HC Deb 26 January 1995 vol 253 cc314-5W
Mr. Merchant

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he intends to take design considerations into account when deciding whether or not to call in planning applications to be decided under section 77 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Mr. Gummer

My general approach is not to interfere with the jurisdiction of local planning authorities unless it is necessary to do so. I will therefore be very selective about calling in applications to determine myself and will, in general, only take this step if planning issues of more than local importance are involved. Each case must be considered on its individual merits. An application for development which raises significant architectural and urban design issues is one example of the type of case which may be of more than local importance. Other examples include cases which, in my opinion, could have wide effects beyond their immediate locality, which give rise to substantial regional or national controversy which may conflict with national policy on important matters, and those where the interests of foreign Governments may be involved.