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Planning Permission

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 10 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what account (a) local planning authorities and (b) the Planning Inspectorate will be required to take of national policy statements (i) before and (ii) after the Infrastructure Planning Commission is operational. (262034)

National Policy Statements (NPSs) will be statements of government policy. NPSs will provide a clear policy framework within which the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) will take decisions on nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs). NPSs may also set out policy which could have a bearing on smaller projects consented via other routes, including planning applications determined by local planning authorities (LPAs). Local planning authorities will have to take into account NPSs, as statements of government policy, when preparing their development plan documents, whether or not the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) is operational. Where development plan documents have not yet been updated to take account of a particular NPS, any relevant policy in the NPS should be taken into account by the LPA as a material consideration when making decisions on development applications.

The Planning Inspectorate will have to take account of national policy statements, as statements of Government policy, where they are relevant to a decision on a planning appeal, or when making a recommendation to the Secretary of State on applications which have been called in for determination by the Secretary of State. NPSs may be relevant to PINS cases whether or not the IPC is operational.