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Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004

Section 44: Major infrastructure projects

70.Section 44 applies only to England and provides for sections 76A and 76B to be inserted in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. It allows the Secretary of State to call in any application for planning permission, or an application for the approval of a local planning authority required under a development order, if he thinks that the development to which the application relates is of national or regional importance. Other related applications must also be referred to him. The Secretary of State must appoint an inspector to consider the application. The Secretary of State himself, rather than the local planning authority, will make the decision, based on the advice of an inspector.

71.Consideration of any application referred to the Secretary of State may be made either by a single inspector as at present, or by a lead inspector and a number of additional inspectors appointed by the Secretary of State. It enables additional inspectors to hear evidence on matters as directed by the lead inspector but independently from him. Each additional inspector must report to the lead inspector on the matter he is appointed to consider. In every case the lead inspector must report to the Secretary of State on his consideration of the application and the consideration of any additional inspector.

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