The reply from the Government to the Bishopston Society's request that the Sainsbury's planning application be 'called in' reads as follows:
Bristol Memorial Ground planning application – 12/02090/F
Thank you for your recent representations in respect of the above planning application.
After careful consideration of the application and associated representations the Secretary of State has decided that the decision should remain with Bristol City Council. I attach a copy of the letter to the Council notifying it of his decision for your information.
Mike Walton - Planning Casework Manager
The copy of the letter referred to above reads:
Dear Mr Westbury
THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (CONSULTATION) (ENGLAND) DIRECTION 2009
Application No. 12/02090/F
Redevelopment of the site comprising the demolition of the stadium and all related structures, and erection of a foodstore with under-croft parking, 65 residential units (houses and apartments) and community/commercial floorspace. Associated works comprising hard and soft landscaping, enlargement of vehicular access to Filton Avenue, and the creation on a mini-roundabout on Filton Avenue, and improvements to road junctions at Filton Avenue/Gloucester Road and Filton Avenue/Muller Road.
I refer to your letter of 25 January 2013 referring to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government ("The Secretary of State") an application for planning permission for the above development.
The Secretary of State has carefully considered this case against call-in policy, as set out in the Written Ministerial Statement by Nick Boles on 26 October 2012. The policy makes it clear that the power to call in a case will only be used very selectively. The Government is committed to give more power to councils and communities to make their own decisions on planning issues, and believes planning decisions should be made at the local level wherever possible.
The Secretary of State has carefully considered the impact of the proposal, and the key policy issues which this case raises. In his opinion, the proposals do not: involve a conflict with national policies on important matters; have significant long term impact on economic growth and meeting housing needs across a wider area than a single local authority; have significant effects beyond their immediate locality; give rise to substantial cross boundary or national controversy; raise significant architectural and urban design issues; or involve the interests of national security or of foreign Governments. Nor does he consider that there is any other sufficient reason to call the application in for his own determination. He has therefore decided the application should be determined at local level, and has not called it in.
In considering whether to exercise the discretion to call in this application, the Secretary of State has not considered the matter of whether this application is EIA Development for the purposes of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2011. The local planning authority responsible for determining this application remains the relevant authority responsible for considering whether these Regulations apply to this proposed development and, if so, for ensuring that the requirements of the Regulations are complied with.
The Article 25 Direction issued pursuant to the Secretary of State's letter of 22 February 2013 is hereby withdrawn.
Planning Casework Manager