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Planning Bill


Planning Bill
Part 6 — Deciding applications for orders granting development consent
Chapter 4 — Examination of applications under Chapter 2 or 3

49

 

91      

Hearings about specific issues

(1)   

Subsections (2) and (3) apply where the Examining authority decides that it is

necessary for the Examining authority’s examination of the application to

include the consideration of oral representations about a particular issue made

at a hearing in order to ensure—

5

(a)   

adequate examination of the issue, or

(b)   

that an interested party has a fair chance to put the party’s case.

(2)   

The Examining authority must cause a hearing to be held for the purpose of

receiving oral representations about the issue.

(3)   

At the hearing, each interested party is entitled (subject to the Examining

10

authority’s powers of control over the conduct of the hearing) to make oral

representations about the issue.

(4)   

Where the Examining authority is a Panel acting under Chapter 2, any two or

more hearings under subsection (2) may be held concurrently.

92      

Compulsory acquisition hearings

15

(1)   

This section applies where the application includes a request for an order

granting development consent to authorise compulsory acquisition of land or

of an interest in or right over land (a “compulsory acquisition request”).

(2)   

The Examining authority must fix, and cause each affected person to be

informed of, the deadline by which an affected person must notify the

20

Commission that the person wishes a compulsory acquisition hearing to be

held.

(3)   

If the Commission receives notification from at least one affected person before

the deadline, the Examining authority must cause a compulsory acquisition

hearing to be held.

25

(4)   

At a compulsory acquisition hearing, the following are entitled (subject to the

Examining authority’s powers of control over the conduct of the hearing) to

make oral representations about the compulsory acquisition request—

(a)   

the applicant;

(b)   

each affected person.

30

(5)   

A person is an “affected person” for the purposes of this section if the person’s

name has been given to the Commission in a notice under section 59.

93      

Open-floor hearings

(1)   

The Examining authority must fix, and cause the interested parties to be

informed of, the deadline by which an interested party must notify the

35

Commission of the party’s wish to be heard at an open-floor hearing.

(2)   

If the Commission receives notification from at least one interested party

before the deadline, the Examining authority must cause an open-floor hearing

to be held.

(3)   

At an open-floor hearing, each interested party is entitled (subject to the

40

Examining authority’s powers of control over the conduct of the hearing) to

make oral representations about the application.

 
 

Planning Bill
Part 6 — Deciding applications for orders granting development consent
Chapter 4 — Examination of applications under Chapter 2 or 3

50

 

94      

Hearings: general provisions

(1)   

The following provisions of this section apply—

(a)   

to a hearing under section 91(2),

(b)   

to a compulsory acquisition hearing (see section 92), and

(c)   

to an open-floor hearing (see section 93).

5

(2)   

The hearing—

(a)   

must be in public, and

(b)   

must be presided over by one or more of the members of the Panel or

(as the case may be) the single Commissioner.

(3)   

It is for the Examining authority to decide how the hearing is to be conducted.

10

(4)   

In particular, it is for the Examining authority to decide—

(a)   

whether a person making oral representations at the hearing may be

questioned at the hearing by another person and, if so, the matters to

which the questioning may relate;

(b)   

the amount of time to be allowed at the hearing—

15

(i)   

for the making of a person’s representations (including

representations made in exercise of an entitlement under

section 91(3), 92(4) or 93(3)), or

(ii)   

for any questioning by another person.

(5)   

The Examining authority’s powers under subsections (3) and (4) are subject

20

to—

(a)   

subsection (2), and

(b)   

any rules made under section 97.

(6)   

Although the Examining authority’s powers under subsections (3) and (4) may

be exercised for the purpose of controlling exercise of an entitlement under

25

section 91(3), 92(4) or 93(3), those powers may not be exercised so as to deprive

the person entitled of all benefit of the entitlement.

