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Public Inquiries

Volume 115: debated on Tuesday 5 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he is in a position to announce the results of his review of the call-in criteria in the light of the undertaking in paragraph 50 of his reply to the fifth report column 43 from the Government Committee, Session 1985–86, on "Planning: Appeal, Call-in and Major Public Inquiries".

As noted in the Government's response to the fifth report from the Environment Committee, Session 1985–86, (Cm 43) the Government's general approach is not to interfere with the jurisdiction of the local planning authority unless it is necessary to do so. Each case must be considered on its individual merits. But after careful consideration, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales and I have concluded that there is no need to depart from the general approach to calling in applications as stated in circular 2/81. We will therefore continue to be very selective about calling in cases for our decision, and applications will in general be called in only if planning issues of more than local importance are involved. Such cases may include, for example, those which in our opinion could have wide effects beyond their immediate locality, which give rise to substantial regional or national controversy which may conflict with national policy on important matters, and those where the interests of national security or of foreign Governments may be involved.