Launching two draft guides on the process of preparing local development frameworks (LDFs), Hill promised that the transition to the new system will be smooth and that development plans still in the pipeline will be allowed to proceed to completion.
But he told a Local Government Association conference that the government will no longer tolerate local authorities that have out-of-date plans or no adopted plan at all. "LDFs must be strategic and to the point in the hope that development control departments will have the policies to cater for any eventuality," he said.
He added that planning authorities will be encouraged to get on with their LDFs instead of delaying work while their statements of community involvement are ratified independently.
Hill later told Planning that the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill will have Royal Assent by March next year. "The counties element will be contentious," he admitted. "The regional planning boards and regional spatial strategies are part of the regional agenda opposed by the Conservatives, so we may get a kicking for that. But my colleagues in the House of Lords are optimistic about the progress of the bill."
Guide to Procedures and Creating Local Development Frameworks are available from ODPM Free Literature (tel) 0870 1226 236.