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Planning Permission

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 15th October 2012.

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Photo of Peter Luff Peter Luff Conservative, Mid Worcestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will take steps to allow planning authorities to bring forward local development plans to examination in public prior to legal abolition of regional spatial strategies.

Photo of Nicholas Boles Nicholas Boles The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

The National Planning Policy Framework we published in March 2012 provides a strong incentive to update local plans to meet local development needs, including housing. Many authorities are making good progress in putting in place up to date local plans, which are in conformity with the framework.

Councils can bring forward proposals, such as housing targets, which have a local interpretation to them in their plans, based on their own sound evidence base where that is justified by the local circumstances. That evidence base is likely to be more up to date than that included in the regional strategies. Each case will depend on its particular facts.

Regional strategies remain part of the statutory development plan until such time as they are abolished, so a local plan document must be in general conformity with the regional strategy at the stage that the plan is submitted for examination. It is up to each authority to demonstrate to an independent inspector how its plans are in general conformity with regional strategies.

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