The Government’s chief planner has voiced concern over slow progress by some local authorities in producing mineral plans, which risks the UK incurring infraction proceedings and fines from Brussels.
Steve Quartermain has written to mineral planning authorities expressing the Government’s worries.
In the letter he pointed out that the EU Waste Framework Directive requires all waste planning authorities to have in place waste management plans, and for those plans to contain specific information.
“The recently revised Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC) confirms and updates this requirement – and the Government will shortly lay regulations to ensure its effective transposition.”
He added: “It is crucial, therefore, that local planning authorities press ahead with their waste plans and make sure that they allocate sufficient land for waste management facilities. Many authorities have made excellent progress and have already published or even adopted Directive-compliant waste plans.
“However, I am concerned that a small number are currently not due to publish their plans until well into 2011, or even 2012. This places the UK in a critical position as far as meeting EU requirements is concerned – and risks the UK incurring infraction proceedings and fines as a result of unsatisfactory progress.”
The chief planner has asked waste planning authorities to reassure him that waste plans will shortly reach publication stage.
He also pointed out that councils could face a financial penalty. “You should be aware that the Government has included a power in Part 2 of the Localism Bill to pass on some or all of any fines from the European Court of Justice to any authority which caused the UK to be in breach of its obligations under the Directive.”
21 January 2011