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"Efficient Planning"

Volume 181: debated on Tuesday 20 November 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what decisions have been made on the proposals in the Scottish Development Department's July 1989 consultation paper "Efficient Planning".

The Government have carefully considered the responses which were received to the consultation paper "Efficient Planning". We have decided to proceed with the following proposals, some of which are included in the Planning and Compensation Bill published on Friday 16 November and some of which will be brought forward by Government amendment.

  • (a) a power for local authorities to turn away repetitive planning applications;
  • (b) a power for the Secretary of State to dismiss a planning appeal where the appellant delays unreasonably;
  • (c) lifting the six-month time limit for prosecuting an applicant who makes a false declaration;
  • (d) rationalising the secondary legislation governing development control;
  • (e) introducing new powers to control fly-posting;
  • (f) simplifying the law on publicity for planning applications;
  • (g) a power for local authorities to impose after-care conditions on landfill sites; and
  • (h) extending to minerals waste tips the provisions for the review of minerals sites, abatement of compensation and after-care conditions.
  • We have already made it clear that we intend to pursue the proposal to increase planning application fees progressively until they cover 100 per cent. of local authorities' development control costs.A consultation paper was issued on 5 October 1990 outlining proposals to simplify the procedures for designating simplified planning zones. SPZs can be used to extend permitted development rights in a defined area, and we have concluded that a further power for local authorities to do this—the proposed local development orders—will not be necessary if we decide to implement our SPZ proposals.In the light of the responses to the consultation paper the Government have decided not to proceed with the following proposals:

  • (i) to allow the Secretary of State to determine the procedure to be used to decide a planning appeal. This would have removed the main appeal parties' longstanding right "to be heard";
  • (ii) to give special permission for development by householders if the local planning authority takes no decision on a planning application within eight weeks;
  • (iii) dual jurisdiction for the local authority and the Secretary of State following an appeal against non-determination, and re-defining the point at which development is said to commence. We shall be considering further the technical aspects of these proposals;
  • (iv) charging for planning appeals. The Government saw this as a means of improving the efficiency of the planning appeals system. We have, however, decided to give priority to other steps designed to achieve this end;
  • (v) heritage measures. We have decided that the present Bill is not the right vehicle for such measures.