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Draft national framework defers decisions on waste planning policy

The Government’s revised national planning policy has deferred a consideration of waste planning policy until the publication of an English waste strategy in Spring 2012.

Published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that it “does not contain specific waste policies” and that “national waste planning policy will be published alongside the national waste management plan for England”.

The requirement for a national waste plan was set out in the Revised Waste Framework Directive.

The legislation states: “The waste management plans shall set out an analysis of the current waste management situation in the geographical entity concerned, as well as the measures to be taken to improve environmentally sound preparing for re-use, recycling, recovery and disposal of waste, and an evaluation of how the plan will support the implementation of the objectives and provisions of this Directive.”

Until the publication of the national waste management plan, the DCLG’s waste planning policy statement will remain in place.

The draft NPPF has been criticised by Environmental Services Association director of policy Matthew Farrow, who said the Government has “missed a trick” in leaving out “meaningful references” to waste planning.

He said: “While the national waste management plan will be an important document, the NPPF should make explicit reference to the role of waste management infrastructure in meeting the Government’s goals and EU targets, and also make crystal clear that, despite the renewed focus on waste prevention, there will be a need for a substantial increase in waste management facilities as our reliance on landfill reduces.

“We will be urging the Government to put this right in the final version of the framework.”

According to Defra’s waste policy action plan, the national waste plan is due for completion in Spring 2012.

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