Speaking at the Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group’s seminar on waste planning in London yesterday (15 May), the LGA’s environment board vice-chair Clyde Loakes said that local and national government needed to jointly determine how this duty will work in practice for local plans.

The duty, which came into effect in November 2011 under the Localism Bill, requires that local authorities and other stakeholders join forces to co-ordinate strategic planning issues in their local plans across administrative boundaries. However, it only requires demonstration of co-operation in relation to the examination of local plans.

“How it works in bringing the key parties together will be a challenge and will require further thinking between local and central government in relation to new planning policy on waste management,” said Loakes.

“This shouldn’t, however, replace sector-led guidance where it is needed, which will be central to making this work. There will be a need for a robust evidence-base and a forum for those subject to the duty. The technology advisory boards provide a possible model.”

Loakes told delegates that it was essential for the DCLG to continue to engage with the LGA and local government sectors, in thinking through the content of the new planning policy and waste management post-regional spatial strategies.

He added that planning policy must continue to allow councils to make locally appropriate decisions that are not overly prescriptive.

“Waste infrastructure is difficult to deliver, but it’s crucial that local decision making and accountability is retained in line with the principles of localism as set out the National Planning Policy Framework,” he said.

Nick Warburton

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