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Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what statutory obligations require local authorities to identify new sites for landfill. (185228)

There is a particular obligation arising from the waste management plan(s) required by the Waste Framework Directive1 relating to waste disposal sites and installations (which can include landfill sites). Case-law from the European Court of Justice2 has established that the management plan(s)

“must include either a geographical map specifying the exact location of waste disposal sites or location criteria which are sufficiently precise to enable the competent authority responsible for issuing a permit”3


“determine whether the site or installation in question falls within the management framework provided by the plan”.

In England, the tiered system of waste planning satisfies this requirement. The tiered system includes at the national level Waste Strategy 2007 (and its Annexes) and Planning Policy Statement 10 Planning for Sustainable Waste Management (PPS10); at the regional level, regional spatial strategies; and, at the local level, development plan documents and any local policies which have been ‘saved’ during the transitional period between the old system of unitary development plans, structure plans and local plans and the new system of local development documents. PPS10 provides that local planning authorities should, among other things, identify in development plan documents sites and areas suitable for new or enhanced waste management facilities for the waste management needs of their areas.

Local planning authorities in England had an obligation under the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994 to produce detailed policies in respect of suitable disposal sites or installations for waste management purposes when producing unitary development plans, structure plans and local plans (which continues to apply in relation to saved policies). The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007, which will come into force on 6 April 2008, will replace the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994. Under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2007, local authorities will be required to implement national waste policies and strategies such as Waste Strategy 2007 and PPS10 when preparing and maintaining local development documents.

1 Directive 2006/12/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council

2 In particular the judgment on joined cases C-53/02 and C-217/02

3 Under article 9 of the directive