Culture: Planning

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered at on 22 July 2021.

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Photo of Emma Lewell-Buck Emma Lewell-Buck Labour, South Shields

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Agent of Change principle in protecting pre-existing cultural venues since its inclusion in the National Planning Policy Framework; and what plans the Government has to put that principle on a statutory footing.

Photo of Emma Lewell-Buck Emma Lewell-Buck Labour, South Shields

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what protections for pre-existing cultural venues and businesses will be included in the Government’s proposed changes to the planning system.

Photo of Emma Lewell-Buck Emma Lewell-Buck Labour, South Shields

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what role the Agent of Change principle will have in the Government’s proposed changes to the planning system.

Photo of Emma Lewell-Buck Emma Lewell-Buck Labour, South Shields

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the Agent of Change principle and the protection of pre-existing cultural venues and businesses within the planning system.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

The Government is supportive of ensuring that existing facilities, including cultural venues and businesses, do not have unreasonable restrictions put on them because of changes in their area due to new developments. That is why the National Planning Policy Framework includes the ‘agent of change’ principle. This sets out that planning policies and decisions should ensure that new development can be integrated effectively with existing business and community facilities. It also makes clear that the person or business responsible for the change of use of land is responsible for managing the implications of the change.

Planning practice guidance on Noise provides further detail on how the risk of conflict between new development and existing businesses, or facilities can be addressed. Whilst we have not undertaken further assessment of the principle, local authorities will consider the effects on a case by case basis.

We were clear in Planning for the Future that the reformed planning system will continue to protect the places of environmental and cultural value which matter to us. We received 44,000 responses to the Planning for the Future White Paper consultation. We announced in the Queen’s Speech that we will be bringing forward a Planning Bill in the current session of Parliament, and we will publish a response to the White Paper consultation. This will set out our decisions on the proposed way forward.

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