§ Mr. Ashton
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether it will be possible for appeals to be made against planning decisions for the five new secure training centres being created by the Home Office if they are placed on the existing site of a disused Home Office detention centre.
§ Mr. Baldry
[holding answer 15 April 1994]: Development by the Crown does not at present require planning permission. But Government Departments follow the procedures contained in part IV of Department of the Environment circular 18/84 which provides for them to consult local planning authorities before proceeding with development, including material changes of use, which would otherwise require planning permission. Where the local planning authority objects to the development proposal or where there is any unresolved disagreement, the developing Department, if it wishes to proceed with the development, will notify the Secretary of State for the Environment, who will determine whether the development should go ahead. In all such cases the local planning authority, the developing Department, and other interested parties are given an opportunity to express their views. As with decisions on all planning applications, there is no third party right of appeal.
There may be cases where consultation would not be required, for example, because the development proposed does not entail a material change of use. In such cases, Departments have agreed to notify the local planning authority of development proposals which are likely to be of special concern to the authority or to the public. This gives the local planning authority an opportunity to decide whether to advertise it so as to give the public a chance to comment and to discuss with the developing Department ways in which the proposal might be amended to overcome any objections.