The Secretary of State has the power to call-in an application in certain circumstances (s.77 Town and Country Planning Act 1990) where the application:

  • May conflict with national policies on important matters
  • May have significant long-term impact on economic growth and meeting housing needs across a wider area than a single local authority
  • Could have significant effects beyond their immediate locality
  • Gives rise to substantial cross-boundary or national controversy
  • Raises significant architectural and urban design issues
  • May involve the interests of national security or of foreign Governments.

Current government policy, however, is to call-in only ‘when matters are of national significance’ (Greg Clark, Minister of State Department for Communities and Local Government, May 2012).

If the Secretary of State calls-in an application, the local planning authority will be notified and the case will be dealt with by the Planning Inspectorate by the holding of a public inquiry. 

The Planning Inspector will then prepare a report to be sent to the Secretary of State who will then decide the application, taking into account the Inspector’s recommendation.

Last updated: Sat 16 December, 2023 @ 19:40