§ Mr. French
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he intends to exercise his powers to make regulations under sections 106A and 106B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990; and if he will make a statement.
§ Sir George Young
Sections 106A and 106B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 were inserted into that Act by section 12(1) of the Planning and Compensation Act 1991. These provisions, which are not yet fully in force, enable my right hon. Friend and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales to make various regulations governing applications to a local planning authority to modify or discharge a planning obligation and appeals to my right hon. Friends when such applications are refused or not determined. Such appeals may be determined by a planning inspector if my right hon. Friends so determine.
The Government's proposals for these regulations are set out in a public consultation paper, which has been issued today to local authority associations and other representative bodies for their comments. The main proposals are that a person or persons bound by a planning obligation will be able to agree with the responsible local planning authority to modify or vary it; someone who is bound by a planning obligation will be able to apply to the local planning authority for it to be modified or discharged once five years have elapsed since it was entered into; the applicant will be required to serve notice on others with an interest in the land concerned or who are tenants of it, and the local planning authority will be required to publicise the application; the authority will not be able to determine the application until a set period for representations has elapsed; when the authority determines an application it will have to send a notice to the applicant. If the application is refused, the notice will state clearly and precisely the authority's reasons and set out the applicant's right of appeal; an applicant will have six months from the date of the notice of refusal to lodge an appeal; a form will be prescribed for appellants to use which will set out the rights of either party to a public local inquiry if they wish; appeal decisions will be given in writing and with reasons; a planning inspector will be able to determine all classes of appeal under section 106B, although my right hon. Friends may recover individual cases for their own determination.
My right hon. Friends intend to make regulations this autumn to bring these proposals into effect.