Out-Law News

Greater Manchester may seek powers for mayor to 'call in' planning decisions

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) may request that the proposed new Greater Manchester mayor is given powers to take over strategically important planning decisions, according to a report in Planning Magazine.

Agreement was reached between the GMCA and the UK treasury earlier this week on the introduction of a directly-elected Greater Manchester mayor and the devolution of certain powers to the mayor and the GMCA.

GMCA lead chief executive Eamonn Boylan has since told Planning Magazine that the Authority is set for discussions with the department for communities and local government (DCLG) over the full ambit of powers to be devolved.

Among the powers to be granted to the new mayor will be "the power to create a statutory spatial strategy ... which will guide investment and development across Greater Manchester", according to a GMCA statement.

Boylan has said that the GMCA may seek further planning powers for the Greater Manchester mayor, similar to those exercised by the mayor of London. The mayor of London is consulted on all planning decisions of strategic importance within the Greater London area, and has the power to refuse planning permission on strategic grounds or to take decisions over, or 'call them in', for his own determination.

"We would rather have a call-in at the Greater Manchester than UK level," said Boylan. "But that's subject to further discussions with the DCLG."

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