Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Thirty-Third Report



APPENDIX 3

Memorandum from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT INQUIRIES PROCEDURE) (ENGLAND) RULES 2002 (S.I. 2002/1223)

  1. The Joint Committee has asked for a Memorandum on the points set out below.
  2. "(1) Rule 2 defines "starting date" as the later of the two following dates: (a) the date of the Secretary of State's notice to the applicant and the local planning authority that he has received all the necessary documents; (b) the date of the Secretary of State's notice informing the applicant and the authority that an inquiry is to be held. Identify the provision which requires the Secretary of State to give notice of receipt of the documents. (The Department is referred to the Committee's 27th Report of the 1999-2000 Session.)"

  3. There is no provision requiring the Secretary of State to give notice of receipt of the documents. The Department remains of view that this is unnecessary as the wording of the definition of "starting date" itself makes it clear that a written notice must be sent that he has received all the documents required to enable him to entertain the application or appeal, if paragraph (a) of the definition is to be relied upon. This follows the wording of rule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (Inquiries Procedure) (England) Rules 2000 (S.I. 2000/1264). The approach is well precedented. The definition of "relevant date" in rule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (Inquiries Procedure) Rules 1992 (S.I. 1992/2038) and in rule 2 of The Town and Country Planning (Inquiries Procedure) Rules 1988 (S.I. 1988/944) was defined by reference to the "relevant notice". In those Rules there is no explicit requirement for the Secretary of State to give notice of his intention that an inquiry be held.
  4. The Department does not wish to change longstanding wording, where the provisions have operated effectively over many years. No difficulties have been experienced with the Town and Country Planning (Inquiries Procedure) (England) Rules 2000 (S.I. 2000/1264).
  5. "(2) Explain the reference in rule 4(1)(b) to rule 6(2)(a)(iii)."

  6. The Department regrets that the reference to rule 6(2)(a)(iii) is otiose. However, the Department considers that there should be no practical problems arising from this.
  7. "(3) Given the second part of the definition of "pre-inquiry meeting" in rule 4, explain the need for the reference to the last pre-inquiry meeting in rule 12(1)."

  8. There is no definition of "pre-inquiry meeting" in rule 4. The term is defined in rule 2. Although it is acknowledged that the word "last" is not strictly necessary, it is nevertheless helpful.
  9. "(4) Rule 15(2) states that no written summary shall be required where the proof of evidence contains no more than 1500 words. Identify the provision which requires a written summary to be provided."

  10. There is no express provision requiring a written summary to be provided. The Department considers that the requirement is implicit in rule 15. This follows the wording of rule 15 of the Town and Country Planning (Inquiries Procedure) (England) Rules 2000 (S.I. 2000/1264) and the approach is precedented in rule 13 of the Town and Country Planning (Inquiries Procedure) Rules 1992 (S.I. 1992/2038).
  11. Again, the Department does not wish to change the approach where similar provisions have caused no difficulties in the past.
  12. "(5) In rule 19(7), should not the reference to paragraph (5) be to paragraph (6)?"

  13. The Department regrets that the reference to paragraph (5) in rule 19(7) should be to paragraph (6). However, the Department considers that there should be no practical problems arising from this.

17 June 2002

 


 
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