asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any plans to alter the existing statutory arrangements under which council authorities are both the authorities responsible for refuse disposal and the planning authority.
As part of the measures my right hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government and Environmental Services announced on 23 November, I shall seek powers to make county councils in England the planning authority for waste disposal planning applications. This will not affect the arrangements whereby local authorities acquire deemed planning permission for their own development.
Is the Minister aware that his answer is highly unsatisfactory? Will he not accept that it is a disgrace that waste disposal authorities have the right to give themselves planning permission for a waste disposal tip on anyone's doorstep, without the citizen concerned having a statutory right of appeal to anyone?
The hon. Member will be aware that the procedures by which local authorities acquire planning permission for their own developments are well established. Where this contravenes the structure plan, the Secretary of State can call it in for his decision. It would not be reasonable to expect local authorities to apply to another tier of government for permission of this kind.
What consideration has the Minister given to the possibility of applying to the EEC environmental fund for assistance with the rehabilitation of the older industrial areas?
I know of no application of that kind, but I shall certainly look at the position and write to my hon. Friend.