§ Mr. Michael Spicer
My right hon. Friends the Secretary of State and the Secretary of State for Wales have today issued a consultation paper seeking views on proposals to amend the Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1976. The proposals would also entail amending the Town and Country Planning Act 1971 and Local Government Act 1972.
The proposed changes are: councils should in future be required to apply for planning permission like any other applicant for any development where they are not the responsible development control authority; where local authorities determine their own planning applications, the decision should be taken in public; all self-applications should be determined either by the planning committee or by the council and not by a committee, sub-committee or officer responsible for the management or disposal of land or buildings owned by the authority; to direct that all self-applications should be advertised and to issue guidance on public consultation; all self-applications should be brought to the Secretary of State's attention so that where they conflict with the development plan or give rise to unresolved or substantial objections, the Secretary of State can consider whether to determine the application himself.
These proposed changes are intended to ensure fuller and more open debate about local authorities' own development proposals and to increase confidence in the accountability of local planning authorities.