Select Committee on Delegated Powers and Deregulation Sixteenth Report



PART VIII - PLANNING

CLAUSE 264 - THE SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY

Subsection (7) Enables the Secretary of State to prescribe in regulations the contents of the Spatial Development Strategy (SDS).

Purpose To enable the Secretary of State to specify what diagrams, illustrations, or other descriptive or explanatory matter should be included in the SDS.

Reason for proposing delegated powers The SDS will have formal status within the town planning system and development plans in London will need to be in general conformity with its policies and proposals. Given its status, it is important to provide a clear framework for the form and scope of the SDS. However, as it is an entirely new form of planning instrument, it is important to retain flexibility to review the requirements in the light of experience and emerging developments in the field of spatial planning without recourse to primary legislation. This approach follows the precedent of Section 31(5) Town & Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990)) which provides the Secretary of State with similar powers in relation to the content of structure plans. Similar provisions also exist in relation to local plans (Section 36(6)(b) TCPA 1990) and unitary development plans (Section 12(4)(d) TCPA 1990).

Parliamentary procedure Negative resolution procedure.

CLAUSE 265 - PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Subsection (2)(b) enables the Secretary of State to specify where copies of the draft SDS should be available for inspection by the public.

Subsections (2)(c) & (3)(d) enable the Secretary of State to specify which bodies and persons should be sent a copy of the draft SDS.

Subsection (2)(d) enables the Secretary of State to make other regulations regarding the consultation procedure on the draft SDS.

Subsections (2) (e), (6) & (7) enable the Secretary of State to make regulations that specify which representations must be considered by the Mayor.

Purpose To enable the Secretary of State to prescribe in regulations the detailed consultation arrangements for the draft SDS, including the places where the draft document is to be made available, the bodies and persons who are to be consulted, the procedure to be followed in carrying out the consultation and the consideration of representations that are submitted.

Reason for proposing delegated powers There is a need to ensure satisfactory consultation on the SDS, which is consistent with the requirements imposed in relation to other planning instruments, but the requirements will be lengthy, detailed and impractical for inclusion in primary legislation. Detailed arrangements may need to be revised periodically - such as the name of organisations to be consulted. The approach is modelled on similar provisions for public participation in the preparation of unitary development plans (Section 13 of the TCPA 1990)

Parliamentary procedure Negative resolution.

CLAUSE 267 - PUBLICATION

Subsections (4)(b) & (10) Enable the Secretary of State to prescribe in regulations the time period for public consultation on the SDS.

Purpose To ensure sufficient time is provided for public consultation on the draft SDS.

Reason for proposing delegated powers The SDS is an entirely new form of planning instrument and it is prudent that there is scope to adapt the period of consultation in the light of experience. The approach follows the precedent set in Section 13(4) TCPA 1990 which empowers the Secretary of State to define the period for consultation on unitary development plans. Similar powers exist in relation to other development plans.

Parliamentary procedure Negative resolution.

CLAUSE 268 EXAMINATION IN PUBLIC

Subsection (1) Enables the Secretary of State, by issue of a direction, to waive the duty on the Mayor to hold an examination in public (EIP) on any proposals to make or amend the SDS.

Purpose To allow for the possibility of relatively minor or uncontentious amendments to the SDS where a full-scale EIP would not be justified.

Reason for proposing delegated powers The EIP is an important part of the procedure for developing the SDS. It ensures that the issues raised are properly debated and that those most affected have an opportunity to air their views before an independent panel. But an EIP is a resource-intensive process and it is sensible to allow for the possibility of relatively minor or uncontentious changes being made without the need for an EIP. It would be wrong to give the Mayor an unfettered right to unilaterally waive the EIP requirement. In order to satisfy the public's expectation of an open and fair process we need to ensure that the discretion rests elsewhere. That is the purpose of giving the Secretary of State this power. The Mayor would need to convince the Secretary of State that in any particular case, the amendment proposed did not merit holding an EIP. The approach is modelled on a similar provision in Section 35B (1) of the T&CPA 1990 which gives the Secretary of State the power to waive the requirement to hold an EIP before adopting proposals for the alteration or replacement of a structure plan.

Parliamentary procedure: No parliamentary procedure.

Subsection (8) Enables the Secretary of State, after consultation with the Lord Chancellor, to make regulations with respect to the procedure to be followed at an examination in public.

