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Hartlebury MP Peter Luff has received confirmation that Eric Pickles, Communities and Local Government secretary, has called in the planning application for the proposed energy from waste treatment facility at Hartlebury “for his own determination”. This means a full public inquiry will now be held.

Commenting, Peter said:

“I welcome this extremely good news. This sensible decision gives local people a chance for their voices to be heard properly and fairly. The Secretary of State’s verdict shows that there are compelling arguments against the facility. After their long campaign I am delighted that local people will be listened to”.

The letter from Planning Minister Bob Neill explains that the policy on "call-ins" is very selective. The letter says,

"It is right that in almost all cases the initial decision on whether the application should proceed should be taken by the local planning authority. In general, planning applications are only called-in if planning issues of more than local importance are involved.

"The Secretary of State has indicated in this case that there are occasions when it is right for him to decide the issue following a public inquiry. He considers that the proposals may conflict with national policies of important matters."

Peter explained that arrangements for the public inquiry will be made shortly. The details will be advertised locally nearer the time.


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