Memorandum by the Department for Transport,
Local Government and the Regions (PGP 06)
"THE PLANNING GREEN PAPER"
1. The Government welcomes the Select Committee's
inquiry into the Government's proposals for the future of planning.
This memorandum draws the Committee's attention to the relevant
consultation documents issued by the Department.
2. The Green Paper "Planning: Delivering
a fundamental change" invites views on a series of questions
about reforming the planning system. The accompanying papers are
Major Infrastructure Projects which proposes new parliamentary
procedures for processing major infrastructure projects; "Reforming
Planning Obligations", "Compulsory Purchase and Compensation",
and "Use Classes Order" the consultation on possible
changes to the Use Classes Order and Temporary Uses Provisions.
Copies of the documents are attached.
3. The proposals set out in the Green Paper
represent the most radical overhaul of the planning system for
a generation. The current system is slow and bureaucratic: there
are too many tiers of plan-making, local plans take too long to
put in place and people affected by planning decisions are very
often insufficiently involved in the planning process. The Government
believes that the package of reforms set out in the Green Paper
will make the planning system faster, fairer and more flexible
4. The proposals aim to encourage much more
community ownership of the planning system, by engaging the community
from the start of the process and making the system more accessible
and transparent. Equally, business will benefit from a faster,
more predictable process.
5. The Green Paper proposals are principally
about process not changes in planning policy. The Government maintains
its strong commitment to sustainable development. The planning
system clearly has a key role to play in achieving an urban renaissance
and creating more sustainable communities. We want to safeguard
our countryside and environment from inappropriate development
and make the most efficient and appropriate use of land.
6. The consultation on the Green Paper itself
and on Planning Obligations closes on 18 March, and that on Compulsory
Purchase on 27 March. That relating to Major Infrastructure Projects
by 22 March, and proposed changes to the Use Classes Order on
24 April. Following the close of the Green Paper consultation,
the Department will prepare a summary of responses. A copy will
be provided to the Committee as soon as it is available, along
with a list of respondents. Copies of individual responses will
be made available in the Department's library in due course, except
where respondents have requested anonymity.
7. The Government looks forward to hearing
the conclusions of the Committee's deliberations. An early report
from the Committee would help the Government to take account of
the Committee's views as work on reforming the planning system
is taken forward.