Duty to Cooperate
Draft London Plan Examination in Public (EiP) 16 January 2019
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M4 – Does the duty to cooperate set out in section 33A of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 apply to the Mayor’s preparation of the Plan?
For this issue the panel aimed to focus on whether the duty to cooperate applies in relation to the Mayor in the formulation of the London Plan. The Mayor argues that the duty to cooperate does not apply in the formulation of the London Plan as it is a planning activity in its own right. The Mayor further argues that the London plan is a is a spatial development strategy and a regional strategy thus does not need to comply with this policy as it is only relevant to local authorities as it was introduced by the Localism Act (2010). The Mayor highlights previous disputes to remind the panel of arguments in their favour in the past.
Participants disagree stating the duty to cooperate should be applicable to the Mayor on the formulation of the London Plan. Participants argue that the London Plan prepares the way for planning development documents. Participants expand on this through arguing that the plan is prescriptive in providing guidelines and targets which local authorities must follow thus arguing that it is in fact a preparatory document for planning.
The Mayor further argues that if the duty to cooperate does apply in the formation of the London plan – it should and would be stated, which it is not.
Participant Mr Edwards (Hillingdon Council) argues that it is matter of law: the duty to cooperate is engaged so far as the preparation of the London Plan prepares the way for local plans. He argues this through two key points: function and effect. The London plan functions in guiding local plans, this is supported by the fact that all local plans must conform to the London Plan. Mr Edwards also highlighted policies linking the two: H1A which sets target for boroughs as mandatory; H1D which requires local authorities to publish annual updates based on targets and H2B concerning small sites that requires boroughs to meet targets. The way these mandatory policies are expressed demonstrates the link between the London Plan and local plans that follow.