§ Mr. Clifton-Brown
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the reason is for reducing the time for planning appeals from six to three months; when it came 795W into force; how many appeals it is expected to change; which appeals it applies to; and how many refusals there were on 5 September. 
§ Keith Hill
The proposal to reduce the time allowed for an applicant to decide whether to lodge an appeal was one of many aimed at speeding up and improving the effectiveness of the planning system announced in the Green Paper "Planning: Delivering a Fundamental Change", published in 2002. The amendment is not expected to change any planning appeals, only to speed up the planning process and prevent delays.
The Amendment Order came into force on 5 September 2003 and reduces the time limit for receipt of section 78 appeals, as specified in article 23(2) of the Town & Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995. The reduced time limit also applies to an appeal made under section 78(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The reduced time limit applies to applications received by the local planning authority on or after 5 September 2003.
The decision on whether to allow a planning permission or not remains within the remit of a local planning authority and as such information on the number of applications refused on 5 September 2003 could be gathered only at disproportionate cost.