§ LORD BARNBY
asked Her Majesty's Government:
In the matter of housing development, what section of which Act of Parliament defines the powers of the Minister to override decisions of a local authority; further, what, if any, are the exact powers by which, after a definite period following conferment of planning permission for a dwelling, the planner or owner is entitled, without further application for permission, to proceed to increase the cubic area of the planned dwelling.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE, DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT (LORD SANDFORD)
The principal power of the 137WA Secretary of State in relation to planning decisions from local authorities is the power to decide appeals under Section 36 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 against adverse decisions of local planning authorities. There are also powers to take action, subject to statutory safeguards, to modify or revoke planning permissions or require the discontinuance of uses of land or the alteration of buildings or works. These powers relate to development in general and not just to housing development.
As regards the second part of the Question, the permission to which the noble Lord refers is set out in Class 1.1 of the First Schedule to the Town and Country Planning General Development Order 1963. This authorises the extension of a dwellinghouse, without specific permission, within the limits imposed in the Schedule. The most important is that the cubic content of the original house must not be exceeded by more than 1,750 cubic feet or one tenth, subject to a maximum of 4,000 cubic feet. However, this general permission is not available if, in the original planning permission, there is a specific condition restricting the extension of the house.