The government has clarified its response to a petition demanding councils and major developers take into account HGV welfare facilities when deciding applications, acknowledging that professional drivers have been let down.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) was told by the petitions committee to provide a revised response after it attracted more than 10,000 signatures.
The petition called for legislation to force councils to include secure lorry parking, as well as refreshment and washing facilities when allowing large distribution parks to be built.
The committee said the MHCLG’s initial comments had not directly addressed the request of the petition.
In its follow-up response, the ministry reiterated that it had already introduced policy in the National Planning Policy Framework, meaning local plans and decisions should “recognise the importance of providing adequate overnight lorry parking facilities.”
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It said: “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 of 15 years to respond to long-term opportunities, such as those arising from major improvements in infrastructure which can include freight and distribution networks.”
The MHCLG added: “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.”
A consultation into these proposals closed on 29 October and the ministry said the responses were now being analysed.
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