HC Deb 21 February 1972 vol 831 cc871-2
4. Sir A. Meyer

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether, in considering representations submitted to him against planning decisions taken by local planning authorities, he will take into account the extent to which individuals likely to be affected by those decisions have been consulted.

The Minister of State, Welsh Office (Mr. David Gibson-Watt)

Yes, Sir. However, my right hon. and learned Friend intervenes in decisions lawfully taken by local planning authorities only in exceptional circumstances.

Sir A. Meyer

Is my hon. Friend aware that if he were to reject a planning application sent to him on appeal purely on the grounds that there had been insufficient consultation with the individuals directly concerned he would do more to encourage the practice of consulting individuals than could be done by any other method?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

That may be. If my hon. Friend would care to write to me about any specific matter I should be happy to consider it. I think that he is referring to the case he mentioned in the Adjournment debate on Thursday evening. I will look at that.

Mr. George Thomas

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that if local authorities would consult people whose lives will be affected by decisions but who do not know about planning applications even when they may be for properties next door to them, it would help a great deal to produce a better spirit?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

We are all in favour of as many people as possible knowing about planning permissions. As the right hon. Gentleman will have read from the Adjournment debate on Thursday evening, I went very fully into the whole subject.