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Written Ministerial Statements

Monday 10 March 2008

Communities and Local Government


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Mr. Iain Wright): I have today laid before the House amendments to the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995 (the GDPO) and Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Regulations 1990. These amendments introduce a standard application form for planning permission and associated consent regimes and the new procedures for the validation of applications.

The Government are introducing these measures to help streamline and simplify the planning process. In the past, Government policy allowed local planning authorities to use their own application forms. This resulted in variations across the country and created difficulties for applicants, in particular those that applied to more than one local planning authority in complying with requests for information in different formats.

As part of the planning reform process initiated by the Planning Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and developed further in last year’s Planning White Paper: “Planning for a Sustainable Future”, the Government are improving the planning application process with the introduction of a standard application form. This will help to speed up the planning process and give applicants more certainty about the information they need to provide.

The form will be available in both electronic and paper formats. It will cover a full range of application types and consent regimes including:

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Increased electronic submission of applications will reduce the costs associated with their submission.

Alongside the form we are introducing new validation arrangements that will provide clarity about the information that needs to be submitted with an application. The new arrangements provide for a mandatory national list specified in the GDPO which will apply to all types of application. This includes, for example, site plan and drawings. In addition, applications will need to be accompanied by the information requirements specified on local planning authorities’ local lists. The Department’s “Validation of Planning Applications—Guidance for Local Planning Authorities” published on 7 December encouraged local planning authorities to consult on and publish their list of information requirements on their websites by 6 April 2008. The statutory instrument specifies that where an application does not meet the national and published local requirements, the local planning authority will not be required to validate it.

Culture, Media and Sport

Television Licence Fee Regulations 2008

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Andy Burnham): On 18 January 2007, Official Report, column 933, my right hon. Friend the Member for Dulwich and West Norwood (Tessa Jowell) announced the planned annual increases in the TV licence fee under the BBC’s six-year funding settlement, which began in April 2007. In line with that settlement, from 1 April 2008, the fee for a colour television licence will rise by 3 per cent. to £139.50 and the fee for a black and white licence will rise by 3 per cent. to £47.00. I have today laid before the House the regulations necessary to bring these new fees into force.

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