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Local Authorities (Development Plans)

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to paragraph 3.125 of Budget 2003, HC500, what incentive he will give to local authorities to encourage them to allow land allocated for industrial or commercial use in their development plans; and how greater help to planning authorities in negotiating planning obligations will be given. [110173]

Some local planning authorities have allocations of land for employment and other uses which cannot realistically be taken up in the quantities envisaged over the lifetime of their development plan. The Government regard this as a wasted resource, especially in areas of high demand for housing. Local planning authorities should review all their non-housing allocations, and unless a convincing case for retention can be made, look favourably on housing or mixed use proposals on suitable sites. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister proposes to support this policy on appeal, and intends to issue updated guidance on planning obligations shortly.