After careful consideration ministers have decided that a planning application to tear down properties and rebuild a site in Liverpool’s Welsh Streets area should be ‘called-in’ for determination. The application has attracted significant national controversy.
Wherever possible the government wants planning applications to be decided by the local council but considers in this instance that the proposal may conflict with national policy and has greater than local importance.
A public enquiry will now take place and concerns raised about a number of architecture and design issues and the extent to which the proposals meet planning policy on conserving and enhancing the historic environment can be heard. The inquiry can also hear concerns about the extent the proposed development is consistent with policy on bringing empty homes back into use and whether the proposal is in-line with the development plan for the area.
An application to call-in a separate scheme in Saltwell and Bensham, Gateshead was also considered by ministers. After carefully considering the facts, circumstances and representations, it was decided that the planning decision for this application is best taken at the local level by the council. This proposal does not raise concerns about heritage and design, does not give rise to national controversy and is widely supported.
Planning Minister Nick Boles said:
The government is committed to giving power to councils and communities to decide their own planning decisions and only calls-in cases very rarely. Each case is always carefully considered on its own facts.
The Welsh Streets application has attracted national controversy and has broader implications for the historic environment. It involves issues of more than local importance.