§ 142. Major Poole
asked the Minister of Town and Country Planning if he is aware that an application referred by the Lichfield Rural District Council to the South East Staffordshire Joint Planning Committee was not brought before the committee by the planning officer within the statutory period of two months and is therefore now considered refused by default; what steps are being taken to protect applicants from such injustice; and what action has been taken against the planning officer concerned.
§ Mr. F. Marshall
My right hon. Friend is aware of this case. The Town and Country Planning Act of 1943, however, provides the right of appeal to him by a developer where for any reason it has not been possible to issue a decision within two months from the date of his application. In view of the delay which has occurred locally in the handling of this case, my right hon. Friend would be prepared, if the right of appeal is exercised, to give priority to the hearing of it and to arrange for a decision to be given as early as possible. It will be appreciated that in a case such as the present one the joint planning committee is the body responsible for the handling of it. I should prefer to express no opinion at the present stage on the causes of the delay which has occurred.