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Volume 467: debated on Tuesday 13 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what powers the Planning Inspectorate has to consider applications which the local planning authority has deemed invalid; under which regulations this power exists; and if she will make a statement. (163105)

The Court of Appeal held in Regina v. Bath and North East Somerset district council 1999 that a determination of invalidity by the local planning authority does not exclude the right of appeal to the Secretary of State on the question of validity. The court reached its decision on the basis of a purposive construction of statutory provisions, in particular section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and section 20 of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

When considering validity of an appeal, the Planning Inspectorate, acting on behalf of the Secretary of State, must take full account of the statutory requirements under the Town and Country Planning (Applications) Regulations 1988 and those within the General Development Procedure Order 1995.