To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he is taking to empower local authorities to scrutinise the decisions of regional planning authorities on incinerator projects.
Waste planning authorities are responsible for taking decisions on individual projects on incinerators which will generate less than 50 megawatts electricity. Planning legislation requires such decisions to be taken in line with the development plan for the area, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.
Regional strategies are part of the development plan. However, it is the Government's clear intention to lay Orders in Parliament, using powers that we have taken in the Localism Act, revoking the existing regional strategies as soon as possible but this is subject to the outcome of environmental assessments that we are undertaking. Regional strategies remain part of the development plan until they are abolished by Order.
The intended revocation of regional strategies is a 'material consideration' which can be considered by local planning authorities and planning inspectors when deciding planning applications and appeals. The weight to be attached to it will be for the decision maker.