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Planning Permission: Geology

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 12 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what measures are in place to encourage local authorities to hold discussions with outside bodies on the designation of areas of known geological interest in areas affected by planning applications. (210040)

Under provisions of Article 10 of the Town and Planning (Development Procedure) Order 1995, local planning authorities have a duty to consult Natural England before granting planning permission for any development that is in or likely to affect a Site of Special Scientific Interest, including those designated for their geological importance.

More generally, Planning Policy Statement 9: Biodiversity and Geological Conservation which sets out the Government’s policies on the protection of biodiversity and geological conservation through the planning system advises that regional planning bodies should liaise with the British Geological Survey and, where appropriate, local Regionally Important Geological/geomorphological Sites groups when preparing Regional Spatial Strategies.

The Town and Country (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 (SI No. 293) require local planning authorities to give statutory consultees, non-Government organisations and other public groups, who may have an interest, the opportunity to make representations about proposed developments which are likely to have significant environmental effects. This could include effects on areas of geological interest.