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The emergence of new issues in planning law

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LETTERS

May I take this opportunity to question some of the your writers' assumptions about planning law (AJ 27.9.01).

First, the 1947 Town & Country Planning Act, which was referred to by Martin Pawley as in need of repeal, was consolidated in the former Town & Country Planning Act in 1971, and later further consolidated in the Town & Country Planning Act 1990. I can recollect no mention of greenfield or brownfield land in any of these statutes, although planning policy statements issued by ministers over the past 10 years use these terms.

Second, I would be concerned if your readers relied too heavily on the content of the article by Brian Waters about the non-operation of permitted development rights for householders, as they affect situations where physical encroachment onto neighbours' land or walls is concerned.

I vividly recall a speech given by Christopher Chope, ex-Conservative Under Secretary of State for the Environment, to the TACP many years ago, when he made it crystal-clear that permitted development rights will continue for householders, even where there is an encroachment onto neighbours' land. The dispute about encroachment was a matter for the parties involved and not one for planning law.

Therefore, I cannot understand why the planning inspector in the Wandsworth case in 1997 came to an entirely different conclusion. Of late, there appear to be many other similar small, but ground-breaking, legal interpretations made by individual planning inspectors which go well beyond the bounds of established planning case-law, and have sadly avoided judicial challenge by the appellants.

Keith Evans, Colwyn Bay

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