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Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 20 May 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether he carried out a regulatory impact assessment on the impact on tourism in England of (a) his proposals to withdraw PPG21 on Tourism, (b) the abolition of county councils' strategic planning role on tourism in the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill and (c) the effectiveness of the increased role for Regional Planning Guidance for tourism, with special reference to the boundaries of (i) the former English regional tourist boards and (ii) English regions. [114016]

A regulatory impact assessment was not appropriate in respect of proposals to withdraw PPG21, given that no new regulations are proposed. Since we are not proposing to abolish the county council's strategic role in relation to tourism, we did not cover this issue in the regulatory impact assessment for the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill. The new Regional Spatial Strategies will have an increasing sub-regional dimension in which the strategic planning authorities will have an important role through their representation on the Regional Planning Bodies, as statutory consultees, and in some cases, as agents of the Regional Planning Bodies. The new arrangements will enable the sub-regional planning aspects of tourism to be addressed on a more effective functional basis than structure plan boundaries allow.

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how planning guidance as outlined in (a) Annex A on hotels, (b) Annex B on holidays and touring caravans and (c) Annex C on seasonal and holiday occupancy conditions will be disseminated to local planning authorities when PPG21 on tourism is withdrawn. [114017]

Key planning policies for tourism are contained in other PPGs, particularly PPG6 on town centres, PPG7 on the countryside and PPG13 on transport. All PPGs are to be reviewed in accordance with our proposals for the reform of the planning system. In the event that PPG21 on tourism is withdrawn, the planning guidance as outlined in Annexes A, B and C of the existing PPG21 on tourism will feed into other relevant PPGs, or to Good Practice Guidance, as appropriate.