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Waste and Minerals (Regional Planning Guidance)

Volume 448: debated on Monday 3 July 2006

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, has published the revised chapters 10 and 11 in relation to the above topics. This follows the examination in public into the draft chapters in October 2004, the panel report in December 2004, and the consultation on the First Secretary of State’s proposed changes that closed on 11 November 2005.

These chapters form an integral part of regional planning guidance (RPG) for the south-east and represent a revision to RPG9, as published in March 2001. Following commencement of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act (September 2004) this will now form part of the statutory regional spatial strategy (RSS).

Chapter 10 takes sustainable waste management within a resource management approach as its underlying theme starting with waste reduction. The aim is to drive waste up the hierarchy towards more recovery, re-use, recycling and composting and away from landfill. To achieve this additional waste management capacity and new types of facilities will be required. The new policies set targets to achieve these through the development documents now being prepared under the reformed planning system whilst ensuring that development does not harm the region’s environment or the quality of life of its people.

The maintenance of a healthy regional economy requires an adequate supply of minerals to support new housing building and deliver key infrastructure projects. Planning policy has to balance the essential requirements of the regional economy for minerals with the environmental impact arising from their extraction, processing and transport. The replacement regional minerals strategy, chapter 11 provides a set of policies and proposals to strike that balance.

The consultation period for the proposed changes to the draft chapters ended on 11 November 2005 with some 90 responses from individuals and organisations. Respondents were broadly supportive of the proposed changes.

The final consultation has not resulted in any significant changes to the minerals policies or principles.

There have been two significant changes in relation to waste as a result of the public consultation. The first involves new figures for waste to be managed as a result of updated and more accurate research. The amendments to the figures and policies W5, W6 and W13 for the region are minimal, but the amendments to table 4 in policy W7, where figures are given for each sub region, are, in some of the sub regions, more significant.

Secondly, there have been amendments to policy W17 and its supporting text to clarify the policy on the subject of development in the green belt. These changes are required for consistency with PPG2: green belts.

These chapters are integral and clearly identifiable parts of RPG9. It will be reviewed through the development of the spatial strategy for the south-east, “The South East Plan” the draft of which was submitted to the First Secretary of State on 31 March 2006.

Copies of the relevant documents are available in the Libraries of both Houses and electronically at: http://www.gose.gov.uk/gose/planning/regionalPlanning/