In January 2002, the Government produced its final Regional Planning Guidance (RPG) for the East Midlands. It sets the context for County Structure Plans and Local Plans upto 2021.
This follows a Public Examination in June 2000 of the first draft produced by Local Government, where FOE and other environmental groups made strong contributions. (See separate page for a review of some issues raised.)
RPG can be downloaded from the Government Office website.
SOME POINTS OF CONCERN IN RPG
Renewable energy targets include an EIGHT-FOLD increase in waste incineration for the East Midlands by 2010 (para 5.70).
The Government has refused to set minimum densities for housing development to make effective use of land. As a result, the aim of achieving 60% of new housing on brownfield sites has been deferred to 2021! (Policies 23&24)
Boundaries of the Nottingham Green Belt will be 'reviewed' in the next Structure Plan. A major battle will be needed to defend it (policy 6)
Many unsustainable road proposals have already been approved - including the 'Mansfield Ashfield Regeneration Route' which could destroy the green band between Mansfield and Sutton-in-Ashfield (Policy 75)
SOME USEFUL POLICIES IN RPG
- Developments should be sited and designed so they:
- use brownfield sites with good public transport connections in urban areas, where possible (Policy 1)
- improve accessibility between homes, jobs and services (Policy 24)
- make efficient use of land, energy and materials (Policy 24)
- have regard to the effect on human health (Policy 10)
- take account of information on climate change (Policy 11)
- There should be a phased release of land so brownfield sites are developed first (policy 22)
- Land which has been overallocated for business in the past will be withdrawn or reallocated for housing following a review (Policy 12)
- No major new sites should be allocated until that review is complete (Policy 13)
- There are strong policies to protect and enhance the environment, including support for Biodiversity Action Plans and protection of floodplains (Policies 29-35 & 44-48)
- Transport plans should aim to reduce the need to travel by car, and reallocate road space to walking, cycling and public transport (Policies 59 & 63), and to meet Air Quality Objectives (Policy 49)
- Expansion of East Midlands Airport will have to meet rigorous environmental tests (Policy 79)
- Development in the area of Derby, Leicester & Nottingham should be located in or adjoining existing settlements (Policy 84). Previous proposals to develop along main roads between the cities have been downgraded (see archive page).
- Regneration of the 'Northern Coalfield' area of Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire will be a priority, but this should recognise the rural nature of much of the area, and an environmental strategy to be developed for the area (Policy 88)