§ Mr. Alton
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the average length of time which companies applying for planning permission to the Merseyside development corporation have to wait; and whether minor non-contentious planning decisions are delegated to development corporation officials.
§ Mr. Yeo
The measure "average length of time" is not generally used for assessing development control decisions on planning applications. The Department of the Environment measures the proportion of applications determined within eight weeks of submission. In 1990, 59 per cent. of the applications determined by the Merseyside 483W development corporation were within eight weeks. This increased to 60 per cent. for the first three quarters of 1991, the most up-to-date information available.
Legal counsel's advice to the corporation is that it does not have the power to delegate minor, non-contentious planning decisions to officials.