Agenda Item 8 SOUTH EAST ENGLAND REGIONAL ASSEMBLY REGIONAL

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					                                                                      Agenda Item        8
SOUTH EAST ENGLAND REGIONAL ASSEMBLY
REGIONAL PLANNING COMMITTEE

Date:          21 March 2007

Subject:       Extension of Saved Structure Plan Policies

Report of:     Planning Strategy Director




Recommendation:

That the Committee agree the response set out in the Annex and request that the
Leadership Group approve its submission to Government Office and the EiP Panel
together with this covering report.

Purpose of Report:
To present to members for consideration and agreement a statement of requests to
the Secretary of State to extend the life of specified structure plan policies for
Buckinghamshire, East Sussex and Brighton and Hove, Hampshire, Surrey and West
Sussex beyond the three year saved period provided for under the Planning and
Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

Key Issues:
A protocol for handling proposals to save adopted local and structure plan policies
beyond the three year saved period has been issued by CLG. In line with the
protocol, Assembly officers have undertaken a review of saved policies in those
structure plans that are due to expire this year following consultation with the
structure plan authorities. A list for each structure plan area setting out the policies
that the Secretary of State might wish to consider extending and those where a
request is not made has been drawn up. The list also identifies those policies in the
draft South East Plan that will replace the saved structure plan policies.




1 March 2007                                                                     Page 1 of 4
1.       Introduction

1.1      The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, (the Act), provides for the
         saving of policies in adopted or approved local, structure and unitary
         development plans for a period of 3 years from the commencement date of
         the Act, which was 28 September 2004. Policies in adopted or approved
         plans at commencement date are due to expire on 27 September 2007 unless
         the Secretary of State extends such policies beyond that date. Policies in
         plans that have been adopted since the commencement date are
         automatically saved for three years from the date of adoption.

1.2      In August 2006, CLG sent a protocol for handling proposals to save adopted
         Local Plan, Unitary Development Plan and Structure Plan policies beyond
         September 2007 to all district councils, unitary authorities, county councils
         and regional planning bodies in England. The protocol sets out the
         procedures for applying to the Secretary of State to request an extension to
         plan policies and gives responsibility to RPBs to make requests to extend the
         life of structure plan policies, following discussions with the structure plan
         authorities.

1.3      In October 2006, Assembly officers wrote to CLG to see if they could
         support an approach to saved policies which involved extending the life of
         those Structure Plans in the region that are not automatically saved to the
         end of February 2008, the anticipated date for South East Plan adoption, for
         an extra few months. The Structure Plans concerned are Buckinghamshire,
         East Sussex and Brighton and Hove, Hampshire, Surrey and West Sussex.
         However, CLG advised that this was not an option. In particular, there was a
         concern that the possible extension of some policies, which would not be
         replaced under current or future RSS revisions, could potentially result in a
         number of saved policies remaining in place indefinitely once the RSS is
         finalised.


2.       Consultation with structure plan authorities

2.1      Assembly officers have written to the principal authorities in the relevant
         counties to ask for their views on which saved policies the Assembly should
         request be retained by the Secretary of State. In carrying out this exercise,
         officers requested that the authorities consult with all the districts and
         boroughs in their area so as to ensure that all the key policies relevant for
         producing DPDs would be picked up.

2.2      The CLG protocol indicates that requests to extend the life of policies will be
         considered in the light of criteria set out in paragraph 2.57 of PPS11 relating
         to consistency with up-to-date national planning policies, conformity with the
         RSS and addressing an existing policy deficit and, exceptionally, if it is non-
         compliant with these criteria, there is a need to save a policy to secure the
         delivery of national planning policy.




1 March 2007                                                                    Page 2 of 4
         Consequently, the principal authorities were asked to submit their advice in
         the form of a standard table that identifies whether a policy meets with these
         criteria and the reasons for requesting a policy to be saved or not to be
         saved.

2.3      In the course of the exercise, Assembly officers have also advised
         Government Office of the process being followed. GOSE officers emphasised
         that, in order to reflect the provisions of the Act, the focus should be on
         looking to save two categories of policies:

         i.    Policies that address an existing strategic policy deficit, do not duplicate
               national or local policy and will be expressly replaced by RSS policy or
               subsequent alterations; and
         ii.   Policies that, although not expressly replaced by RSS policy, need to be
               saved until they are implemented, for example strategic location/major
               development areas until they are identified in adopted Core Strategy
               DPDs.

         This advice was relayed to the principal authorities with a request that they
         provide detailed reasons for recommending that a specific policy be saved in
         their returns.

2.4      The issue has also been raised at the EiP and the Panel have asked for a copy
         of the statement to be submitted to Government Office.


3.       Proposed response to Government Office

3.1      All the principal authorities have responded with their recommendations. At
         the time of writing, the responses are subject to member endorsement from
         Portsmouth City Council and West Sussex County Council.

3.2      In the course of the exercise, and an issue reflected in the returns from the
         principal authorities, it emerged that some policies in adopted structure plans
         are used by boroughs, districts and counties (in relation to minerals and
         waste) for development control purposes as well as to provide the policy
         framework for Development Plan Documents (DPDs). According to the Act,
         the determination of planning applications must be made in accordance with
         the development plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise.
         Although the development plan now includes adopted RSS (RPG9 and
         Alterations), authorities consider that some structure plan policies provide
         more detail and/or are more up-to-date than regional and adopted local plan
         policies and should be saved for their use in determining applications until the
         draft South East Plan is adopted or the issue can be covered in an adopted
         DPD.




1 March 2007                                                                       Page 3 of 4
3.3      The principal authorities have come to their recommendations following
         discussions with the local planning authorities in their area. Furthermore, the
         local planning authorities have had to undertake a separate exercise to
         provide advice to the Secretary of State on which saved Local Plan policies
         they wish to see extended beyond the expiry of the three year period.
         Assembly officers are therefore of the view that the Assembly should submit
         the advice received from the principal authorities as to which saved structure
         plan policies should be requested to be extended. It will be for the Secretary
         of State to determine, in the light of the advice from both exercises, which
         saved policies need to be extended in order to secure the delivery of national
         planning policy.

3.4      It is proposed that the Assembly submit the attached Annex to the Secretary
         of State. This sets out in the form of a list for each structure plan area the
         policies that the principal authorities would wish to see extended with
         reasons and those which they do not wish to see extended with reasons. In
         addition, Assembly officers have also identified which policies in the draft
         South East Plan will replace the saved structure plan policies and also where
         they consider that a structure plan policy does not provide additional
         guidance to existing adopted RSS policies or there is another specific reason
         why the Secretary of State might consider not to extend the policy.


4.       Conclusions and Recommendation

4.1      It is recommended that the Committee agree the response set out in the
         Annex as the Assembly’s statement to the Secretary of State requesting the
         extension of saved structure plan policies and to request that the Leadership
         Group approve its submission to Government Office and the EiP Panel
         together with this covering report.




Catriona Riddell
Planning Strategy Director
1 March 2007

Contact:        Sue Janota, Regional Planner
                T: 01483 555 238      E: suejanota@southeast-ra.gov.uk




1 March 2007                                                                    Page 4 of 4

				
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Description: Agenda Item 8 SOUTH EAST ENGLAND REGIONAL ASSEMBLY REGIONAL