Examination of Witnesses

Part of Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:10 pm on 23rd June 2022.

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Paul Miner:

I agree with Richard about the environmental dimension of the environmental outcomes reports. It is also worth the Committee considering that under the current system, local authorities have to do a sustainability appraisal, looking not only at environmental factors but at social and economic factors.

To pick up on what Richard and Carolyn pointed out, there is quite an important issue about the effect of the planning system on human health. It seems particularly strange that in a Bill about levelling up we are not using the outcomes reports as a means of embedding the Government’s levelling-up objectives in the planning system. For example, the levelling-up White Paper calls for measures on increasing healthy life expectancy and regenerating town centres, but those will not be assessed at all through the planning system under environmental outcomes reports, whereas they would have been under the current system of sustainability appraisals.