Planning Permission

Department for Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 9th October 2014.

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Photo of Chi Onwurah Chi Onwurah Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether he has any plans to strengthen local democratic oversight of planning decisions; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis Minister of State (Communities and Local Government)

This Government has abolished the last Administration’s top-down Regional Strategies imposed by unelected regional bodies, and given elected local councils the power to shape where development should and should not go through up to date Local Plans.

Neighbourhood planning allows for further devolution of power down to local residents, with a local referendum to approve the local neighbourhood plan.

Our broader transparency reforms also allow for enhanced scrutiny of planning – for example, the press and public can now film and use social/digital media to report Planning Committees.

Whilst it is for local councils to determine their own individual procedures on planning applications, including which decisions are delegated, we should certainly encourage applications which are particularly contentious to be scrutinised by a full Planning Committee.

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