The Secretary of State can also ‘call-in’ planning applications, and recover appeals, for his determination. In general, the Secretary of State will use these intervention powers selectively and will not interfere with the jurisdiction of local planning authorities unless it is necessary to do so. It is worth noting that an application cannot be called-in once a decision has been made by the Local Authority. The criteria for calling-in planning applications has now been updated within a recent briefing paper (no. 00930 – ‘Calling in Planning Applications’ – July 2016).
Criteria for calling in planning applications for determination by the Secretary of State ( www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/sn00930.pdf ) The Government reaffirmed its position on calling-in applications in Number 00930, 31 January 2019
The Government believe that planning decisions should be taken in, and by, local communities, and so use their call-in powers sparingly. Essentially, the powers are used when matters are of national significance.
Every Planning Application, Appeal or Public Inquiry is unique and each must be assessed on its merits. Past cases do however provide planning guidance to anyone interested in protecting or improving our natural or built environment. Here are examples of important resent Planning Appeal and Public Inquiry Decisions which have significantly protected or enhanced the landscapes and countryside in the Devonshire South Hams: