Policy summary - Waste policy confirms strong line against use of green belt

Policy: National Planning Policy for Waste.

Waste facility: restrictions reinforced
Waste facility: restrictions reinforced

Issued by: Department for Communities and Local Government

Issue date: 16 October 2014

Background: In July 2013, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) invited comments on a draft revised waste planning policy to replace Planning Policy Statement 10 (PPS10), Planning for Sustainable Waste Management. The finalised text was published last month.

Key points: The new waste policy document is intended to be read in conjunction with the National Planning Policy Framework, the Waste Management Plan for England issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in December 2013 and the national policy statements for waste water and hazardous waste.

The text has been strengthened to underline the need for early and meaningful engagement with local communities, so that plans reflect a "collective vision" and agreed priorities as far as possible. It expects waste planning authorities to work collaboratively with each other and district councils in managing waste needs, meeting the duty to cooperate.

The policy confirms the consultation draft's commitment to protecting the green belt from waste development. It requires that in preparing local plans, waste planning authorities should work in collaboration with other councils to look in the first case for suitable sites and areas outside the green belt for waste management facilities that would be inappropriate development if sited within the green belt.

The DCLG says planning authorities should recognise the particular locational needs of some types of waste management facilities when preparing local plans. However, it also says councils can no longer give special consideration to locational needs, or the wider economic benefits the site could bring, over other considerations, as justification for building waste facilities on green belt land.

The department's report on the consultation, issued alongside the policy, reveals that three-quarters of respondents were concerned that the tougher line on waste facilities in the green belt would offer less flexibility, making it harder to approve schemes that would not harm openness. But communities secretary Eric Pickles said the measures ensure a "strong defence" against urban sprawl and bring waste into line with policies on other development types.

The policy statement asks councils to consider a wide range of sites, including industrial sites, in seeking opportunities to locate waste management facilities and complementary activities together. It urges them to prioritise reuse of brownfield land, sites identified for employment uses, and redundant agricultural and forestry buildings.

The DCLG has also issued streamlined guidance on waste planning in its National Planning Practice Guidance. This replaces the companion guide to PPS10 published in 2006.

The document can be read here.

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