HC Deb 04 February 1997 vol 289 cc534-5W
Mr. Raynsford

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many applications for planning consent he has called in in each of the years 1994 to 1996, in(a) London and (b) each other region of England; how many of these involved housing; what percentage of these involved (i) mixed tenure and (ii) special needs housing; what was the average length of time taken to reach a decision on the application; how many are still awaiting a decision; and what percentage of those decided have been (1) approved and (2) refused. [13778]

Mr. Robert B. Jones

The number of planning applications called in in each Government office region in England in the years 1994 to 1996 is as follows:

1994 1995 1996
North East 9 4 7
North West 7 10 9
Yorkshire and the Humber 12 15 12
Merseyside 0 4 6
West Midlands 24 7 9
East Midlands 14 17 16
Eastern 25 30 17
South West 34 160 29
South East 5 15 15
London 12 15 14
1 Some 30 of these cases relate to a single site in Devonport. Further applications were called in in 1994–96 in Cornwall. Following the Lees report on the operation of the planning system in North Cornwall, the Government has been monitoring development control in Cornwall as a whole.

In total, the number of call-ins per calendar year for 1994, 1995 and 1996, excluding the Devonport and Cornwall cases, was some 120, 133 and 120 respectively.

Of those shown in the table, 85 applications involved housing development of which approximately 9 per cent. involved mixed tenure housing and approximately 13 per cent. special needs housing. Of those applications that have been decided, 38 per cent. were approved and 62 per cent. were refused permission. The Department does not keep information centrally on the average length of time to reach a decision. However, from Government offices' records of those cases called in in 1994 to 1996, the average time to reach a decision following receipt of the inspector's report was 15 weeks; 37 applications are awaiting determination following receipt of the inspector's report.