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Planning Permission

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 29 October 2008, Official Report, column 1152W, on planning permission, what changes to her Department's policy on call-ins are under consideration for inclusion in the new Direction. (252788)

A consultation on the review of call-in directions was carried out between 7 January 2008 and 31 March 2008. This set out proposals aimed at reducing the number of planning applications automatically referred to Government for consideration of whether they should be ‘called in’ for ministerial decision by consolidating the existing directions into one new direction, with some changes to reflect current policy, specifically:

Deleting the requirement to refer cases of over 150 houses;

Deleting the requirement to refer cases of local authorities developing their own land, or being the applicant for development;

Deleting the requirement to refer cases which would significantly prejudice the implementation of the development plan’s policies and proposals;

Retaining the requirement to refer applications involving more than 5,000 square metres of gross retail, leisure, office or mixed commercial floor space but only for proposals on sites in edge or out of centre locations and which are not in accordance with an up to date development plan document; and extending this requirement to include some proposals for increases of existing floor space of over 2,500 square metres, where the total would then exceed 5,000 square metres;

Introducing a new requirement to refer proposals which may have a significant adverse impact on the outstanding universal value and significance of a World Heritage Site or its setting;

All other requirements remain unchanged.

Further details of the Government's proposals can be found in the consultation document which is available on the Department's website at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/callindirections.

Copies of the consultation document have been placed in the Library of the House. The Government are in the process of analysing the responses received to the consultation with a view to publishing a new direction in the spring.