If an authority is asked to cooperate with another authority to help it deliver its housing need, is the authority obliged to do so even if it considers that cooperation would have adverse impacts on the environment of its own planning area?The National Planning Policy Framework makes clear that local planning authorities should meet their own housing need and meet the needs of other authorities in the same housing market area as far as is consistent with the policies set out in the Framework. This includes policies for the protection of the built and natural environment. The Duty to Cooperate requires authorities to work effectively on strategic planning matters that cross their administrative boundaries. The Duty to Cooperate is not a duty to agree and local planning authorities are not obliged to accept the unmet needs of other planning authorities if they have robust evidence that this would be inconsistent with the policies set out in the National Planning Policy Framework, for example policies on Green Belt, or other environmental constraints. An authority will need to consider its obligations under the duty to cooperate, the policies of the National Planning Policy Framework taken as a whole and any relevant Local Plan policies when considering requests from others to cooperate on strategic cross boundary matters.
Updated: 10 04 2014