The list below is a record of advice the Planning Inspectorate has provided in respect of the Planning Act 2008 process.
There is a statutory duty under section 51 of the Planning Act 2008 to record the advice that is given in relation to an application or a potential application and to make this publicly available. Advice we have provided is recorded below together with the name of the person or organisation who asked for the advice and the project it relates to. The privacy of any other personal information will be protected in accordance with our Information Charter which you should view before sending information to the Planning Inspectorate.
Note that after a project page has been created for a particular application, any advice provided that relates to it will also be published under the ‘s51 advice’ tab on the relevant project page.
Advice given between between 1 October 2009 and 14 April 2015 has been archived. View the archived advice.
I would be grateful if you could help me with some questions relating to land interest questionnaires please.
Please forgive me for giving you all the background information. I wanted to show you how this brings me on to my questions below.
I am Chair of a local residents' group. Through my role, and connection with other groups, I became aware that thousands of residents received Land Interest Questionnaires ("LIQs") from Suffolk County Council who is the applicant of the above stated project.
The areas that received the LIQs are made up of many elderly and vulnerable sectors of society.
I have spoken with many, and been made aware of other recipients of the LIQs that were confused and distressed as they assumed their homes would be subject to compulsory purchase orders as they were asked to volunteer information about their mortgage companies as part of LIQ process.
Following a public outcry of receiving these letter, a newspaper article and radio interview were broadcast as it became clear that the applicant had caused a huge amount of unnecessary panic. Consequently, the local MP was forced to issue a statement that "No residential properties will be compulsory purchased". However, some businesses would be. Had these simple words been incorporated into the LIQs, so many thousands of people would not have had to unnecessarily endure such upset.
This beings me to my questions:-
1. Why would details relating to peoples' mortgages be asked in LIQs when an applicant already knows residential homes would not be the subject of compulsory purchase orders?
2. Does the Planning Inspectorate promote and encourage applicants (in particular applicants who are local authorities), to be sensitive in their questioning and give reasons for their questions to mitigate distress to the public whilst taking into account factors such as race, age, etc.?
3. Does the Planning Inspectorate only require one form of LIQ to be sent to businesses and residential properties? Is this considered best practice?
4. How does the distress and unecessary worry to so many people get documented/recorded when it occurs prior to the consultation period?
I would be very grateful if you could help me understand these points.
Dear Ms Wilson,
Thank you for your email. I apologise for the delay in replying to you.
I note the contents of your email, and I will try to respond to your questions:
1) The applicant is required to undertake diligent inquiry to establish the owners of land or rights that may be affected by the proposed scheme; including those parties who may be outside the land of the proposed scheme itself, but potentially able to make a relevant claim. How the applicant goes about doing this is a matter for them.
2) The government has published guidance on how to approach compulsory acquisition, which can be found here. Paragraph 24 of the guidance reads, in part: “Early consultation with people who could be affected by the compulsory acquisition can help build up a good working relationship with those whose interests are affected, by showing that the applicant is willing to be open and to treat their concerns with respect.”
3) How the applicant goes about undertaking diligent inquiry is a matter for them.
4) I would suggest that you engage fully with the applicant’s pre-application consultation, and make your concerns known to them. We will look to the applicant to show that they have had regard to all responses to their statutory consultation when an application is made.
If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.