HC Deb 17 October 1973 vol 861 cc196-7
20. Mr. Adley

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects to be able to hear the appeal concerning Messrs. Monomart Warehouses Limited relating to premises at Channons Hill, Fishponds, Bristol.

Mr. Graham Page

A local inquiry into this appeal has been arranged for 21st November.

Mr. Adley

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Bristol City Council will be grateful that in this instance the normal long delay in hearing an appeal will be reduced? Is he aware—without discussing individual circumstances—of the concern caused by lengthy delays, because this enables people totally to thwart the wishes of the local authorities? Will he consider some amendment to the law, so that where a local authority puts on an enforcement order to prevent someone thwarting a planning decision the status quo is maintained not in favour of the person who seeks to challenge the planning application but in favour of the local authority?

Mr. Page

In this case the appeal against the enforcement order was made on 25th April last, and my hon. Friend was right on the ball in writing to me on 14th May. The period between April and November is an expedition of the normal period and I am glad that we were able to do it in this case. My hon. Friend's proposals would involve changes in planning law, because there are no planning powers to stop current use continuing while an appeal is under consideration. It is only by expediting this appeal that we will solve this problem as the law stands.