(7)   

In making decisions under subsection (4)(a), the Examining authority must

apply the principle that any oral questioning of a person making

representations at a hearing (whether the applicant or any other person)

30

should be undertaken by the Examining authority except where the Examining

authority thinks that oral questioning by another person is necessary in order

to ensure—

(a)   

adequate testing of any representations, or

(b)   

that a person has a fair chance to put the person’s case.

35

(8)   

The Examining authority may refuse to allow representations to be made at the

hearing (including representations made in exercise of an entitlement under

section 91(3), 92(4) or 93(3)) if the Examining authority considers that the

representations—

(a)   

are irrelevant, vexatious or frivolous,

40

(b)   

relate to the merits of policy set out in a national policy statement,

(c)   

repeat other representations already made (in any form and by any

person), or

(d)   

relate to compensation for compulsory acquisition of land or of an

interest in or right over land.

45

 
 

Planning Bill
Part 6 — Deciding applications for orders granting development consent
Chapter 4 — Examination of applications under Chapter 2 or 3

51

 

95      

Hearings: disruption, supervision and costs

(1)   

Where an interested party or any other person behaves in a disruptive manner

at a hearing, the Examining authority may decide to do any one or more of the

following—

(a)   

exclude the person from all, or part, of the remainder of the hearing;

5

(b)   

allow the person to continue to attend the hearing only if the person

complies with conditions specified by the Examining authority;

(c)   

exclude the person from other hearings;

(d)   

direct that the person is allowed to attend other hearings only if the

person complies with conditions specified by the Examining authority.

10

(2)   

In this section “hearing” means—

(a)   

a preliminary meeting under section 88,

(b)   

a hearing under section 91(2),

(c)   

a compulsory acquisition hearing (see section 92),

(d)   

an open-floor hearing (see section 93),

15

(e)   

any other meeting or hearing that the Examining authority causes to be

held for the purposes of the Examining authority’s examination of the

application, or

(f)   

a site visit.

(3)   

The Examining authority’s examination of the application is a statutory

20

inquiry for the purposes of Schedule 7 to the Tribunals, Courts and

Enforcement Act 2007 (c. 15) (functions etc. of Administrative Justice and

Tribunals Council).

(4)   

Subsection (5) of section 250 of the Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70)

(provisions about costs applying where Minister causes a local inquiry to be

25

held) applies in relation to the Examining authority’s examination of the

application as it applies in relation to an inquiry under that section, but with

references to the Minister causing the inquiry to be held being read as

references to the Examining authority.

   

This is subject to subsection (5) of this section.

30

(5)   

Subsections (6) to (8) of section 210 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act

1973 (c. 65) (provisions about expenses applying where Minister causes a local

inquiry to be held) apply in relation to the Examining authority’s examination

of the application in so far as relating to a hearing held in Scotland as they

apply in relation to an inquiry under that section, but with references to the

35

Minister causing the inquiry to be held being read as references to the

Examining authority.

96      

Representations not made orally may be made in writing

(1)   

Subsection (2) applies where—

(a)   

a person asks the Examining authority to be allowed to make oral

40

representations about the application at a hearing,

(b)   

the person does not (for whatever reason) make the representations

orally at a hearing,

(c)   

written representations from the person are received by the

Commission before the Examining authority completes the Examining

45

authority’s examination of the application, and

 
 

Planning Bill
Part 6 — Deciding applications for orders granting development consent
Chapter 4 — Examination of applications under Chapter 2 or 3

52

 

(d)   

the written representations state that they are ones that the person

asked to be allowed to, but did not, make orally at a hearing.

(2)   

The Examining authority must consider the written representations as part of

the Examining authority’s examination of the application, subject to section

87(3).

5

97      

Procedure rules

(1)   

The Lord Chancellor or (if subsection (2) applies) the Secretary of State, after

consultation with the Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council, may make

rules regulating the procedure to be followed in connection with the

Examining authority’s examination of the application.

10

(2)   

This subsection applies if the development to which the application relates (or

part of the development) is the construction (other than by a gas transporter)

of an oil or gas cross-country pipe-line—

(a)   

one end of which is in England or Wales, and

(b)   

the other end of which is in Scotland.

