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Volume 405: debated on Thursday 22 May 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister within what period of time he intends that decisions on planning applications for proposed regeneration of derelict sites should be made where the decision has been removed from the local authority; and what plans he has to expedite decisions on such applications. [115294]

The Planning Green Paper, published in December 2001, set a target of cutting in half the average time taken from the close of the inquiry to the issue of the decision on planning applications called in by my right. hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister and recovered appeals. Subsequently, a new Planning Central Casework Division has been established in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to deal with these cases.The Central Casework Division has a shared target with the Planning Inspectorate to decide 80 per cent. of my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister's cases (this includes both called in applications and recovered appeals), from close of Inquiry to decision, within 16 weeks by March 2004.

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the status will be of supplementary planning guidance when the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill is enacted. [114348]

Supplementary Planning Guidance will remain in place until replaced by local development documents prepared by local planning authorities. The timetable for the preparation of local development documents will be set out in the local development scheme prepared by each local planning authority.

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which policy planning guidance notes will be (a) withdrawn and (b) revised as a result of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill; and whether the provisions contained in PPG 12 on over-elaborate plan-making will remain. [114347]

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister intends to review existing planning policy guidance over the course of the next three years. The Planning Green Paper noted our intention to focus at first on PPG1 (General Policy and Principles), PPG4 (Industrial and Commercial Development and Small Firms), PPG6 (Town Centres and Retail Development), PPG7 (The Countryside), PPG15 (Planning and the Historic Environment) and PPG16 (Archaeology and Planning). The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister expects to withdraw PPG5 (Simplified Planning Zones) as a separate PPG and we are consulting on whether to replace PPG21 (Tourism) with good practice guidance.Planning Policy Guidance note 12 will be revised to provide clear and concise guidance on the framework for making plans. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will continue to discourage over elaborate plan making.