Skip to main content

Waste Treatment Plants

Volume 504: debated on Tuesday 26 January 2010

12. What guidance his Department provides to planning authorities on dealing with contested applications for development of waste treatment plants. (312959)

General guidance on handling all planning applications is set out in our 2004 statement on general principles for the planning system. This reminds local planning authorities that they should determine each application in line with the development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer, but can his Department do anything further to ensure that planning authorities such as Derbyshire county council, which is now Tory-run, do not drag their feet when faced with difficult planning decisions, because that results in hundreds of people putting their lives on hold to campaign against, for example, an incinerator application?

I visited my hon. Friend’s constituency and I know what a fantastic local MP she is in representing her constituents. She will understand, I hope, that I cannot comment on the specific proposal that her constituents are concerned about, but I can tell her that we wrote to Derbyshire county council last October to ask it to get a move on with delivering its waste plan.

Does the Department’s guidance suggest that it is sensible to place a large energy-for-waste plant in an attractive rural area, clogging up local roads and causing all kinds of highway issues? If not, will the Minister encourage Devon county council to throw out the Viridor scheme for Lee Mill in my constituency?

The guidance shows that waste planning authorities should identify suitable locations for waste facilities in their local plans, and in doing so take into account our planning policies for waste.