Electricity Market Reform (General) Regulations 2014 and 8 related instruments; Police and Crime Commissioner Elections (Amendment) (No.2) Order 2014 - Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee Contents


Additional information from the Department for Communities and Local Government

A clear majority of respondents supported the increase (whether this was unqualified support or qualified), including a majority of councils. Of the remainder, it is equally important to note that many simply offered no comment rather that opposing the change, so that only 22% overall were opposed (26% of councils).
Total number of responses to this question, by answer given: Percentage breakdown of responses to this question, by answer given: Of those, how many were "councils or other local planning authorities": Percentage breakdown of responses from councils:
Supported increase 6948% 3739%
Qualified support for increase 2417% 2021%
Didn't comment or express a view 2014% 1415%
Opposed increase 3222% 2526%
Total 145 100% 96 100%

Note that figures in this table may not sum to 100% exactly, or provide an exact match to figures in the consultation response document, due to rounding.

Of the 24 respondents who gave qualified support for the proposals, nine respondents indicated that they supported the increase in the threshold provided that they could continue to use Planning Performance Agreements or extension of time agreements.  Another five stated that they did not object to the thresholds increasing but did not provide any further comment (because their response was phrased in terms of "not objecting" we recorded this as qualified support rather than outright support).

There were a few respondents who gave other reasons for qualifying their support:

·  While accepting the increase in the threshold, some were sceptical about the approach to judging local authorities' planning performance overall (four respondents);

·  Continuing to allow local authorities to explain any exceptional circumstances which mean that a designation would be unreasonable (one respondent);

·  A suggestion that designation should be based on performance on both speed and quality (one respondent);

·  Ensuring sufficient resource and support is available, including in understanding the causes of delay in determining applications (two respondents); 

·  Delaying the introduction of the higher threshold by a year (one respondent); and

·  Need to recognise there will be times when an applicant does not engage positively in the application process (one respondent).

Section 8.01  Extension of time agreements

We recognise that there will be circumstances when applications for major development need longer to determine than the statutory time period.  Planning performance agreements (PPAs) allow local authorities and applicants to agree a bespoke timetable for an application before it is submitted where it is clear that longer that the statutory period will be required to reach a decision.  Authorities can also agree a post-submission extension of time, provided that this is agreed with the applicant in writing and sets a clear timeframe for determining the application.

The statistics that we collect on planning applications from local authorities, which we base the designations on, now collect information on extension of time agreements and PPAs and whether authorities determined applications within the timescales set out in these.  Where applications are determined within the agreed timescale then these applications are counted as being "in time" for the purpose of assessing the local authority's performance.

This approach is consistent with the outcome of the consultation on the approach to planning performance in November 2012.  The change in how the statistics are collected was introduced in April 2013.  Any authority at risk of designation who had applications subject to extension of time agreements or PPAs prior to April 2013 could ask for these to be taken into account as a reason why a designation would be unreasonable.

10 July 2014

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