The East of England Plan (or Regional Spatial Strategy) is currently being reviewed. The Regional Assembly is agreeing scenarios for consultation (the focus being scale and distribution of growth). One area likely to be the subject of revision are the waste policies, in light of a number of important studies that the East of England Regional Technical Advisory Body on Waste (RTAB) has commissioned. These include waste capacity, construction demolition and excavation waste, hazardous waste, an organic study and studies on market development and waste prevention.

An important proposal is a new set of policies aimed at safeguarding existing waste management sites from inappropriate development close by. Although the exact wording of the proposed policy is likely to be a subject for consultation, the approach is likely to be good news for those involved in the waste management industry. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there are a number of cases where, say, new residential development is allocated and then granted planning permission very close to waste facilities without operators being able to influence decision-making in a way that is effective. It is to be hoped that these policies will have a much wider effect than similar policies included in minerals and waste local plans and then local development framework, which tend not to be high on the list of priorities of planning authorities responsible for allocating and consenting residential development.