Local planning authority designation under section 62A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990
The government has written to Uttlesford District Council advising that the authority will remain in designation in respect of the consideration of major planning applications in the district.
The decision to designate the council was made in February and related to the number of major applications overturned on appeal between April 2018 and March 2020, with appeals heard until the end of December 2020. It means that applications for major development - more than 10 houses or over 1 hectare - can be made directly to the Planning Inspectorate, although applicants still have the option of applying to the council in the usual way should they wish.
Responding to this latest government letter, the council already knew due to the lag in reporting periods that the latest rolling two-year assessment of planning applications subsequently overturned at appeal is still above the 10% national threshold. The latest reporting period relates to the time before the council had diagnosed and begun treating the problem.
The council is pleased the government has rightly recognised and welcomed the improvements that have been made over recent months, even though these will take some years to show through because of the time lag in calculating the figures. The council will continue to press ahead with bedding in and advancing these welcome improvements, so that local people know they are getting the planning service they value - supporting appropriate major developments whilst guarding against planning applications unsuitable for our beautiful and historic rural community.
Due to the timing lag, it will in reality take at least two or three years before these improvements fully show through in the government figures, even though by then they will long have been yielding positive and improved results locally.
29 July 2022
Uttlesford District Council will remain in designation in respect of the consideration of major planning applications in the district.
Letter of Designation under Section 62A Town and Country Planning Act 1990. From Simon Gallagher, Director of Planning at Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities to Peter Holt CEO Uttlesford District Council.
Uttlesford District Council are designated for quality of decision-making in respect of applications for planning permission for major development.
Press release on 8 February: Government notifies council of 'designation' over major planning application decisions
Peer review carried out by the East of England Local Government Association
The East of England Local Government Association (EELGA) was appointed by Uttlesford District Council to undertake a peer review of the council as the Local Planning Authority. The review report was completed in August 2021.