Purpose To ensure that the procedure followed during the examination in public on the SDS is satisfactory and consistent with the approach taken on other public examinations and inquiries undertaken to examine other planning instruments such as development plans and regional planning guidance.

Reason for proposing delegated powers It is important that there is a fair and broadly consistent approach taken to the testing of emerging planning proposals. However the requirements will be lengthy, detailed and impractical for inclusion in primary legislation. The arrangements may need to revised periodically, particularly as this is an entirely new form of planning instrument. The approach follows the precedent set in Section 35B (6) of the TCPA 1990 which gives the Secretary of State identical powers in relation to the procedure to be followed at an EIP of a structure plan.

Parliamentary procedure: Negative resolution.

CLAUSE 271 - REVIEW OF THE STRATEGY

Subsection (2) Enables the Secretary of State to direct that the Mayor shall, within a specified period, review part or all of the SDS.

Purpose To allow the Secretary of State to ensure the SDS is reviewed within a defined timescale.

Reason for proposing delegated powers Given its status within the planning system, it is important that the SDS is kept fully up to date. Clause 255 imposes a duty on the Mayor to review the SDS from time to time. However, should he not do so, this could cause difficulties for both boroughs and developers alike, as unitary development plans, which set out detailed policies and proposals for individual plots of land, must be in general conformity with the SDS. This fall-back power would enable the Secretary of State to direct a review.

Parliamentary procedure: No parliamentary procedure.

CLAUSE 272 ALTERATION OR REPLACEMENT

Subsection (2) Enables the Secretary of State to direct that the Mayor shall, within a specified timescale, prepare and publish either alterations to an existing SDS or a replacement SDS.

Purpose To provide the Secretary of State with a fall back power to require that the SDS be amended in a specified manner and within a specified timescale.

Reason for proposing delegated powers Clause 256 gives the Mayor the responsibility to keep the SDS up to date. Clauses 33 and 257 require the Mayor to take account of national policies and other considerations. If there was a serious failure on the Mayor's part to take account of such considerations, or to keep the keep the SDS sufficiently up to date or to reflect changes in those considerations, this power provides a way to rectify the position. The approach follows the precedent set in Section 32 (2) of the TCPA 1990 which provides the Secretary of State similar powers in relation to the alteration or replacement of the structure plan. Similar powers also exist in relation to unitary development plans.

Parliamentary procedure At the Secretary of State's discretion (no parliamentary procedure).

CLAUSE 273 - MATTERS TO WHICH THE MAYOR IS TO HAVE REGARD

Subsection (1)(b) Enables the Secretary of State to prescribe other matters to which the Mayor must have regard in preparing, reviewing, altering and replacing the SDS.

Purpose To give the Secretary of State the power to ensure additional matters are taken into account by the Mayor when preparing or changing the SDS.

Reason for proposing delegated powers The Bill sets out in clauses 33 and 257 matters to which the Mayor is to have regard in preparing or amending the SDS. However, changes of policy or procedure could arise that would make it desirable for other factors to be taken into account. The approach follows the precedent set in Section 31(6)(d) of the TCPA 1990 (which gives power to the Secretary of State to prescribe (or in a particular case direct) that an authority have regard to other matters in preparing a structure plan).

Parliamentary procedure Negative resolution.

CLAUSE 274 - REGULATIONS

Subsections to this clause enable the Secretary of State to make regulations covering:

Subsection (1)(a) the form and content of the SDS;

Subsection (1)(b) the documents (if any) required to accompany the SDS;

Subsection (1)(c) the procedure to be followed in connection with the preparation, withdrawal, publication, making, review, alteration or replacement of the SDS or any review under section 254.

Subsection (2) enables the Secretary of State to make different provision for different parts of Greater London in the regulations in this part of the Act.

Purpose To allow the Secretary of State to prescribe in detail (a) the form and content of the SDS (b) the types of document that should accompany the SDS and (c) the method of preparation, alteration or replacement of the SDS. Subsection (2) would allow the Secretary of State to identify parts of Greater London where different or additional requirements may apply.

Reason for proposing delegated powers There are many detailed matters which may need to be covered under these headings. The SDS is a new form of planning instrument and it is important that its form and scope and the procedures for producing it are properly defined. Broad areas of coverage, minimum publicity arrangements, and documentation to accompany the SDS (for instance a strategic map) are among the matters that it is envisaged should be prescribed. Such matters of detail are not normally considered appropriate for primary legislation. It is also important that they are capable of ready amendment in the light of experience or new developments within the planning system. It would therefore not be practical include such matters on the face of the Bill. The approach proposed is modelled on similar provisions in the TCPA 1990 in respect of unitary development plans (Section 26) and structure and local plans (Section 53).

