HC Deb 02 April 1998 vol 309 cc594-5W
Mr. Nigel Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will assess the(a) benefits and (b) disadvantages of giving local planning authorities the power to determine planning applications on Crown land when the land for development (i) is in the Green Belt, (ii) is in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty and (iii) would conflict with policies in adopted structure or local plans; and if he will make a statement. [37029]

Mr. Raynsford

This Government believe that it is usually most appropriate for local planning authorities to determine planning applications, whether such applications come from the Crown or from any other body. That is why we shall remove the Crown's immunity from statutory planning controls as soon as a suitable legislative opportunity arises.

In the mean time, the Secretary of State, when determining disputes which arise when a local planning authority objects to a notice of proposed development issued by a Crown body in accordance with the provisions of DOE Circular 18/84, will continue to have regard to the adopted local plan, and such other matters as the need to protect the green belt and other areas of outstanding natural beauty. Applications for planning permission under s299 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 which the Crown may be required to make to local planning authorities will continue to be determined in the usual way.