Pickles extends planning appeal decision powers to cover residential developments in neighbourhood plan areas

Out-Law News | 11 Jul 2014 | 4:23 pm | 1 min. read

Secretary of state for communities and local government (SoS) Eric Pickles has amended the criteria by which planning appeals are considered for ministerial determination, to include appeals relating to residential developments in areas where a neighbourhood plan is proposed or in place.

In a written ministerial statement (1-page / 76 KB PDF) on 9 July, under-secretary of state for communities and local government Nick Boles said: "the SoS is keen that all planning appeal decisions should reflect the government's clear policy intention when introducing neighbourhood planning, which was to provide a powerful set of tools for local people to ensure they get the right types of development for their community, while also planning positively to support strategic development needs."

"He proposes to amend the criteria for consideration of the recovery of planning appeals to include: proposals for residential development of over 10 units in areas where a qualifying body has submitted a neighbourhood plan proposal to the local planning authority or where a neighbourhood plan has been made," said Boles.

The SoS has the power to determine planning appeals that would otherwise be decided by the Planning Inspectorate when certain criteria are met.

Under policy introduced in 2008, the SoS will consider recovering appeals where proposals are for major developments with "more than local significance", are regionally or nationally controversial, raise novel issues, have been subject to major government interest or objections, or are significant to climate change and energy policy.

The criteria were later amended to include scrutiny of appeals involving renewable energy and traveller sites on Green Belt land.

The new criteria will be added to the previous recovery policy and applied for a period of 12 months from 9 July, after which it will be reviewed.