Planners landed with new targets


Local planning authorities will be required to find land for waste facilities for regionally-set annual tonneage targets under a big shake-up.

The Government has promised a national assessment of the waste capacity required that regional spatial strategies would need to ‘take account of’ under the new PPS10 planning guidance. Ministers promised the first installment of the information ‘before the end of the year’.

The Government guidance does not appear to expect complete regional self-sufficiency. It states that regional planning bodies should consider ‘the likely demand for waste management capacity arising from neighbouring regions’. <br>

The previous PPG10 document’s call for self-sufficiency prompted London’s neighbours to urge sharp reductions in the waste it exports (Surveyor, 9 January 2003).

Councils’ local development frameworks would need to allocate sites to provide at least 10 years of their annual tonneage rates, avoiding ‘unrealistic assumptions on the prospects of sites’.

The document also, as expected, axes the requirement for ‘best practicable environmental option’ assessments for individual facilities, and instead requires councils to consider issues such as water protection, visual intrusion, emissions, nature conservation, and vermin and birds, when allocating sites.

The cumulative effect of existing and proposed new waste disposal facilities on the ‘wellbeing’ of local communities also has to be considered.

Ben Bradshaw, minister for local environmental quality, urged councils ‘to make the most of the new framework, and put in place realistic, long-term strategies to deliver the right facilities on time and where they are needed most’.

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