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Planning Permission

Question for Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

UIN 67270, tabled on 1 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, pursuant to the Answer of 23 September 2021 to Question 50144, on Planning Permission, if he will urgently issue guidance on determining appeals to the Planning Inspector that a greater weighting should be attached to the National Planning Policy Framework’s objective to protect greenbelt land than to the standard housing need methodology calculation in the event that a local authority does not have a Local Plan in place.

Answered on

9 November 2021

Paragraph 11 of the National Planning Policy Framework already sets out that where plan policies are out of date, an application may be refused where our national policies that protect areas or assets of particular importance, such as Green Belt, provide a clear reason for doing so.

The Government is firmly committed to protecting and enhancing Green Belt land for future generations as set out in our manifesto. That is why, for decision-taking, local authorities should regard the construction of buildings in the Green Belt as inappropriate and refuse planning permission, unless there are exceptional circumstances as determined by the local authority.

Each application is judged on its own individual merit and the weight attached to a particular consideration is a matter of judgment for the local authority as the decision-maker in the first instance.