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Petition Review planning legislation to include facilities for HGV drivers.

Review planning legislation to force councils to include adequate safe and secure HGV parking with refreshment and washing facilities for drivers when allowing large distribution parks to be built, based on percentage capacity, or when undertaking major road improvement or construction works.

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HGV traffic is a direct indication on the health of a nation's economy. Providing drivers with adequate parking areas prevents conflict with those who disapprove of this vital industry, protects the welfare of the driver and improves road safety and the safety of the vehicle. It will encourage new blood to the industry.

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Government responded

This response was given on 17 November 2020

The Government has already introduced national planning policy which encourages Local Planning Authorities and developers to provide adequate overnight lorry parking facilities where appropriate.

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We have already introduced policy in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), that local plans and decisions should recognise the importance of providing adequate overnight lorry parking facilities, taking into account any local shortages. National planning policy sets out that proposals for new or expanded distribution centres should include provision for sufficient lorry parking to cater for their anticipated use. We introduced this policy following the evidence set out in the National Survey of Lorry Parking; a comprehensive study of the capacity and utilisation of HGV facilities published in 2018.

As the NPPF should be taken into account when preparing development plans and is a direct material consideration in planning decisions, we believe that this policy provides the basis for local plans and decisions to secure adequate parking and appropriate facilities to cater for HGV drivers. Strategic policies in local plans should look ahead over a minimum period of15 years to respond to long-term opportunities, such as those arising from major improvements in infrastructure which can include freight and distribution networks. These policies should be informed by appropriate and proportionate evidence including infrastructure needs and costs.

The Government accepts that design has not always been at the heart of the planning system, and this is shown in low-quality development that has not always led to the best outcomes including for HGV facilities.. Therefore as part of our wider agenda for planning reform, we have published our Planning for the Future proposals for future reforms to the planning system. Our proposals for a reformed planning system will introduce locally set design guidance and codes which will help to provide certainty about development.

Now that the consultation has closed on 29 October, officials will collate, review and analyse all responses. It is important that we analyse and scrutinise the consultation feedback thoroughly, and will respond formally once this has been undertaken, outlining the findings of the consultation and setting out next steps. We are also working closely with DfT and across Government to consider innovative ideas to boost the quality of HGV facilities. As part of this, we will look to understand how our policy is working in practice, and to identify further opportunities for planning to support high quality HGV facilities.

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

This is a revised response. The Petitions Committee requested a response which more directly addressed the request of the petition. You can find the original response towards the bottom of the petition page (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/323286)

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Original Government Response

We recognise the importance of high quality facilities for HGV drivers, which is why we’ve encouraged Local Planning Authorities and developers to consider overnight facilities where appropriate.

We have recently introduced policy that local plans and decisions should recognise the importance of adequate overnight lorry parking facilities. Consequently, proposals for new or expanded distribution centres should include provision for sufficient lorry parking to cater for their anticipated use. This policy is set out in our National Planning Policy Framework (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-planning-policy-framework--2). This must be taken into account when local authorities are preparing their local plans and is a material consideration in planning decisions.

We introduced this policy following the National Survey of Lorry Parking, (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-survey-of-lorry-parking) a comprehensive study of the capacity and utilisation of HGV facilities published in 2018. We are working closely with DfT and across Government to consider innovative ideas to boost the quality of HGV facilities. As part of this, we will look to understand how our policy is working in practice, and to identify further opportunities for planning to support high quality HGV facilities.

As part of our wider agenda for planning reform, we have published our Planning for the Future (https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/planning-for-the-future) proposals for future reforms to the planning system. We are consulting on these proposals until 29 October, and would welcome views on planning for high quality HGV facilities as part of that.

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

This response was given on 14 October 2020. The Petitions Committee then requested a revised response, that more directly addressed the request of the petition.

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