New Clause 19

Planning Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:45 pm on 5th February 2008.

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Validity of orders, decisions and directions

‘(1) Section 284(3) of TCPA 1990 (validity of certain actions on the part of the Secretary of State) is amended as follows.

(2) Before paragraph (a) insert—

“(za) any decision on an application referred to the Secretary of State under section 76A;”.

(3) In paragraph (a) for “for planning permission referred to him” substitute “referred to the Secretary of State”.’.—[Mr. Dhanda.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Photo of Parmjit Dhanda Parmjit Dhanda Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Communities and Local Government

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

The purpose of this new clause is to correct inconsistencies within the town and country planning legislation in the provisions for challenge of decisions by the Secretary of State. The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 empowered the Secretary of State to call in planning applications for major infrastructure projects. Some applications for major infrastructure projects, such as inland waterways and quarries, will still be determined under those provisions rather than under the new provisions for applications determined by the infrastructure planning commission.

Section 288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 allows persons aggrieved by certain decisions of the Secretary of State to make an application to the High Court. Any such application must be made within six weeks of the decision. The list of decisions to which section 288 and the six-week challenge period applies was modified by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. The 2004 Act omitted to include decisions on major infrastructure projects. Therefore, the effect of that omission is that, at present, a person aggrieved by a decision of the Secretary of State on a call-in of a major infrastructure application would have to challenge through judicial review. Applications for judicial review must be brought within three months of the decision. That anomaly will be corrected by inserting paragraph (za) into section 284(3) of the 1990 Act. The proposals will therefore ensure consistency in the treatment of challenge periods.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second Time, and added to the Bill.