§ Mr. Nicholas Bennett
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what directions are given to Cadw to resolve planning applications by negotiation rather than by public inquiry; and if he will investigate the relative cost to his Department of resolving queries on applications by(a) negotiation and (b) by public inquiry under section 33 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971.
§ Mr. Peter Walker
In additon to its functions in relation to listed buildings, Cadw's role as a branch of my Department is to advise both myself and local authorities, as planning authorities, on the effect of development proposals on ancient monuments. While Cadw is willing to discuss proposals and alternative schemes with developers before a planning application is made, it will also in appropriate cases maintain objections to development for which an application has been made and ask me to consider calling it in for my own determination. Where I agree, the public inquiry that follows ensures compliance with the principles of openness, fairness and impartiality and serves to maintain public confidence in the quality of decisions and the process by which they are reached. Negotiation on alternative proposals is not possible once the application is called in and is thus not an alternative to negotiation before the application; nor can costs be usefully compared.