§ The Minister of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Lord Rooker)
My right honourable friend the Minister for Housing and Planning has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
I have made the 4th commencement order to commence powers in the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and today laid the Town and Country Planning (Timetable for Decisions) (England) Order 2005. Yesterday I laid amendments to the Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications and Deemed Applications) Regulations 1989.
The commencement order commences the timetabling provisions contained in Section 55 of the Act. Schedule 2 to the Act requires the Secretary of State to make timetables for called-in planning applications and planning appeals recovered for his decision, and enables him to specify decisions, or descriptions of decisions, to which a timetable is not to apply.
The order clarifies the range of cases which will require the Secretary of State to set a timetable for issuing a decision. This will provide a greater degree of certainty for developers, local authorities and all those involved in planning decisions, as to when the Secretary of State will 41WS make a decision. The order will come into force on 1 April 2005, and will apply to cases where an inquiry or hearing closed on or after that date, or where a site visit was held after that date.
I am also introducing a draft instrument to implement increases to planning fees. This instrument makes amendments to the Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications and Deemed Applications) Regulations 1989, which are themselves made under Section 303 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The instrument has been laid under the affirmative resolution and will be debated in both Houses, subject to approval the changes will take effect from 1 April 2005.
The Government's purpose in bringing forward this instrument is that fees should rise to provide sufficient financial resources for the planning service and to meet more fully the costs of handling planning applications. The increases will be across the board, but will be higher for the largest applications. A fee for a householder extension will rise from £110 to £135, while the maximum fee for a major development of houses will increase from £11,000 to £50,000. These increases are based on independent research carried out by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, which established that the costs of determining planning applications were considerably higher than existing fees.
§ Lord Rooker
My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
My right honourable friend, the Minister for Housing and Planning has made the 4th commencement order to bring into force provisions in the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, and the Town and Country Planning (Temporary Stop Notice) (England) Regulations 2005 which have been laid before Parliament today.
The commencement order includes the temporary stop notice (TSN) provisions contained in Section 52 of the Act. The TSN regulations have been subject to consultation.
The Act gives local planning authorities a new power to issue a TSN when unauthorised development commences to require the immediate cessation of a breach of planning control for a limited period of 28 days. TSNs can be used to impose a freeze on further unauthorised development. This will help to speed up the process of enforcement. TSNs provide local planning authorities with an additional enforcement tool to deal with a range of planning breaches.
The effect of the TSN regulations is to provide that those in caravans should be treated in the same way as those in buildings under normal circumstances. They can also be used exceptionally, where the risk of harm is so great as to require the immediate removal of caravans from the land.
The TSN regulations will come into force on 7 March the same day as Section 52 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. We shall also publish a circular setting out more detailed guidance on the use of the temporary stop notice provisions, and the circumstances in which they can be used.