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Greater London Authority Act 1999

Sections 344 and 345: Amendments to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990

522.Subsections (1) to (8) of section 344 deal with the relationship between the Mayor's strategy and UDPs. The boroughs will continue to produce UDPs for their areas under sections 10 to 28 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. But, by amending sections 12 and 15 of that Act, the Act requires that these plans be "in general conformity with" the spatial development strategy before they can be adopted. (A similar requirement currently exists outside London for districts' local plans in relation to county structure plans).

523.Subsections (4) and (5) amend section 13 of the 1990 Act to require boroughs, before publicising their UDP proposals, to obtain from the Mayor a written opinion as to whether these are in general conformity with his Strategy. Where he considers that they are not, the Mayor's opinion will be considered as a formal objection at the public inquiry into the UDP. Through an amendment to section 26 of the 1990 Act made by subsection 8, the Secretary of State is able to make provision in regulations about how the Mayor's opinion should be obtained.

524.Subsection 7 inserts a new section after section 21 of the 1990 Act which has the effect of enabling a borough to apply the conformity test to any published proposals for amending the strategy as if they were in force. This "permitted assumption" is based on a similar provision in section 46 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 in relation to the conformity between structure and local plans.

525.Subsection (9) of section 344 makes provision for the Mayor's role in relation to planning applications by amending section 74 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Section 74 enables the Secretary of State to make development orders specifying how planning applications are to be dealt with by the local planning authority. The new provision allows the Secretary of State to empower the Mayor of London to direct the borough to refuse planning permission for prescribed classes of application and in prescribed circumstances. These classes and circumstances may be prescribed by the Secretary of State in the development order. The Secretary of State's existing order-making powers under this section enable him to specify the Mayor as a statutory consultee in such cases and to set deadlines for commenting on applications.

526.Section 345 provides for the Mayor to be liable for the costs of an inquiry into an appeal against refusal of planning permission resulting from a Mayoral direction if it is found the power has been used unreasonably. In such cases this relieves the local planning authority of liability where it has followed a Mayoral direction.

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