The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (PCPA 2004) which commenced on 28 September 2004 provided for a three-year transitional period in which policies in old style plans could remain in force pending adoption of policies in the new development plan documents (DPDs) and regional spatial strategies (RSS). The policies in the old style plans in place at commencement of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 are saved until the end of the three-year transitional period, which ends on 27 September 2007. However, policies in plans that are adopted or approved after commencement of the PCPA 2004 will be saved for three years from adoption or approval date. If policies in old style plans are not extended after the three-year saved period and policies in DPDs and RSSs have not replaced them, there will be a risk of a policy gap for local planning authorities and regional planning bodies in carrying out their planning functions. My officials will be writing to all local planning authorities and regional planning bodies shortly to inform them about the procedures that they will be required to follow when making applications for extension of old style policies and the type of polices that are likely to be given favourable consideration.
The assessment of the case for saving old style policies will be based on the criteria set out in Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 12 which are:
where appropriate, there is a clear central strategy;
the policies have regard to the Community Strategy for the area;
the policies are in general conformity with the regional spatial strategy or spatial development strategy;
the policies are in conformity with the core strategy development plan document (where the core strategy has been adopted);
there are effective policies for any parts of the authority's area where
significant change in the use or development of land or conservation of the area is envisaged; and
the policies are necessary and do not merely repeat national or regional policy.
These policies will include policies that would help deliver Government objectives, such as green belt boundaries, unimplemented waste and minerals site allocations, housing site allocations, established settlement boundaries (pending review through DPDs), policies that support the delivery of housing; regeneration policies and policies that will enhance economic development.