HC Deb 26 May 1988 vol 134 cc311-2W
Mr. Day

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish the report of the efficiency scrutiny of his Department's handling of planning enforcement notice appeals, carried out in 1987, and his response to the report's recommendations.

Mr. Waldegrave

A volume incorporating the report and the action plan which we have agreed is being published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office today. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House. The scrutiny examined the procedures under which local planning authorities issue planning enforcement notices and the Department deals with appeals to my right hon. Friend against such notices. The report makes 51 recommendations for more efficient and effective handling of these appeals.

We have accepted many of the report's key recommendations and one of the main objectives of the action plan will be to ensure that the majority of enforcement appeals decided by planning inspectors are eventually processed, and the decision issued, within 22 weeks from receipt of the appeal.

Some of the recommendations involve proposals to amend provisions in part V of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 and to adapt existing administrative procedures for processing enforcement appeals. My Department will shortly be consulting the local authority associations, and the professional and other organisations with an interest in the planning control process, about the feasibility of implementing these recommendations.

We have also said that we shall now he undertaking urgently a full review of the enforcement powers available to local planning authorities. This review will build on the detailed analysis in the enforcement scrutiny report.