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Government gives counties cold shoulder on planning

COUNTY COUNCILS face exclusion from development of local planning policy under new government proposals, the Local Government Association warned last week.

The government's planning green paper proposes to restrict planning policy decisions to unitary and district councils, ignoring the counties, LGA chair Sir Jeremy Beecham told the Commons Transport, Local Government & the Regions committee.

This means that valuable county council expertise will be ignored.

Beecham said that there should be a legal requirement for counties to be involved in policy development.

'There needs to be a statutory role to ensure the county councils are not lost in this whole process.'

The government's planning green paper suggests that individual local authorities should develop their own local policies independently of the counties in an attempt to streamline the policy development.

The green paper has suggested the idea of single tier local development plans, that set out a statement of core local policies and detailed action plans.

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