HC Deb 10 June 1980 vol 986 c159W
Mr. Heddle

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he has taken to speed up consultations which local authorities make before determining planning applications.

Mr. Heseltine

: I have asked the local authority associations and those bodies—for example, Department of Transport, regional water authorities, amenity societies—which the local authorities regularly consult to agree a code of practice for consultations. I am glad to say that, through the national development control forum, a code of practice has now been agreed and will operate from 1 July. The code requires local authorities to consult without delay, and those consulted to reply within 28 days. We aim to reduce this period in the light of experience. At local level many consultees have already made arrangements to reply within a shorter time, these arrangements stay, as does the statutory time of 14 days for consultations with parish councils. I have put copies of the code in the Library.