HC Deb 28 November 1967 vol 755 cc226-8
6. Mr. Marten

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will take steps to make it compulsory for every planning application to be publicly displayed so that third parties affected by an application shall have notice of it.

Mr. MacDermot

As hon. Members know, there is alegal requirement to advertise some classes of development proposals. Local planning authorities may advertise any others which they feel should be brought to the attention of the public. My right hon. Friend in various circulars has emphasised the importance of advertising particular types of applications, and he is always willing to consider whether further advice of this kind is required.

Mr. Marten

The Minister is surely aware that a lot of people do not notice these advertisements tucked away in local country newspapers. Could he not advise local authorities that they should put a very simple notice in the local post office? This would protect the rights of individuals who might be affected by a planning application of which they are unaware.

Mr. MacDermot

I am not sure that a notice in the post office would be any more helpful than an advertisement in the newspapers.

The following Question stood upon the Order Paper:


To ask the Minister of Housing and Local Government, if he will investigate ways and means of informing the general public of their rights of appeal, and other rights, on planning applications; and if he will take steps to ensure that local authorities consult neighbouring owners and occupiers who will be affected by planning applications.

Mr. Bob Brown

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You appear to have passed over Question No. 28. May I have an answer?

Mr. MacDermot

Mr. Speaker, I must apologise to the House and to my hon. Friend. I should have sought permission to answer this Question with Question No. 6. I refer my hon. Friend to the Answer which I gave there, in which I supplied particulars of the steps taken to see that planning applications are advertised in appropriate cases.

Mr. Brown

Would not my hon. and learned Friend agree that the extreme danger which exists is that we have professionals playing with amateurs, and that the amateur has not a chance unless the Department takes steps to protect him?

Mr. MacDermot

This is a difficult problem which has been discussed at great length on many occasions. I do not think that it is feasible to draw every planning application directly to the notice of everyone who may be affected. We have to find the right balance between the need to advertise some applications and to avoid delay in others.

Mr. Ridsdale

Would the hon. and learned Gentleman see if it is possible for planning applications to be displayed on the sites where planning is proposed?

Mr. MacDermot

That is another of the suggestions which have been made, and there are difficulties about it. We will have an opportunity to discuss these matters in detail in the forthcoming Planning Bill.