Referral of Applications to the Council of Ministers
Section 11 of the Town and Country Planning Act requires the Department of Environment, Food & Agriculture to refer the application to Council for them to consider whether or not they wish to determine it and Council is required to reach a decision on whether or not they wish to call the application in for their determination. Council may also call in applications which are not referred to them if they consider that for some other reason they ought not to be determined by the Department. Separate provisions are in place for the determination of applications where the Department of Environment, Food & Agriculture is the applicant or has an interest.
If an application meets all three of the criteria below it must be referred:
- the proposal does not accord with the use for which the land is zoned as specified in - (i) the relevant area plan; (ii) the relevant local plan; or (iii) Isle of Man Planning Scheme (Development Plan) Order 1982 (and there is no National Policy Directive which relates to that land use zoning);
- the application is for a site of 1,000 square metres or more (in the case of a commercial development), more than 30 homes (for residential development) or in any other case, a development site of more than one hectare; and
- an environmental impact assessment is required under any enactment, development plan, national policy directive or planning policy statement.
As part of the initial referral process, Council do not consider the merits of the application, only whether it should be determined by them or under the normal process. If Council decide that they do wish to determine the application it is initially consulted on and assessed by DEFA before being passed to the Cabinet Office so that an independent inspector can be appointed to hold a public inquiry. The Inspector's report, which is informed by the inquiry, is then considered by Council. The flow charts in the downloadable documents box set out the normal and call-in processes and more detail is set out in Part 2, Division 4 of the Development Procedure Order