HL Deb 09 February 1983 vol 438 c1317WA
Lord Hampton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In the light of Worcester City Council's decision to approve a scheme for increase in shopping area twenty times in excess of that agreed in the Structure Plan, why the Department of the Environment has refused the opportunity of an inquiry, and whether they will confirm that this is not the start of a trend towards fewer inquiries on major planning issues.

Lord Bellwin

: The decision of my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Environment not to intervene in this case was made after careful consideration of all the issues involved. Call-in powers are only used where planning applications raise major non-local issues. Cases are considered on merit and I can assure the noble Lord that the decision in this case not to intevene represents the Secretary of State's assessment of the issues raised; no more and no less, Public inquiries will continue to be held in appropriate cases. Non-intervention does not, however, imply endorsement of the proposal; it remains the duty of the local planning authority to take the Structure Plan and all relevant factors into account in determining a planning application.