House of Lords written question – answered on 1st April 2008.

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Photo of Lord Ryder of Wensum Lord Ryder of Wensum Conservative

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What mechanisms are in place to (a) review and (b) overturn planning decisions made by local authorities to build new dwellings in areas of high flood risk.

Photo of Baroness Andrews Baroness Andrews Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Communities and Local Government, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government)

Section 100 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 provides a mechanism for the Secretary of State to initiate proceedings for the revocation or modification of planning permission. Revocation or modification can only be made before a planning permission is implemented and the Secretary of State can use these powers as she thinks fit, after consultation with the local planning authority.

Section 104 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 enables the Secretary of State to make an order requiring that any use of land shall be discontinued or continued subject to conditions, or that any buildings or works shall be altered or removed, if it appears expedient for her to do so.

Such intervention by the Secretary of State can only be justified in exceptional circumstances. The Secretary of State will generally use these powers only if the original decision is judged to be grossly wrong, so that damage is likely to be done to the wider public interest. Each case is considered on its merits.

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