I would suggest the virtual abolition of the rights of appeal contained in the Town and Country Planning Act and that central government, in the shape of the Planning Inspectorate, should have no role in the vast majority of planning matters. 

 

Historically, about two-thirds of planning appeals are rejected – meaning that in those cases the local planning authority’s original decision was “correct”.  We maintain an appeals system for the minority of cases (about one third) where the planning authority made a “wrong” decision.  That is a waste of resources and takes away the rights of local authorities to make their own decions – at grass roots level.

 

With no right of appeal it might be necessary to widen the circumstances in which the Secretary of State “calls-in” applications for his own determination.

 

The rights of appeal against non-determination of a planning application and against an enforcement notice would need to be retained.  But with those exceptions the power and responsibility for dealing with planning matters would be returned to the local level where it properly belongs.  The man from Whitehall would not be able to interfere.

Why is this idea important?

Because the current arrangements:-

 

a.  use resources;  and

 

b.  take away responsibility from local councils that they should have the right to exercise.

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