The relevant section of the summary of consultation responses says: “Question 2.10: Do you agree with our proposals for the maximum determination periods for a) permission in principle minor applications, and b) technical details consent for minor and major sites? There were 433 and 411 responses to questions 2.10 (a) and 2.10(b) respectively with a range of responses to our proposals on determination periods and a significant number of respondents indicated that they considered that the proposed timescales are appropriate. Concerns were expressed by some respondents that the proposed determination periods do not allow the public and other interested parties enough time to comment and/or for proper consideration of the issues. Other respondents said that the proposed determination periods would not fit with the timing of planning committees.”
Q1: Of the 433 and 411 responses to questions 2.10 (a) and 2.10(b), in each case: how many considered the proposed timescales appropriate and, conversely, how many considered the timescales inadequate?
A1: Questions 2.10(a) and 2.10(b) asked respondents whether they agreed with the proposed timescales. Out of those respondents that answered yes or no to question Q2.10a, 97 respondents answered ‘yes’ and 276 respondents answered ‘no’. Out of those respondents that answered yes or no to question Q2.10b, 87 respondents answered ‘yes’ and 270 respondents answered ‘no’. Some respondents provided only comments in response to these questions. The Town and Country Planning (Permission in Principle) (Amendment) Order 2017 introduces the determination period for permission in principle applications. As stated in the Explanatory Memorandum, permission in principle by application will only be available for minor development (i.e. small sites that support fewer than 10 dwellings), and the Government’s view is that the proposed period would allow the in-principle matters to be considered fully and for adequate engagement to take place.
Q2: As regards the 5 week period proposed, what consideration have you given to the possibility that this might coincide with holiday periods (so that interested parties might in fact be away from home for a significant proportion of the 5 weeks)?
A2: The Government has made a commitment to require local planning authorities to extend the period of public consultation for planning applications by 1 day for each bank/public holiday that falls within the relevant period. Our intention is to amend the Order to meet this commitment in alignment with legislative changes that will need to be made for other types of planning application.
Q3: What are the requirements for notifying local residents of applications for permission in principle? And what action is being taken by Government to ensure that there is adequate public understanding of the new procedures?
A3: Article 5G of the Order sets out the statutory requirements for publicising sites where a valid application for permission in principle has been received by the local planning authority. This requires a site notice and an online notice and is therefore broadly in line with the requirements for other types of planning application. It will be for local planning authorities to decide if they take further steps to inform communities and other interested parties beyond the statutory requirements. We will be shortly publishing revised planning guidance to help inform the public of these arrangements.
15 January 2018