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Planning Appeals

Volume 449: debated on Monday 24 July 2006

The majority of planning appeals in England are decided by inspectors, but a small percentage are decided by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, usually because the development is large and controversial (out of a total of 25,000 appeals, some 150 were recovered for decision by the Secretary of State last year). This statement sets out the Secretary of State's policy on recovering planning appeals and replaces the previous policy on which appeals are recovered for the Secretary of State's determination (which was set out in a House of Commons Hansard written answer for 25 July 2000). These changes are being made to achieve a greater focus on those cases which merit ministerial decision, and over time to lead to a reduction in the number of cases recovered and produce time savings in decision making.

In future the Secretary of State will consider recovery of appeals involving—

Any proposal for residential development of over 150 units or on sites of over five hectares, which would significantly impact on the Government's objective to secure a better balance between housing demand and supply and create high quality, sustainable, mixed and inclusive communities.

Proposals for development of major importance having more than local significance.

Proposals giving rise to substantial regional or national controversy.

Proposals which raise important or novel issues of development control, and/or legal difficulties.

Proposals which involve any main town centre use or uses (as set out in paragraph 1.8 of PPS6) where that use or uses comprise(s) over 9,000 sqm gross floorspace (either as a single proposal or as part of or in combination with other current proposals) and which are proposed on a site in an edge-of-centre or out-of-centre location (as described in Table 2 of PPS6) that is not in accordance with an up-to-date development plan document prepared in accordance with the policy in PPS6.

Proposals for significant development in the green belt.

Major proposals involving the winning and working of minerals.

Proposals against which another Government Department has raised major objections or has a major interest.

Cases which can only be decided in conjunction with a case over which inspectors have no jurisdiction (so-called “linked cases”).

There may on occasion be other cases which merit recovery because of the particular circumstances.