15

(3)   

Rules under subsection (1) may make provision for or in connection with

authorising the Examining authority, alone or with others, to enter onto land,

including land owned or occupied otherwise than by the applicant, for the

purpose of inspecting the land as part of the Examining authority’s

examination of the application.

20

(4)   

Rules under subsection (1) may regulate procedure in connection with matters

preparatory to the Examining authority’s examination of the application, and

in connection with matters subsequent to the examination, as well as in

connection with the conduct of the examination.

(5)   

Power under this section to make rules includes power to make different

25

provision for different purposes.

(6)   

Power under this section to make rules is exercisable by statutory instrument.

(7)   

A statutory instrument containing rules under this section is subject to

annulment pursuant to a resolution of either House of Parliament.

98      

Timetable for examining, and reporting on, application

30

(1)   

The Examining authority is under a duty to complete the Examining

authority’s examination of the application by the end of the period of 6 months

beginning with the day after the start day.

(2)   

The start day is the day on which the meeting required by section 88 is held or,

if that meeting is held on two or more days, the later or latest of those days.

35

(3)   

In a case where the Examining authority is required to make a report to the

Secretary of State under section 74(2)(b) or 83(2)(b), the Examining authority is

under a duty to make its report by the end of the period of 3 months beginning

with the day after the deadline for completion of its examination of the

application.

40

(4)   

The person appointed to chair the Commission may set a date for a deadline

under this section that is later than the date for the time being set.

(5)   

The power under subsection (4) may be exercised—

 
 

Planning Bill
Part 6 — Deciding applications for orders granting development consent
Chapter 4 — Examination of applications under Chapter 2 or 3

53

 

(a)   

more than once in relation to the same deadline;

(b)   

after the date for the time being set for the deadline.

(6)   

Where the power under subsection (4) is exercised—

(a)   

the person exercising the power must notify the Secretary of State of

what has been done and of the reasons for doing it, and

5

(b)   

the Commission’s report under paragraph 17 of Schedule 1 for the

financial year in which the power is exercised must mention and

explain what has been done.

99      

Completion of Examining authority’s examination of application

When the Examining authority has completed its examination of the

10

application, it must inform each of the interested parties of that fact.

100     

Assessors

(1)   

The person appointed to chair the Commission (“the chair”) may, at the request

of the Examining authority, appoint a person to act as an assessor to assist the

Examining authority in the Examining authority’s examination of the

15

application.

(2)   

A person may be appointed as an assessor only if it appears to the chair that

the person has expertise that makes the person a suitable person to provide

assistance to the Examining authority.

101     

Legal advice and assistance

20

(1)   

The person appointed to chair the Commission may, at the request of the

Examining authority, appoint a barrister, solicitor or advocate to provide legal

advice and assistance to the Examining authority in connection with its

examination of the application.

(2)   

The assistance that may be given by a person appointed under subsection (1)

25

includes carrying out on behalf of the Examining authority any oral

questioning of a person making representations at a hearing.

102     

Interpretation of Chapter 4: “interested party” and other expressions

(1)   

For the purposes of this Chapter, a person is an “interested party” if—

(a)   

the person is the applicant,

30

(b)   

the person is a statutory party,

(c)   

the person is a relevant local authority,

(d)   

the person is the Greater London Authority and the land is in Greater

London, or

(e)   

the person has made a relevant representation.

35

(2)   

In this Chapter “representation” includes evidence, and references to the

making of a representation include the giving of evidence.

(3)   

In subsection (1) “statutory party” means a person specified in, or of a

description specified in, regulations made by the Secretary of State.

(4)   

A representation is a relevant representation for the purposes of subsection (1)

40

to the extent that—

 
 

Planning Bill
Part 6 — Deciding applications for orders granting development consent
Chapter 5 — Decisions on applications

54

 

(a)   

it is a representation about the application,

(b)   

it is made to the Commission in the prescribed form and manner,

(c)   

it is received by the Commission no later than the deadline that applies

under section 56 to the person making it,

(d)   

it contains material of a prescribed description, and

5

(e)   

it does not contain—

(i)   

material about compensation for compulsory acquisition of

land or of an interest in or right over land,

(ii)   

material about the merits of policy set out in a national policy

statement, or

10

(iii)   

material that is vexatious or frivolous.

