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Paper 14 - 24 September 1999

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

24 September 1999

LGA PLANNING EXECUTIVE UPDATE

Report from Councillor Keith House, Chair

INTRODUCTION

The LGA's new structures took effect from the Annual Meeting in June. Slimline "Executives" have replaced the old large and unwieldy committees. Key roles within the LGA have been shared around political groups and to ensure a full regional mix. As Chair of the new Planning Executive I will regularly report back to Association meetings.

KEY ISSUES FOR THE PLANNING EXECUTIVE

The Executive has agreed its key areas for work over the coming year. Broadly these concentrate on two themes, which have been agreed by the Environment and Regeneration Executive:

Policy - and in particular work on sustainable regeneration and urban design, leading int the Urban and Rural White Papers.

Process - how does Planning fit into "new" political structures? How can performance be improved and the plan process be streamlined and made more workable?

INVOLVEMENT WITH LOCAL AND REGIONAL GROUPINGS

The LGA needs to be responsive to its member authorities, to involve them in policy making and to be responsive to varying regional needs. The Planning Executive has decided that it will seek to work with groups of local authorities and regional bodies to this end. Over the coming months it is the intention of the Executive to start a rolling programme of regional visits, mainly to establish a dialogue with lead Planning Councillors and senior local authority staff. An example could be, for example, a special meeting of the Hampshire and IoW Association to discuss the implications of Regional Planning Guidance and sustainable regeneration, to which would be invited Leaders and lead Planning Councillors. The Association may wish to consider how it works with the LGA on planning issues.

CONFERENCES, SEMINARS AND BEST PRACTICE

One of the key roles of the LGA is to promote best practice amongst local authorities. Two recent seminars have been held in this area:

Urban Task Force - to consider the Urban Task Force's Report and to move towards an LGA response (which has now been agreed).

Environmental Capital - to discuss a new planning tool to balance the real value of sites and their functions in a more holistic way than existing tools such as sustainability appraisals. Steve Bee from Winchester City Council was one of the key contributors with a case study on the "Future of the City".

OTHER ACTIVITIES

The LGA also has a role in lobbying government on planning policy and practice. Recent lobbying activities have included:

Performance Indicators - commenting and welcoming draft new Best Value PIs which start to give more of an emphasis on quality rather than quantity/speed in the development control process and encouraging further movement in this area.

Draft PPG3 - commenting on (and broadly endorsing) the Select Committee response to the draft new PPG3

Telecommunications Masts - making the case for clearer guidance from DETR on the health and planning issues surrounding masts

Telecom Street Furniture - making representations on a draft Statutory Instrument which will give wider powers for operators to build/erect structures on footways without planning permission

Alnwick/Safety - supporting Alnwick in their case where the government have revoked a planning permission where the local authority is now have to pay compensation to the developer.

ENVIRONMENT & REGENERATION EXECUTIVE

As Planning Chair, I also sit on this LGA Executive, which seeks to pull together the work of the LGA across economic regeneration, planning, transportation and waste management. The Executive is Chaired by Cllr Sandy Bruce-Lockhart from Kent CC.

The Executive held its first meeting earlier this month and endorsed work in the key areas described at the start of this report. The Executive's Forum will seek to involve a wider range of Councillors across England.

COUNCILLOR KEITH HOUSE 
Chair, LGA Planning Executive

Last update: 12/10/2000
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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