Nicky Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance he issues to planning authorities on the acceptability of technical language in planning applications; what recent representations he has received on the accessibility of planning applications containing such language to non-specialist elected councillors; and if he will make a statement.
Robert Neill: My Department does not issue guidance specifically advising against the use of technical jargon in planning applications. However, it does advise planning authorities to ensure that they fully understand each development proposal before they consider whether or not it should be granted planning permission. Developers are encouraged to provide only information that is relevant, necessary and material to their application, and to keep the volume of supporting documentation to a minimum, so that their proposals are clear. Local authorities have the right to request clarification from applicants during the determination period, and-if these requests are not met to their satisfaction-may refuse to grant planning permission. I have not received any recent representations on the accessibility of planning applications containing technical jargon.
The new Government are supportive of the Local Government Association campaign against jargon and its 250 banned words from 'Goldfish Bowl facilitated conversations' to the 'wellderly'. And, as outlined in his speech of 6 July 2010, the Secretary of State has pledged to abolish the TLA (Three Letter Abbreviation), such as the IPC, CAA and RSSs.