The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 requires the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to set and meet a timetable for the majority of planning cases which are to be decided by her (as opposed to being decided by a planning inspector) and to make a report to Parliament each year on performance. This is intended both to ensure that such cases are dealt with expeditiously and to enable the parties to any particular case to know when they can expect to receive a decision.
The Secretary of State has accordingly today laid before Parliament an Act paper reporting on performance on all decisions made between 1 April 2007 and 31 March 2008. During this period, 100 per cent. of the 131 decisions made by the Secretary of State on cases other than appeals against refusals of consent for works to trees covered by tree preservation orders were made within their statutory timetables, as were 617 out of 627 decisions (98.4 per cent.) on tree preservation order appeals.
Statutory timetables apply to decisions on called-in planning applications; planning appeals recovered for the Secretary of State’s decision; other cases “linked” to such decisions, including listed building consent, conservation area consent, advertisement consent and enforcement notice appeals; and tree preservation order appeals. They do not apply to cases decided by inspectors or to those decided by the Secretary of State jointly with a Minister of another Department