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Planning Applications

Volume 543: debated on Monday 30 April 2012

16. What criteria he uses when calling in or recovering planning applications; and if he will make a statement. (105729)

The Government believe that planning decisions should be taken in, and by, local communities, and so use their call-in powers sparingly. Essentially, the powers are used when matters are of national significance.

The planning inspector’s decision on the Kelmarsh wind farm in my constituency helped to spark a massive campaign against onshore wind in this place and beyond. In such cases, how long does the Secretary of State legally have to recover or call in decisions, and what is the Department’s policy in this area?

My hon. Friend will know that I cannot comment on a particular case—the quasi-judicial status of ministerial decisions is well understood at the moment. Once a decision notice has been given, that is the end of the Secretary of State’s discretion in the matter.