Skip to main content

Planning Permission

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 9 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many decisions of the Planning Inspectorate she has overturned since (a) 5 December 2005 and (b) 1 November 2006; and whether any of these decisions relate to reserve sites as identified in the local development plan. (135773)

I am presuming that the right hon. Gentleman is referring to decisions where the Secretary of State has disagreed with the ‘recommendation’ of a Planning Inspector. The Secretary of State does not overturn decisions taken by the Planning Inspectorate.

Since 5 December 2005:

The Secretary of State has made 23 planning decisions against the recommendations of the Inspector.

Since 1 November 2006:

The Secretary of State has made seven planning decisions against the recommendations of the Inspector.

The issue of reserve sites for housing is not one that arises nationally. It relates to only a few areas, including the county in which the right hon. Gentleman’s constituency lies. It was not an issue in any of these cases.

Some recent cases, where the Secretary of State has been minded to make a decision against Inspectors recommendations, will not be included in these statistics as a final decision has not yet been issued.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether her policy on determining planning applications has altered with the publication of Planning Policy Statement 3. (135775)

Planning Policy Statement 3: Housing (PPS3) was published in November 2006 and took full effect on 1 April 2007. It is therefore the relevant national policy statement which the Secretary of State takes into account in determining planning cases which involve prospective housing development.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many decisions of the Planning Inspectorate she overturned in each year for which records are available; and what proportion this represents of all inspectorate decisions in each year, broken down by regional planning authority. (135777)

I am presuming that the right hon. Gentleman is referring to decisions where the Secretary of State has disagreed with the ‘recommendation’ of a Planning Inspector.

The Secretary of State does not overturn decisions taken by the Planning Inspectorate.

If so, records are available since 2002, and can be seen in the following table:

Call-ins (Number)

Call-ins (Percentage)

Recovered appeals (Number)

Recovered appeals (Percentage)

Total (Number)

Total (Percentage)

2006-07

Total decisions

80

153

233

Decisions against Inspector’s recommendation

6

7.5

10

6.5

16

6.9

2005-06

Total decisions

78

306

384

Decisions against Inspector’s recommendation

17

21.8

18

5.9

35

9.1

2004-05

Total decisions

86

261

347

Decisions against Inspector’s recommendation

12

14.0

17

6.5

29

8.3

2003-04

Total decisions

88

236

324

Decisions against Inspector’s recommendation

11

12.5

20

8.5

31

9.6

2002-03

Total decisions

59

124

183

Decisions against Inspector’s recommendation

12

20.3

5

4.0

17

9.3

The figures, for cases decided by the Secretary of State, should be seen in the context of the total number of planning decisions made by Inspectors of the Planning Inspectorate:

Number

2002-03

14,950

2003-04

18,194

2004-05

17,403

2005-06

21,493

2006-07

20,860

For the most recent year, the 16 decisions made by the Secretary of State against the recommendation of the Inspector represents 0.08 per cent. of the total number of decisions made by Inspectors or the Secretary of State.

There are no regional planning authorities, as suggested in the question. It may be that the right hon. Gentleman is referring to the Government Office regions. Should this be the case, I would be more than happy to provide him with this information on request.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what account she takes of local residents’ views when determining planning applications. (135778)

The Secretary of State fully takes into account the views of local people when determining planning applications. The principle of fully considering the views of local people, and the importance the Secretary of State ascribes to this process, is outlined in paragraphs 40-44 of Planning Policy Statement 1: Delivering Sustainable Development.

Furthermore, the Secretary of State will always consider the Inspector’s Report, inquiry evidence and post-inquiry representations—all of which incorporate the views of local people.