protect green belts but recognise the particular locational needs of some types of waste management facilities when defining detailed green belt boundaries and, in
determining planning applications, that these locational needs, together with the wider environmental and economic benefits of sustainable waste management, are
material considerations that should be given significant weight in determining whether proposals should be given planning permission;
, the updated policy removes the former reference in policy that waste planning authorities should give significant weight towards locational needs and wider environmental and economic benefits when considering waste planning applications in the Green Belt. This means that, under national planning policy, these planning considerations should not be given more significant weight compared to others when planning applications are decided for waste facilities in the Green Belt. Applications for facilities located in the Green Belt will still need to be considered by waste planning authorities on their individual planning merits having regard to the waste planning authority local waste plan and other material considerations, with the weight to be given on particular planning considerations being for the decision maker, subject to the circumstances of each particular case.
Current planning rules force Councillors to give “significant weight” to building waste facilities in the protected green belt to help them meet recycling targets.ministers are publishing new guidance which will replace [waste policy] with much tougher protections for the green belt, which covers over 6,000 square miles of countryside around towns and cities to prevent urban sprawl.
Eric Pickles, the Communities and Local Government secretary, told The Daily Telegraph: “[These] new rules will discourage the likes of incinerators and waste dumps on Green Belt land.
“I hope this will prevent speculative applications that threaten to harm our countryside, and give more power and discretion for local councils and local people to protect the local environment.”
It is no big deal. Any material consideration is capable of being a ‘very special circumstances’, as the weight to be given to any such consideration is a matter for the decision maker. All the revised policy would do would be to remove the word ‘special’, implying automatic overiding. In practical terms many small sites may have no alternative but to locate in the green belt and the relaxing of Green Belt policy ion the NPPF allows for previously developed sites to be used. The cynic in me however thinks Grant Shapps has had a word to try and get the Hatfield Incinerator blocked, as a recovered appeal decision would be embarrassing for him and potentially lose him his seat. I also suspect that the decision will have peverse impacts as it will lead to more applications for >60mw under the 2008 act regime. There there is no presumption in favour of development plans and Green Belt only has meaning through plans, national need for the facility can easily overide Green BGelt policy.