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Planning

Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) when it is planned that county councils will relinquish their strategic planning role; and whether there will be a changeover period; [120766](2) when it is planned that local planning authorities will take over county council's strategic planning functions; and whether there will be a changeover period. [120711]

The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill does not provide for local planning authorities to take over the county council's strategic planning role. The abolition of structure plans as provided for by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill does not mean that county councils will no longer have any strategic planning role in the reformed system. They have continuing and important service delivery responsibilities, which need to be reflected in the new spatial regional and local plans as well as retaining their minerals and waste planning responsibilities. They will be statutory consultees in relation to both levels of plan-making, can be partners in the production of joint local development documents under the Bill and can be appointed as agents of the regional planning bodies as appropriate in the exercise of the duties as set out in the Bill.The Office of the Deputy Prime inister has issued transitional guidance in the form of supplementary planning guidance to PPG11. This guidance provides for structure plans to be saved for a period of three years, provided they have reached deposit by commencement of the Act or adoption, whichever is later.

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when it is planned that regional planning bodies should convert regional planning guidance to regional spatial strategies; and whether there will be a changeover period. [120710]

On commencement of Part 1 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister will prescribe which regional planning guidance should become regional spatial strategies. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will consult on the relevant draft regulations. There is no need for a changeover period.