North London Waste Plan Examination:
The Duty to Co-operate
"The statement from the Inspector, placed on the North London Waste Plan website on Wednesday 13th June, mentioned that
'the Inspector would be happy to receive any further submissions on the “duty to co-operate” from parties who were present at the hearing within the next week, should they wish to submit any.'
"To this end, we would like to summarise the position of our principles the South East Waste Advisory Group (SEWPAG) and the East of England Waste Technical Advisory Board (EoEWTAB) as presented at the examination, as follows:
- The seven Boroughs have not engaged actively with the planning authorities outside London when preparing this Plan and no evidence has been adduced to show any such co-operation.
- Section 110 of the Localism Act 2011 states that the Duty to Co-operate applies to Local Planning Authorities. This includes London Boroughs. The Act also states that the Duty applies to County Councils. The fact that waste planning is a function of upper tier authorities and is not a district council function shows that it is a strategic function that must be carried out on a larger than local level.
- Planning for waste management is a strategic matter, since waste often arises in one planning authority area and is managed in another. Policies adopted in one authority can therefore have an impact on neighbouring authorities. This is the circumstance that was envisaged when Parliament discussed the Duty to Co-operate and waste planning is an example of this. Paragraph 156 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) explicitly lists planning for waste management infrastructure as a strategic matter.
- The North London Waste Plan is not deliverable because many sites where waste arising in North London is currently exported to and managed will not be available for the Plan period.
- Actions to co-operate with other authorities as envisaged in the Localism Act could have produced deliverable solutions for the management of North London’s waste. These actions have not been undertaken.
- The lack of policies to manage North London's waste in North London means that there is insufficient land allocated for the management of waste in North London. This will have a very significant impact on authorities outside North London.
- NLWA states that it does not propose any development outside the geographic limits of the seven North London Boroughs. This is incorrect. The NLWP implicitly states that waste will be managed outside the seven Boroughs, because it does not provide sufficient capacity to manage North London's waste inside the seven Boroughs.
- Notwithstanding the approach in the London Plan and the attempt by the NLWP to manage the waste apportioned to it in the London Plan, there remains a need for a waste planning authority to plan to manage all the waste arising in the plan area in accordance with PPS10.
- We would suggest that the Duty to Co-operate as envisaged in the Localism Act requires more than simply reading the Plans of other planning authorities. Nonetheless, if those plans had been properly analysed, the NLWP would contain policies to respond to the lack of available landfill capacity in authority areas such as Central Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Essex. No representations have been made by the seven Boroughs to any of the Waste Plans or Local Plans in any of the authorities outside London. Officers of Hertfordshire and Essex agree that they each held a single meeting with Archie Onslow (Programme Manager NLWP) and that these meetings solely comprised an exchange of existing information. No proposals were discussed as to how waste from North London will be managed in the future. These were certainly not a 'continuous process of engagement from initial thinking through to implementation' as required by paragraph 181 of the NPPF.
- No representative of the NLWP has ever attended a meeting of SEWPAG or the EoEWTAB or its predecessors. No approach has ever been received by these bodies to discuss the NLWP.
- No communication at all has taken place with Northamptonshire (or the East Midlands Waste Advisory Body), who have received the second largest proportion of non-hazardous waste from North London in past years.
- The NLWP has offered no evidence of active and constructive engagement with authorities outside London.
- The NLWP has not fulfilled its Duty to Co-operate.