Out-of-Date Law on Joining Up in an Age of Joined-Up Planning

South Upshire district is looking at how to work with its neighbors on a new style joint strategic plan; indeed if it doesn’t it faces intervention on its slow plan making.

Its within Upshire county and adjoins a unitary which used to belong to the County.  The area proposed for the JSP would be part of the ceremonial county.

It faces issues – it could undertake a joint plan under section 28 of the PCPA – the problem – this allows unitaries as part of the joint plan but doesn’t allow counties, so the plan couldn’t include waste and minerals policy jointly with the county.

It could declare a joint committee under section 29 of the PCPA, this allows counties to join but not unitaries.

If the plan were to propose a strategic infrastructure tariff any combined authority could not collect it or charge it because of the complex CIL law and regulations on charging and receiving authorities.  There would need to be separate  CILs.  The government has consulted on changing the law on this to allow combined authorities to charge a strategic infrastructure tariff (like in London)..

The government has used Henry VIII powers under the deregulation act to relax where can form a Combined authority, including one preparing a LTP for part of a county, however this combined authority couldn’t mirror this with joint plans and SIT because of the above problems.  These cant be used it here as it would involve adding to the law not taking away from it.

The legal officer has written to MHLG – but as they reply…

Provision had already been made under section 28 to allow unitary authorities and districts to work together so there was no error in drafting, or clouded thinking on the matter. [ Cough, cough really!]
I have discussed the joint working issues with Colleagues looking after SIT who will, I am sure, consider the issues you have raised. There are no proposals to change the primary legislation (Section 29) that I am aware of and this would unlikely to be given parliamentary time in the current circumstances with legislation on Brexit being given priority.