Bob Neill MP Stresses: Now it’s “Time to Get on with Implementation” of Mineral Plans at MPA/RTPI Mineral Planning Conference
- 29 June 2012
- Company & Industry News
Another highly successful MPA/RTPI Mineral Planning Conference on Thursday 17 May attracted over 200 delegates from industry, local authorities and NGOs. This year it featured three innovative interactive sessions on the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), the Review of Old Mineral Permissions (ROMPs) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The new facilitated "debate" format, skilfully managed by host and former BBC Tomorrow's World presenter, Michael Rodd, and the new venue of Edgbaston Cricket Ground, were well-received by delegates. The highlight of the day was a presentation by Bob Neill MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government, who also participated in a panel debate on the NPPF.
The Minister strongly endorsed the words of MPA's Chief Executive: "Nigel made a very important point in his response to the NPPF to say that, for the whole approach to function effectively, now you've got to move on to local delivery of the plans and that is the next stage as we see it of the planning reforms (...) we now want to get on with implementation."
The urgent need for up-to-date mineral plans was emphasised and impressed upon the Minister throughout the debates, as were concerns over the time taken to deliver new mineral planning permissions. This was felt by many to be due, at least in part, to increasing information requirements that in reality have little impact on the quality of decisions or outcomes. Concerns were expressed about the statutory 'duty to cooperate' outlined in the Localism Act – cooperation doesn't necessarily mean agreement and Government needs to address this.
Nigel Jackson, Chief Executive MPA, said "Although there is good support for the NPPF amongst planning authorities, industry and conservation bodies, it is now down to Government to ensure that the NPPF delivers and we are glad that the Minister recognises this."
The Minister expressed his gratitude for the highly constructive dialogue MPA has with the Department for Communities and Local Government and thanked industry and planners for their positive input to producing the NPPF.
"I particularly want to thank both the Mineral Products Association and the RTPI for the very constructive and balanced manner in which they have engaged with us in the preparation of the framework [NPPF] and throughout the time I have been a Minister."