country’s major infrastructure needs.

A new approach

4.59 We intend that national planning policy should concentrate on the important policy issues that need to be resolved at national level and leave to regional or local level those matters that can better be expressed at those levels.The overriding need is to set out our national policy principles clearly and not cloud them with ancillary material and detailed instruction about how policies are to be delivered.

4.60 To that end, we propose to:

  • review all PPGs and MPGs.We will ask whether they are all needed. Our aim is to seek much greater clarity in the expression of planning policies and to describe them much more in terms of objectives and outcomes to be achieved;
  • separate policy guidance from practical implementation making clear the distinction between national policy which should be followed and advice which can be interpreted more flexibly. A model for our new approach will be PPG3, planning guidance on housing, which is supplemented by five good practice guides;
  • issue national statements about our major infrastructure needs so that we set a clear policy framework for investment decisions which have national significance (see paragraph 6.4). An example is our intention to make a clear policy statement on the need for additional airport capacity.

4.61 To commence our evaluation of the delivery of national planning objectives, we propose to focus on the following PPGs:

  • PPG1 which is the headline guidance for the planning system;
  • PPG4 on Industrial and Commercial Development and Small Firms which needs to be updated;
  • PPG6 Town centres and Retail Development where policy needs to be more clearly expressed;
  • PPG 7 about the Countryside;
  • PPGs 15 and 16 on the Historic Environment and Archaeology, following the review of policy on the historic environment; and
  • PPG5 on Simplified Planning Zones which we expect to withdraw.There will need to be new guidance in respect of our proposed new business zones (see para 5.36).

4.62 We will also review MPG1 on the headline guidance for mineral working and restoration.To the extent that further material is needed, the remaining MPGs would then become technical or system notes on specific minerals, environmental mitigation and minerals legislation.

4.63 We propose to timetable these reviews over the next two years so that our core policies will be fit for purpose when our new Local Development Frameworks are introduced following legislation. In the meantime, we would expect local planning authorities to continue to implement fully the provisions of existing PPGs.


2 By November 2001, 13 per cent of 362 local plans/UDPs have still to be put in place.The time limited elements (eg housing allocations) of 214 current plans have expired and many authorities have no estimated date for the deposit of proposals for alteration or replacement of those plans.

3 Under Section 54A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, decisions have to be taken in accordance with the development plan, unless material planning considerations indicate otherwise.


Foreword | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Response | Appendix