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Volume 699: debated on Wednesday 12 March 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Following the remarks of Mr Justice Mitting in Regina (Buglife—The Invertebrate Conservation Trust) v Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation that the biodiversity duty in Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 was weak and that the statutory duty of a development corporation to regenerate an area must prevail over it and all other considerations, including planning policy statement 9, whether they will strengthen planning policy statement 9.[HL2211]

We have no plans to amend planning policy statement 9 at this time. Planning policy statements set out the Government's national policies on different aspects of planning. Planning authorities must have regard to these policies when preparing plans and they are material considerations which must be taken into account, where relevant, in decisions on planning applications.

It would be inappropriate to comment on the merits of an individual case, particularly in advance of consideration of the full judgment and with the possibility of an appeal.