Parliamentary procedure Negative resolution.

CLAUSE 275 - AMENDMENTS TO THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1990

Subsection (8) adds to section 26 of the TCPA 1990 ("Regulations and Directions" in relation to UDP's) an additional regulation making power in relation to the preparation, alteration or replacement of a unitary development plan.

Purpose To enable the Secretary of State to prescribe the process whereby a local planning authority consults the Mayor and the Mayor provides an opinion on whether an emerging unitary development plan is in general conformity with the SDS.

Reason for proposing delegated powers London's unitary development plans must (under clauses 259(2) and (3)) be in general conformity with the SDS. Given the central role that development plans play in the planning system, it is important to spell out precisely how the process of consideration of the general conformity of a UDP to the SDS is to be conducted. It would be inappropriate to include such detailed arrangements on the face of the Bill, particularly as the SDS is a new planning instrument where it may be helpful to review the arrangements in the light of experience.

Parliamentary procedure - Negative resolution.

Subsection (9) empowers the Secretary of State by Order to the Mayor to give directions on the handling of planning applications by a local planning authority and to prescribe the circumstances where the power arises, and its effects, by Order, or by direction under the Order.

Purpose to enable the Secretary of State to make provision for the Mayor, in prescribed circumstances, to direct refusal of planning applications of a prescribed description (1B)(a); to enable the Secretary of State to prescribe a period during which a local planning authority is prohibited from taking any action to implement such a direction from the Mayor (1B)(b); and to enable the Secretary of State to modify any provision of the TCPA 1990 relating to an appeal against refusal of planning permission following such a direction, in particular any provision concerning the parties to, or costs of, an appeal (1B)(c).

Reason for proposing delegated powers Subsection (9) makes provision for the Mayor's role in relation to planning applications by amending the existing delegated powers in section 74 of the TCPA 1990.

The Secretary of State's existing order-making powers enable him to specify the Mayor as a statutory consultee on specified planning applications. Subsection (9)(1B)(a) will allow the Secretary of State by Order to empower the Mayor to direct refusal of prescribed applications in prescribed circumstances. The Government considers that only a limited number of applications will raise issues of strategic importance, and that it is important that the Mayor's power of direction is confined to such applications and to matters of strategic importance arising from those applications. The Secretary of State will therefore set out in a development order, or in directions under a development order, those classes of application and circumstances where the Mayor's power of direction may be exercised. It is inappropriate for this level of detail to be included on the face of the Bill, not least because it may need to be reviewed in the light of experience or new policy developments.

There are likely to be a number of planning applications which are notifiable to both the Mayor and the Secretary of State - by virtue of existing directions governing the handling of applications involving departures from the development plan or major shopping proposals. Subsection (9)(1B)(b) provides for the Secretary of State to prescribe (either in the Order itself, or in directions under the Order) a period during which local planning authorities shall not act on a direction by the Mayor to refuse, while the Secretary of State decides whether to call in the application for his own consideration.

Subsection (9)(1B)(c) provides the Secretary of State with the power by Order to make consequential amendments to the TCPA 1990 to ensure the Mayor is a party in any appeal and any assessment in relation to an award of costs, following the Mayor issuing a direction to refuse planning permission.

Parliamentary procedure Negative resolution for development orders generally (under sections 74 and 333(5) TCPA 1990). Affirmative resolution (under sections 74 and 333(6) TCPA 1990) for a development order which modifies primary legislation.

CLAUSE 276 MONITORING & DATA COLLECTION

Subsection (6) provides that a monitoring scheme drawn up by the Mayor may not come into force until it has been approved by the Secretary of State. Subsection (7) has the same effect in respect of the variation or revocation of such a scheme.

Purpose The Mayor is to be given a power to draw up a scheme enabling him to collect information or carry out investigations necessary for monitoring the implementation of the SDS. Boroughs may be obliged to assist in providing information or carrying out investigations. The Secretary of State's power of approval is intended to ensure that the Mayor is not able to impose unreasonable burdens on the boroughs.

Reason for proposing delegated powers See above.

Parliamentary procedure Secretary of State's discretion (no parliamentary procedure).


 
previous page contents next page

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 1999