§ Lord Williams of Elvel
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they are aware of a proposal by Thames Heliport plc to set up a floating heliport in the river Thames operating within the area of the London conurbation, and, if so, what planning mechanism is in place to ensure that such a proposal receives a fair public hearing.
§ Lord Strathclyde
We are aware in broad terms of the proposal by Thames Heliport plc to set up a floating heliport in the river Thames and have advised them to consult widely with interested parties. We recognise the importance of public awareness of, and participation in, the development control process. Under Article 12 of the Town and Country Planning General Development Order 1988 (as amended), any development which requires planning permission must be given publicity.
The elected members of the local planning authority represent the interests of the community in planning matters. In determining planning applications they must have regard to the development plan, so far as it is material to the development proposal, and to any other material considerations, including any relevant views on planning matters expressed by neighbouring occupiers, local residents and any other third parties. Where, in making any determination, regard is to be had to the development plan, the determination shall be made in accordance with the plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. Local inquiries and hearings into planning appeals and called-in planning applications are held in public and members of the public have an opportunity to express views on the proposed development.