More work needed this section - but see image rendition of this letter
FROM CHARLES FALCONER
MINISTER FOR HOUSING, PLANNING AND REGENERATION

		DTLR	29 FEB 2002

		TRANSPORT
		LOCAL GOVERNMENT	DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT, LOCAL
	A	REGIONS	GOVERNMENT AND THE REGIONS

			ELAND HOUSE

			BRESSENDEN PLACE
		Roger Casale Esq MP	LONDON SW1 E 5DU
		House of Commons

LONDON	TEL: 020 7944 3012
SW1 A OAA	FAx: 020 7944 4489 E-Mail: 
charies.falconer@dtir.gsi.gov.uk OUR 
REF: CF/004507102


26 FEB 2002


Dear Roger

Thank you for your letter of 11 February, enclosing one from your constituent, Walter Spring of 24 Totham Lodge, Richmond Road, London, expressing concern about the redevelopment of brown-field sites, in particular in connection with the planning application to erect housing on land to the rear of Totham Lodge, which was refused by Merton Council last year.

I gather from Merton Council that no appeal has been made by the applicants to their decision on this site. Any future planning application would be dealt with by Merton Council again and your constituent should make his representations known to them once he has been notified by the Council of the proposals. I should add that under the Town and Country planning legislation, local authorities are responsible for the day-to-day control of development within their area. In doing so, they are required to take into account all material considerations including the views of interested persons. The Secretary of State rarely intervenes in this process, and then generally only in cases which in his opinion could have wide effects beyond their immediate locality, or which may give rise to substantial regional or national controversy, or which may conflict with national policy on important matters.

In this case, it is up to Merton Council in the first place to take into account all material considerations as and when a planning application is submitted to them. You will appreciate that I cannot comment on the merits of such an application as to do so might prejudice the Secretary of State's position, should such an application be referred to him subsequently, for example, on appeal.

On the general policy on brown-field sites, I would draw your constituent's attention to the Government's objectives as set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 3 (PPG): Housing. Local planning authorities should provide sufficient housing land but give priority to reusing previously-developed land within urban areas (ie brown-field sites), bringing empty homes back into use and converting existing buildings, in preference to the development of green-field sites. A definition of previously-developed land is set out in Annex C to PPG3. It is that which is or was occupied by a permanent structure (excluding agriculture or forestry buildings), and associated fixed surface infrastructure. It also covers the curtilage of the development and curtilage is defined as the area of land attached to a building.

Yours Charlie

CHARLES FALCONER