(5)   

In subsection (1) “relevant local authority” means a local authority within

subsection (6) or (7).

(6)   

A local authority is within this subsection if the land is in the authority’s area.

(7)   

A local authority (“A”) is within this subsection if—

15

(a)   

the land is in the area of another local authority (“B”), and

(b)   

any part of the boundary of A’s area is also a part of the boundary of

B’s area.

(8)   

In subsections (5) to (7) “local authority” means—

(a)   

a county council, or district council, in England;

20

(b)   

a London borough council;

(c)   

the Common Council of the City of London;

(d)   

the Council of the Isles of Scilly;

(e)   

a county council, or county borough council, in Wales;

(f)   

a council constituted under section 2 of the Local Government etc.

25

(Scotland) Act 1994 (c. 39);

(g)   

a National Park authority;

(h)   

the Broads authority.

(9)   

In this section “the land” means the land to which the application relates or any

part of that land.

30

Chapter 5

Decisions on applications

103     

Cases where Secretary of State is, and meaning of, decision-maker

(1)   

The Secretary of State has the function of deciding an application for an order

granting development consent where—

35

(a)   

in a case within section 74(2), the Secretary of State receives the Panel’s

report on the application, or

(b)   

in a case within section 83(2)(b), the Secretary of State receives the

single Commissioner’s report on the application.

(2)   

In this Act “decision-maker” in relation to an application for an order granting

40

development consent—

(a)   

means the Panel that has the function of deciding the application, or

 
 

Planning Bill
Part 6 — Deciding applications for orders granting development consent
Chapter 5 — Decisions on applications

55

 

(b)   

where the Council or the Secretary of State has the function of deciding

the application, means the Council or (as the case may be) the Secretary

of State.

104     

Decisions of Panel and Council

(1)   

This section applies in relation to an application for an order granting

5

development consent if the decision-maker is a Panel or the Council.

(2)   

In deciding the application the Panel or Council must have regard to—

(a)   

any national policy statement which has effect in relation to

development of the description to which the application relates (a

“relevant national policy statement”),

10

(b)   

any local impact report (within the meaning given by section 60(3))

submitted to the Commission before the deadline specified in a notice

under section 60(2),

(c)   

any matters prescribed in relation to development of the description to

which the application relates, and

15

(d)   

any other matters which the Panel or Council thinks are both important

and relevant to its decision.

(3)   

The Panel or Council must decide the application in accordance with any

relevant national policy statement, except to the extent that one or more of the

following subsections applies.

20

(4)   

This subsection applies if the Panel or Council is satisfied that deciding the

application in accordance with any relevant national policy statement would

lead to the United Kingdom being in breach of any of its international

obligations.

(5)   

This subsection applies if the Panel or Council is satisfied that deciding the

25

application in accordance with any relevant national policy statement would

lead to the Panel or Council, or the Commission, being in breach of any duty

imposed on it by or under any enactment.

(6)   

This subsection applies if the Panel or Council is satisfied that deciding the

application in accordance with any relevant national policy statement would

30

be unlawful by virtue of any enactment.

(7)   

This subsection applies if the Panel or Council is satisfied that the adverse

impact of the proposed development would outweigh its benefits.

(8)   

This subsection applies if the Panel or Council is satisfied that any condition

prescribed for deciding an application otherwise than in accordance with a

35

national policy statement is met.

105     

Decisions of Secretary of State

(1)   

This section applies in relation to an application for an order granting

development consent if the decision-maker is the Secretary of State.

(2)   

In deciding the application the Secretary of State must have regard to—

40

(a)   

any local impact report (within the meaning given by section 60(3))

submitted to the Commission before the deadline specified in a notice

under section 60(2),

 
 

 
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