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Planning Appeals

Volume 931: debated on Wednesday 11 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will indicate the time taken in reaching decisions on planning appeals covering major projects.

Information in the form requested is not available. In March 1977 planning appeals decided by my right hon. Friend following a local inquiry took an average of 42 weeks from start to decision. Major projects would be included in those appeals.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many planning appeals covering mineral projects undertaken over the past two years have been concluded (a) within the two months statutory period, (b) within three months, (c) within four months and (d) over four months.

There is no statutory period for the determination of planning appeals. During the two years ended on 30th April 1977, 50 appeals concerned with applications for planning permission for the winning and working of minerals and three enforcement appeals relating to mineral workings were determined. In addition, determination were made of two applications for planning permission for mineral working which were called in for the Secretary of State's decision. In no case was the determination made within four months of the date on which the appeal was lodged or the application called in, as the case may be.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment, of all planning appeals dealt with by his Department what percentage relates to (a) housing, (b) construction in industry and commerce, (c) mineral projects, and (d) other; and what is the average time taken to dispense with appeals in each classification.

For the year ended 31st March 1977, 48 per cent. of the appeals decided related to housing development—including residential caravan sites—6 per cent. related to building in industry and commerce, 0·1 per cent. related to mineral projects and 45·9 per cent. related to other development. The information sought relating to average times is not available in the form requested but the average periods between receipt and decision taken by appeals decided in March 1977 were as follows:

42 weeks where the appeal was decided by my right hon. Friend following a local inquiry (14 per cent. of cases).
37 weeks where the appeal was decided by my right hon. Friend on written representations (9 per cent. of cases).
26 weeks where the appeal was decided by an inspector on written representation (19 per cent. of cases).
22 weeks where the appeal was decided by an inspector on written representations (58 per cent. of cases).