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Planning Permission

Volume 496: debated on Thursday 16 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he plans to grant planning powers to (a) regional development agencies, (b) local authority leaders’ boards and (c) economic prosperity boards. (286516)

Under the terms of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill, Government are to give joint responsibility for a regional strategy to (a) the regional development agencies and (b) local authorities’ leaders’ boards in each English region outside of London. These bodies will therefore have joint responsibility for plan-making at regional level.

It is up to local authorities to set out the functions that they wish to pass to an EPB across their area. They may decide that their EPB should play a part in spatial planning—most likely through co-operation in the production of local development frameworks. It is very unlikely that local authorities would propose ceding the power to make particular planning decisions to an EPB and also unlikely that the Secretary of State would agree to such an arrangement, as the Government wish the link between planning decisions and direct local democratic accountability to be maintained.